Do cats eat chickens?

Yes. Cats do eat chickens. Cats are omnivores, and they aren’t picky eaters. These animals need their protein, and a chicken is a good source of it. Having to live in almost the same areas, it’s usual that a cat may take an interest in eating chickens, and they do.

But then, the word chicken is a broad thing.

For starters, they are animals, but they can mean so many things.

Do cats eat raw chickens or only the cooked ones? How about live ones? Or do they eat the dead?

Let’s tackle each of these deeper!

Chickens as prey to cats

Chickens are common prey for many animals. They contain a lot of meat and are very nutritious for many predators.

Even so, unlike any other prey, chickens can put up a fight that makes it hard for predators of their size.

Thus, a cat knows enough to avoid confronting adult chickens. A grown adult chicken can be of the same size as cats, and they can fight with their claws.

Like chicks and the small types of chickens, they can be an object of a playful cat for the small ones.

Where do chickens live?

Chickens and cats share similar areas. Both animals are usually living in farms and rural areas.

People are raising chickens in poultry farms, and they are entirely safe from cats. It is because they spend most of their time in their cages along with the rest of the chickens.

Even so, there are owners that let loose of their chickens and let them roam around their yard. These animals are the usual victim of a cat’s playfulness.

Do cats kill chickens?

Domestic cats aren’t that dangerous for adult chickens. While they are born hunters, they are intelligent enough to stay away, as these mature chickens can put up a fight.

Still, cats won’t stop with chickens. As long as they see an opportunity, they would attack and kill the smaller ones.

Thus, chicks and small-sized chickens can be in danger in the sight of a cat.

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Do cats hunt chickens?

Yes, cats will hunt chickens, given the opportunity. Domestic cats won’t be likely. The stray and feral cats will most likely do.

Feral cats are not only hunters since birth. They learn how to hunt since they are independent, and they find their food to survive.

Thus, if a feral cat happens to find an area where chickens are loose, it will go for a quick hunt.

Further, unlike domestic cats, a feral cat won’t pick the size. Any chicken would be subject to its hunting instinct, and they would likely end up as food.

Cats or chickens: Which is faster?

Cats and chickens chase each other a lot, and a cat won’t wear itself in the chase since chickens are slower than them.

An average chicken speed can go up to 9 mph. Cats, who will chase, can run as fast as 30 mph.

Chickens can spread their wings to fly to a higher place. Even so, this isn’t a problem for cats.

Cats can jump high enough to any place chickens can get, and they are fast enough to catch a flying chicken.

Thus, it’s no use for chickens to run from cats.

Can chickens defend themselves against cats? How will they do so?

Unlike other prey animals, chickens can try to defend themselves against cats. Since they can’t outrun one, the least they can do is fight back.

Chickens have flexible toes and sharp claws. Aside from using these to dig worms to eat, they can use it to fight off predators who want to harm them.

Roosters, unlike other chickens, have pointed spurs on the back of their legs, and they use it to defend.

Do wild cats eat chickens?

In a way, feral cats are usually the ones who are likely to hunt and eat chicken.

Some domestic cats, with all food, served to them, can grow to be picky eaters. Some house cats don’t even eat raw chicken.

However, their wild counterparts will eat almost anything, and they won’t say no to a chicken.

Wild cats usually hunt at night, as they have enhanced sense to capture their prey at night.

They won’t be likely satisfied with only one chicken. Most of the time, these cats will hunt a few and eat the guts. Hungry ones may eat the entire prey, but they will discard the wings and feathers.

Feral cats are famous for eating chickens even when other sources are available. Most domesticated chickens get along with chickens, but their wild counterparts won’t.

They will kill anything, and so chickens should be secured at night.

Are cats a danger to chickens?

The answer to this question depends on the type of cat and the kind of chicken they will eat.

If it’s a domesticated cat, they will only be dangerous to small chickens and chicks and newborns.

If it’s their wild counterpart, any type of chicken will be in danger regardless of size.

Can cats and chickens get along?

While cats and chickens can chase and fight each other, there are a few exceptions.

People who own both pets can train them to live side by side.

Of course, they can’t be in the same room alone. But, in the same backyard, both chickens and cats can be loose without harming each other.

Cats and chickens are both intelligent animals. But, always remember that cats will have the upper hand if they end up in a confrontation.

What kind of chicken do cats eat?

Now let’s go to different types of chickens. It’s essential to know these things about cats and chickens, especially for the owners.

