Are cats a threat to chickens?

Are cats a threat to chickens?

If you were to create a list of chicken predators, cats would not be at the top of the list. While cats certainly can be a threat to other birds, cats will rarely attack a fully grown chook.

Our property joins our neighbour's property without a physical fence boundary. Instead, we have plants and shrubs. Our neighbour has eight chooks which we are more than happy for them to freely come and go throughout the yard whenever they feel like it. As for our cat, she can sit there all day just watching from a distance, daydreaming and wondering what the chooks are all talking about.

Interestingly, despite cats being predator by their instinct, many chicken keepers also have a cat. There are of course instances that you should be mindful of if you are a chicken keeper who has a cat.

Are cats a threat to chickens?

Yes, in some instances but generally no. Typically, a cat will not attempt to attack a chicken unless it is starving with no other option for food. Feral cats and chickens may be an issue. If you do have a feral cat stalking your chickens, you should provide adequate protection for your chooks. Here is an excellent article on how to protect your chooks from predators.

Are cats threat to pullets or young chicks?

All cats should be considered a threat to younger chickens. A fresh new chick or pullet is just what you need as a cat in between meals as a great tasty snack. So you should ensure the two don't come together for a lunch.

Benefits of cats and chickens together

We want to set the record straight on behalf of all the cats out there with a bad reputation for something they have not done. There are some mutually shared benefits for cats and chooks becoming mates.

  • Having a cat around will help catch mice or rodents who are after feed on the ground. In turn, fewer mice and rats about mean less invitation for snakes which feed on rodents. If your chooks are in an enclosed pen or coop, you can stop feed on the ground by using a Dine A Chook Waste Reducing Chicken Feeder.
  • Cats may be a deterrent to wild birds. Wild birds can bring disease, sickness, mites and lice to your flock. So to have a cat as a deterrent is a great benefit for all. The cat enjoys scaring away the birds; the chickens are less likely to develop sickness. Win, Win.

Are cats a threat to chickens?