Do Cats Attack Chickens? 4 Methods To Prevent Them

Cats make a great pet to have around the house. If you also have backyard chickens, you may wonder if cats will attack the chickens.

So, do cats attack chickens? Yes, cats do attack chickens, but only young and baby chickens. As for adult chickens, they will rarely attack them. This is due to the size of the chicken compared to cats, and chickens are good at defending themselves.

Are Cats Afraid Of Chickens?

Sometimes, cats will be afraid of chickens, especially adults. Adult chickens are similar in size to most species of cats.

Also, chickens will flock together to defend themselves from an attack from cats.

Cats will usually stalk out the chickens out of curiosity, but will end up running away when the chicken comes close to them.

Do Cats Eat Chickens Eggs?

Yes, cats do eat chicken eggs. Most of the time, chickens that free-range and lay their eggs around the yard will be an easy meal for the cats.

Chickens that lay eggs in the coop are usually safe from cats. They will not go into the coop, knowing that they will be attacked by the chickens.

One thing to be aware of is that raw eggs aren’t safe for cats to eat. Like humans, cats can contract salmonella or E. coli bacteria.

If the cat eats eggs that have bacteria, it will start to develop health problems. Some of the symptoms of poisoning from these pathogens include diarrhea, an upset stomach, vomiting, and lethargy. In some rare cases, the illness can even be fatal for the cat.

Can Cats Live With Chickens?

Domesticated cats can live around your chickens. However, you should always take precautions when having your pet cats around them.

Chickens, particularly small ones, are what the cats prefer. For that reason, if young and baby chickens should be kept away from the cats when they are around.

As for adult chickens, cats will rarely attack them. If the cats are left alone in the yard with them, they are usually safe.

Be sure to not let one chicken wander off by itself in the yard. When this happens, the cat may attack the chicken, especially if they are starving.

How Do I Protect My Chickens From Cats?

If you have cats, you can train them to not eat the chickens. If you train them when they are kittens, they tend to respect the chickens and know that they are not food.

However, there are times when cats do attack chickens, no matter how much they are trained. This isn’t something that you can prevent since it’s their instinct, especially when they see younger chickens.

Also, if there are feral cats around, you’ll need to be very careful with them. Feral cats are known to hunt and kill chickens.

Therefore, you must keep the chickens safe from both domestic and feral cats. Below are some of the things you can do to protect your chickens:

Train The Chicken

Chickens should be trained to come into the coop when it starts to get dark. This is the time when cats, especially feral cats, are actively hunting for prey.

If you have young chickens, especially chicks, make sure they are inside the coop as well. Chicks that are in the run could stay around the fence. This is when the cats are waiting to grab them.

Secure the Coop

Cats are good at climbing, so you’ll want to secure not just the side of the chicken coop, but also the roof.

Place the chicken wire on top of the roof to prevent the cat from getting into the coop.

As for the side of the coop, chicken wire is sufficient to prevent cats from entering.

Motion Activated Lights

Another option is installing motion-activated lighting. Install the lights all around the coop. When the cat comes within range of the sensor, it will trigger all the lights to turn on. The quick blast of lights will scare the cat away.

Electric Shock Collar

The final option to keep your cats away from the chicken is to let them wear an electric collar.

The electric collar will give off a small shock to the cat when it enters the boundaries you establish. All you need to do is place this boundary all around the chicken coop or the area where you don’t want the cat to be.


Both domesticated and feral cats will attack chickens, but mainly young chickens. As for adult chickens, cats tend to stay away from them. However, if hunger takes over them, they will attack and kill adult chickens too.

To keep your chickens safe from cats, it’s best to use preventative measures. This includes training your cats not to eat chickens, securing the chicken coop, and using a deterrent such as motion-activated lighting.