Raw chicken

Cats are carnivores, and raw meat is a perfect food for carnivores. Therefore, they can eat raw chicken as much as they like, and it won’t harm them.

Cats eat almost anything, even the gills of a fish is okay for a cat to eat. Thus, a raw chicken containing the protein they need is a good thing.

Raw chicken is a perfectly balanced protein for cats to consume.

It’s also why both domesticated and feral cats can hunt and eat the chicken they killed.

Cooked chicken

While cats can eat raw chicken, they can also consume a cooked one.

Cats need to eat protein to sustain a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system. A cooked chicken along with other cooked meat doesn’t lack in that nutrient.

Some cats may get sick by eating raw meat, and so it’s much safer for cats to eat a cooked one.

Chicken bones

Chicken bones are a tricky thing. Yes, cats can eat chicken bones. But, only as long as its a raw chicken bone.

A cooked bone becomes brittle, causing them to break when bitten. It can get stuck in a cat’s throat.

Even if that cat is lucky enough to get the bone through, it can cause intestinal damage.

This principle goes along with any other bones. As owners, bones for cats should always be raw.

Further, always make sure that someone supervises or watches over a cat that is eating a bone.

Feeding a cat with cooked chicken bones is wrong and could lead to severe injuries to cats.

Chicken liver

Cats can eat liver, but only in moderation.

A raw or cooked liver is very high in vitamin A, and vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient.

A cat that overeats liver for quite a long time can build up a dangerous imbalance of vitamin A.

This condition is called hypervitaminosis A, and it can cause severe damage to a cat’s bones.

Over ten days, a liver intake for cats should not exceed a hundred grams.

Chicken eggs

Cats can also eat chicken eggs, as these are good sources of protein. Even so, it should not be raw.

A raw egg can be harmful to cats, and they will likely discard a raw egg if they receive one to eat.

Further, egg allergies are not common in cats, so feeding them with cooked eggs can be safe.

How to protect chickens from cats?

In general, there are three types of cats to look at when it comes to protecting chickens. These are pet cats, barn or farm cats, and stray or feral cats.

The domestic cat or house cat

A house cat has been a great partner of humans for quite a long time now.

Even so, unlike dogs, these cats still have the ‘wildness’ in them.

Thus, it’s essential to prevent your pet cats from getting near to chicks or anything young.

In short, when it comes to pet cats, always ensure to separate them from any young animals.

Barn Cats

Barn cats are like domestic and house cats. The only difference is that they live in a barn or a farm instead of a home.

Barn cats usually roam around, hunting pests to protect crops. Thus, they can always be busy hunting field mice, chipmunks, and squirrels.

While this can be a good thing, it can also be harmful.

Unlike house cats, barn cats are used to hunting. Thus, seeing chickens and flocks can drive out the hunter instinct in them.

For this reason, the best thing is to keep the young chicks inside a cage together with the small chickens.

This way, they can be safe from roaming cats.

For adult chickens, they can be set loose. The farm cats would know better than to harass them.

Feral and Stray Cats

Unlike the first two, feral cats have never known human contact.

Stray cats are another thing. They once had an owner, or have been abandoned.

While the two sometimes get food from support or rescue groups, they get their own most of the time.

Thus, a feral or stray cat would attack a chicken if given a chance.

It’s a wrong move to catch a feral cat with bare hands. The best thing to do to protect your flock from them would always be to watch them.

Secure the chickens at night since feral cats tend to hunt at night.


  • Cats do eat chickens. They are omnivores, and they would eat anything available. With chickens roaming around almost every time, they make easy targets.
  • Chickens are common prey for animals, and they are easy prey for cats.
  • Chickens live in similar places as cats, which is why a chase between the two is a usual thing to witness.
  • Cats can kill chickens since they are born hunters. They’ll try to catch one upon sight.
  • Cats hunt chickens, but not the adult ones. They would likely go for the young.
  • When it comes to speed, a cat is much faster.
  • Chickens can’t outrun a cat, so the best thing they can do is fight back with their claws.
  • Wild cats are the usual ones who would hunt and eat a chicken.
  • Cats can be a danger to chickens, but mostly only with the young ones.
  • While cats and chickens fight all the time, they can also get along. They can live in the same place without causing a stir.
  • Cats can eat raw chicken, cooked chicken, bones, liver, and eggs. Even so, the bones should be uncooked while the eggs shouldn’t.
  • There are three types of cats where chickens should be protected.

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