Do Cats Kill Chickens?

Cats are known for their hunting abilities, and some people worry that their cats may be killing chickens when they are let outside. While cats may have the potential to kill chickens, there are many factors that can influence the likelihood of a cat attacking a chicken.

The Nature of a Cat’s Hunting Instinct

Cats’ hunting instincts are hardwired into their brains, so they have a natural urge to hunt and catch animals, including chickens. Domestic cats, however, have been bred over hundreds of years to become less predatory and more dependent on humans for food. This means that cats will usually prefer to hunt small animals like mice or birds, and in some cases, cats may even forget their natural hunting instincts in favour of relying on their owners for food.

The Difference Between a Wild and Domestic Cat

When it comes to cats killing chickens, the difference between wild and domestic cats is important. Wild cats are much more likely to hunt and kill chickens than domestic cats, as they still have their original instinctive hunting behaviors. On the other hand, domestic cats are often trained to leave chickens alone and may even forget their hunting instincts.

do cats kill chickens

The Risk of Cats Killing Chickens

Cats are also known to hunt for sport, so it is important to make sure that your chickens are kept in a secure enclosure. This will help to deter cats from entering the area and potentially killing a chicken. If your chickens are kept in a coop, make sure that the door is always closed and the mesh is secure.

In addition, it is important to keep your cats away from the chickens. This can be done by keeping the cats indoors, or by using a cat-proof fence around the chicken enclosure. If your cats are allowed outside, keep them supervised at all times, and make sure they are not allowed to roam freely around the chickens.

Finally, it is important to remember that cats are not the only predators of chickens. Hawks, owls, and other wild animals may pose a threat. Be sure to take the necessary steps to protect your chickens from any potential predators.

How do I keep my cat from killing my chickens?

If you have a cat that has taken a liking to hunting your chickens, there are a few steps you can take to keep them safe.

First, make sure that your chickens have access to a secure coop that your cat can’t get into. A coop with a securely shut door, covered windows, and a roof will help keep your chickens safe from a determined cat. If you can’t provide a secure coop, consider using chicken wire to create a permanent barrier to keep your cat away from your chickens.

Second, consider using deterrents to keep your cat away from your chickens. Citrus scents, loud noises, and water-filled balloons can be used to keep cats away from your flock.

Finally, if your cat is determined to hunt your chickens, you may want to consider having the cat spayed or neutered. This will help reduce your cat’s hunting instinct, making it less likely they will go after your chickens.

do cats kill chickens

Will Cats Eat Chickens They Kill?

Whether cats will eat a chicken they have killed depends largely on individual cats and the circumstances. Some cats may not eat the chicken they have killed because they are not used to eating prey or because they find the taste unappealing. Other cats may be more comfortable with the idea of consuming their prey, and may eat the chicken they have killed.

Can Cats Eat Chicken?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive. Chicken is a popular meat choice for cats and can provide them with important nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals. As long as the chicken is cooked properly and does not contain any additional seasonings or cooking oils, cats can safely eat chicken.

When feeding your cat chicken, make sure to remove any bones as these can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Additionally, it is important to feed your cat only small amounts of chicken at a time. Too much chicken can cause digestive upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

It is also important to consider that not all cats enjoy eating chicken. Some cats may prefer other types of meat, such as beef or fish. If your cat is not interested in eating chicken, there are other healthy options available that can provide your cat with the same nutrients.

What other animals do cats hunt?

Cats are natural predators and are known for their hunting prowess. They are well-known for chasing and killing small rodents, such as mice and rats, as well as birds and insects. Cats have even been known to kill small reptiles like lizards and snakes. While cats are excellent hunters, they are also opportunists and will take advantage of whatever prey is available. As such, cats may also hunt small mammals like squirrels, rabbits, and opossums, as well as amphibians like frogs and toads. Additionally, cats may also hunt larger animals such as deer or even livestock.

In addition to these small mammals and reptiles, cats may also hunt fish, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures. Cats are excellent hunters of aquatic prey, and many cats enjoy “fishing” in a pond or stream. Cats may also hunt insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders, and may even eat eggs and small rodents like mice or voles.

Cats are skilled hunters and are known for their ability to hunt and catch a variety of prey. While cats may prefer to hunt smaller animals, they are capable of taking on much larger prey when the opportunity arises.


Cats have the potential to kill chickens, but the risk of a cat attacking a chicken can be reduced by keeping cats indoors, providing them with plenty of food, and supervising them when they are outside. While cats may never completely forget their hunting instincts, they can be trained not to hunt chickens, and with the right precautions, you can keep your chickens safe from harm.

FAQs: Do Cats Kill Chickens?

Do all cats kill chickens?

No, not all cats are responsible for killing chickens. While cats can be predators, most cats prefer easier prey such as mice, birds, and insects. In fact, cats are more likely to be threatened by chickens, as chickens can be aggressive with cats if they feel threatened. However, if a cat does hunt a chicken, it is usually because the cat is hungry, not because it is trying to eliminate the flock. In order for cats to be kept away from chickens, it is important to keep the cats well-fed and to provide them with plenty of opportunity to hunt other prey.

Can you keep chickens if you have cats?

If you have both cats and chickens, it is possible to keep them in the same household, however it will require a bit of work. To start, you’ll need to make sure that the chickens have a safe and secure coop and an outdoor run that cats cannot access. You’ll also want to make sure your cats are trained to keep their distance from the chickens, as cats can be natural predators of chickens. If you have outdoor cats, you may want to consider keeping them indoors during the day and only allowing them outside when you are present and able to supervise. Lastly, you’ll want to ensure the chickens have plenty of food and water, as cats may try to eat the chickens’ feed. With a bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to keep chickens and cats in the same household.

Can a cat kill a full grown hen?

The answer to this question is a definitive yes. Cats are predators and have strong hunting instincts. While cats may not be as large as some other predators, they are still capable of killing a full grown hen.

It is important to note that cats often hunt out of instinct and may not necessarily be looking for food or nourishment. In some cases, cats may see a hen as a potential prey item and may go after it out of instinct. Additionally, cats may also hunt for sport and may not always be looking for food.

It is also important to note that cats may not always be successful in killing a full grown hen. Depending on the size of the cat and the size of the hen, the hen may be able to outrun and escape the cat. Therefore, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure that your hens are safe and protected.

Will an outdoor cat kill a chicken?

If you have chickens and are considering getting a pet cat, it’s important to consider the potential risk of having an outdoor cat around your chickens. While cats are generally not natural predators of chickens, they can still pose a risk to your flock. An outdoor cat may see the chickens as prey and can attack them, potentially killing one or more of your chickens. If you already have a cat and plan to keep it outdoors, it’s important to take steps to protect your chickens from the potential danger.