Do Cats Attack Chickens? How To Keep Your Chickens Safe

A Grey cat laying down next to a chicken

Do cats attack chickens? You may have heard this urban legend before, but is it actually true? In this blog post, we’ll explore the truth behind this myth and provide some tips on how to protect your chickens from potential feline attacks. Stay tuned!

Do Cats Attack Chickens?

It is very unlikely that a cat will attack an adult chicken. However, chicks and younger chickens are at risk of being attacked. Cats with a high prey drive, feral cats, and hybrid cats are more likely to attack chickens than cats bred to be docile, such as the Ragdoll.

do cats attack chickens? A cat and a chicken sitting down together

Why Don’t Cats Attack Adult Chickens?

Adult chickens and roosters are not prey species for cats. Adult chickens can defend themselves against a cat. Chickens are equipped with sharp claws and a beak that can damage them. In addition, roosters will often crow and make themselves known to predators.

If a cat were to attack an adult chicken, the cat would likely receive injuries from the chicken’s claws and beak. Cats also have a natural instinct to avoid prey capable of fighting back.

Why Do Cats Attack Chicks and Younger Chickens?

Chicks and younger chickens are not able to defend themselves as well as adult chickens. They are also more vulnerable to being killed or injured. Cats are more likely to attack chicks and small breeds of chickens as they are small enough to be injured by the cat’s claws and will not put up as much of a fight as an adult chicken would.

What To Do To Protect Your Chickens?

If you find your cat attacking chicks or chickens, you can do some things to stop it.

Keep The Chickens In Pens:

If you keep your chickens in pens, it will be much harder for a cat to attack them. The pens should be made of sturdy material that is too big for the cat to jump over and have a roof to prevent the cat from climbing in.

Put Chicken Wire Around Your Pens:

In addition to keeping your chickens in pens, you should also put chicken wire around the enclosures. This will help to keep feral cats and other predators out.

Use A Cat-Proof Chicken Coop:

If you cannot keep your chickens in pens, you should consider using a cat-proof chicken coop. This will prevent your cat from getting into the coop with your chickens which will help to protect them.

Keep Your Cat Well Fed:

If you’re going to be leaving your cat outside for a long time, whether or not it will be in a pen, you should make sure that your cat is well-fed. If the cat isn’t very hungry, it may not go hunting as much, reducing the chance of it attacking chickens.

Provide your cat with entertainment And Toys:

Ensuring your cat has enough entertainment and toys can also reduce the chance of it going hunting. Electronic cat toys, climbing trees, and providing a litter box can help to keep your cat busy and away from your chickens.

Keep Your Cat Indoors:

If you are unable to do any of the above, you can also try to keep your cats inside. This will help to reduce the chances of them attacking your chickens.

Are There Any Benefits To Having Cats And Chickens Together?

Having cats and chickens together does have some benefits. For example, cats can help keep rodents away from your chicken coop. This can be beneficial if you use the coop to raise chicks or hens in their first few weeks of life when they are at most risk of being attacked by predators.

Having a cat around your chickens will also deter hawks and other raptors. These birds of prey are natural predators of chickens.

In addition, cats can help keep the population of spiders and snakes down in your yard. Both of these creatures can be harmful to chickens.

So, while it is essential to take precautions to protect your chickens from being attacked by cats, there are some benefits to having cats and chickens live together.


In conclusion, it is very unlikely that a cat will attack an adult chicken. However, chicks and younger chickens are at risk of being attacked. In addition, cats with a high prey drive or are feral are more likely to attack chickens than cats.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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