Do Cats Kill Chickens?

Have you ever wondered if cats and chickens can coexist peacefully? It’s a question that has been asked by many pet owners, and for good reason. Cats are notorious for their hunting instincts, while chickens are gentle creatures that are often kept as pets or for their eggs. So, do cats kill chickens?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this age-old question and uncover why cats may attack and kill chickens. We’ll examine the natural instincts of cats, such as their territorial behavior and hunting skills, which can make them a threat to your feathered friends.

But don’t worry – we won’t leave you hanging. We’ll also provide tips on how to recognize the signs that your cat is a potential danger to your chickens and how to prevent any attacks from happening. Plus, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about training your cat or owning a specific breed that may affect their behavior around chickens.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of the relationship between cats and chickens and how to ensure they can live together harmoniously in your backyard or homestead. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the fascinating world of feline-chicken dynamics.

What Are Cats Natural Hunting Instincts?

Cats are fascinating creatures with an innate instinct to hunt and kill prey. From birds to rodents and other small animals, hunting is deeply ingrained in their DNA and passed down through generations of cats. Even domesticated cats exhibit this behavior, even if they’re well-fed and have never had to hunt for their food.

Cats have several natural hunting behaviors that allow them to be successful predators. With excellent vision, they can see well in low light conditions, making them effective hunters at dawn and dusk. They also have sharp claws that are used to catch and kill their prey, as well as powerful hind legs that allow them to pounce on their prey with great force.

One of the most captivating hunting behaviors of cats is stalking. They patiently watch their prey from a distance, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Crouching low to the ground, they move slowly and quietly towards their prey, using their acute senses to detect any movement or noise.

Their strong sense of curiosity can also lead them to explore new environments and hunt new prey. This can be problematic for owners who keep chickens or other birds. Cats may be attracted by the movement and sound of birds, leading them to try and catch them.

While not all cats will prey on chickens or other birds, certain breeds like Maine Coons are known for their hunting instincts and may be more likely to attack. If you have both cats and chickens, it’s important to take precautions to keep them separated. You can do this by keeping your chickens in a secure coop or run that is inaccessible to cats. You may also want to supervise your cats when they are around your chickens to ensure the safety of both pets.

Do All Cats Have a Preference to Hunt Chickens?

Well, the answer is not so straightforward. While cats are known for their hunting instincts, not all cats are the same. While some may have an innate desire to hunt small prey like birds, others may not show any interest in chickens at all.

Interestingly, the breed of the cat can also play a role in their hunting behavior. For example, Maine Coon cats are known to have a gentle and playful nature and are less likely to hunt or attack chickens compared to other breeds such as Siamese or Bengal cats.

But it’s not just the breed that influences their behavior. The environment and upbringing of the cat can also shape their hunting behavior. Cats that were raised around chickens from a young age may see them more as companions than prey. On the other hand, outdoor cats that are accustomed to hunting small animals may be more likely to target chickens if given the opportunity.

However, even if your cat doesn’t actively hunt chickens, they may still be curious about them and cause inadvertent harm. For instance, they could startle the chicken and cause it to injure itself while trying to flee.

Therefore, owners with both cats and chickens should supervise their pets around each other and take necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. It’s also important to remember that each cat has its own personality, breed, upbringing, and environment that can influence their hunting behavior.

Are There Certain Breeds of Cats That Are More Likely to Kill Chickens?

While it is true that some breeds, such as Maine Coons, Siamese, Abyssinian, and Bengal cats, are known for their hunting skills and natural instincts to go after prey, it is not accurate to say that they are more likely to kill chickens.

The truth is that a cat’s personality and upbringing play a significant role in determining their hunting behavior. While some cats may have a higher prey drive than others due to their breeding or genetics, proper training and supervision can help them coexist peacefully with chickens. Conversely, some breeds that are typically known for their gentle personalities, such as Ragdolls or Persians, may show no interest in hunting birds.

It is essential for cat owners to take necessary precautions to prevent their pets from harming chickens. This can include keeping the cat indoors or in a secure outdoor area away from the birds, supervising them when outside, and training them to leave the birds alone. Additionally, providing environmental enrichment and mental stimulation for your cat can help redirect their energy away from hunting behaviors.

How Can Pet Owners Ensure the Safety of Both Pets?

If so, you might be wondering how to ensure their safety while living under the same roof. Although cats have a natural instinct to hunt, there are proactive measures you can take to promote peace and harmony between your feathered and feline friends.

Firstly, it’s imperative to provide a secure and enclosed coop for your chickens. This ensures that they are protected from predators, including your curious cat. The coop should be robust and placed in a location that is inaccessible to cats.

Secondly, training your cat to view chickens as companions rather than prey is crucial. Training techniques such as positive reinforcement can help teach your cat that chickens are not food. You can reward your cat for ignoring the chickens or associate the chickens with positive experiences like treats or playtime.

Thirdly, it is essential to supervise your pets when they are outside together. Even well-trained cats may still be tempted to hunt if given the opportunity, so keeping a watchful eye on both pets is key.

Additionally, make sure that your cat is up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite prevention. This will help prevent any potential diseases from being passed between your pets.

What Precautions Should Be Taken If You Have Both Cats and Chickens?

While cats are adorable creatures, they are natural predators and could pose a threat to your feathered companions. Luckily, there are some simple precautions you can take to create a harmonious coexistence between your cats and chickens.

Firstly, keeping your cats well-fed is essential. A well-fed cat is less likely to hunt for food, reducing the risk of them preying on your chickens. Ensure that your cat has enough food, water, and toys to keep them occupied. This will help reduce their hunting instincts and keep them content.

Secondly, providing separate living quarters for your cats and chickens is paramount. A separate living space will prevent any encounters that could lead to harm. You could also provide a barrier or fence between the two animals until they become familiar with each other.

Thirdly, if you want to introduce your cats to your chickens, it’s vital to supervise their interactions closely. You can do this by providing a barrier or fence between the two animals until they become familiar with each other. This will help your cat learn to respect the space and presence of your chickens.

Fourthly, you can train your cat to respect the space and presence of your chickens by rewarding good behavior and discouraging any predatory behavior. For example, reward your cat when they show interest in the chickens without trying to hunt them.

Lastly, ensure that your coop and chicken enclosure are secure from any outside predators, including cats. This can be done by using wire mesh, fencing, and locks. With a secure coop, you can protect your feathered friends from any outside predators.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Rotisserie Chicken?


In conclusion, the question of whether cats kill chickens is not a simple yes or no answer. While cats are natural predators with hunting instincts, not all cats have an interest in hunting chickens. The breed, personality, upbringing, and environment of the cat can all play a role in their behavior around chickens. However, it’s crucial for pet owners to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both pets.

To promote peace and harmony between feathered and feline friends, there are several proactive measures that pet owners can take. Providing a secure and enclosed coop for chickens, training cats to view them as companions rather than prey, supervising interactions between pets, and keeping cats well-fed are all effective ways to prevent any potential attacks from happening. Additionally, ensuring that the coop and chicken enclosure are secure from outside predators is crucial.

By understanding the natural instincts of cats and being aware of potential dangers to their chickens, pet owners can create a safe and happy environment for all their beloved pets. With proper training and supervision, cats and chickens can coexist peacefully in your backyard or homestead. So don’t let the fear of cat attacks stop you from enjoying both pets together.