Will Cats Attack My Chickens?

Chick with cat watching

Lots of us have cats or have cats visiting our gardens, so a frequent question that comes up is will cats attack chickens? This can be a concern if you have free-range chickens.

Cats are usually scared of chickens and will not bother them. Chickens are usually too big for a cat to tackle; however, there are certainly cases where cats have attacked and killed chicks, small bantams and very occasionally smaller hens (hybrid size) but rarely, fully grown chickens.

Cats that hunt

Some cats are more interested in hunting than others, but young chickens and smaller breeds are at the most risk. I have never had a problem with any cats in our neighbourhood, they sometimes stalk and watch the hens, but when a hen comes towards them, they run away.

It is best to take precautions with young stock and cats, just in case, but with fully grown hens, your best bet is to ‘test the water’ to see if you have any problems.

I have heard of some cats that are particularly good hunters chase free-range chickens, pouncing on them, even killing them.

Have you had a cat attack your chickens? Please leave me a comment if you have. I would be interested in knowing what breed and size (bantam or large fowl) your chickens are.

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