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Can a kitten be raised with chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by @[email protected], Jul 25, 2010.

  1. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @[email protected] Chirping

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    Hi, everyone! I'm getting my FIRST chickens in two weeks, and this is my first post [​IMG]
    I live in the city, just outside of downtown (population 200,000), so we have the usual predators - cats and raccoons (so used to humans, you can hand-feed them), rats as big as cats, and mice.
    The coop and run are VERY well built, but it's the little critters I'm worried about - I've seen what a rat can do to a sleeping pigeon, and it's not pretty! [​IMG]
    I'm wondering if a 9 week old kitten can be raised with my three young girls (they'll be about 12 weeks when we get them, one Polish and 2 Ameraucana). The kitten was a previously a housepet, dropped off at a farm, and the person currently caring for him has offered to have him dewormed (yes), vaccinated (yes), fixed (definitely!) and declawed (IDK...) for free. She says he's very friendly! He would have his own loft built in the coop, with food, water, and litter, and my fat fuzzball of a housecat to play inside with during storms. If it's too chilly in the winter, we may heat the coop.
    Is this a good idea? I'm going to meet him first, to see how tame he is, and I can always introduce him slowly, but not put him in the coop until the Am's are bigger. What do you think?
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

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    I wouldn't declaw him unless you have major problems with drapes and furniture--a squirt gun works great. I've declawed one cat and I'll NEVER do it again, it tooks weeks for him to heal, it was awfull. As far as the kitten and chickens go it should be fine. I don't trust my cats with little chicks, but at 12-weeks old they're pretty well grown and even my full grown female that will kill wild rabbits won't mess with 12-week old pullets. I think a hungry adult cat might be a danger to pullets that age, but a 9-week old kitten is more likely to get chased by the chickens then to chase them. Enjoy your new babies--feathered and furred.

    [​IMG]

    ETA: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

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    Oh, missed the part where he's gonna live in the coop. I'd really wait until he's bigger, or at least make sure that he has some places to hide and get away from the chickens, they might all be fine, but if the chickens decide they don't like him (my chooks ignore the cats, well the broody chases them) they could really hurt him.
     
  4. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @[email protected] Chirping

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    Quote:I know I could never declaw him... it's so cruel! Thank you for the advice [​IMG] I figure that since he's domesticated, amd he's never seen other animals as food, he should be ok with a few big chickens![​IMG]
     
  5. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @[email protected] Chirping

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    Quote:He'll have a lush little pad built in the loft, I may build an entranceway for him that the birds can't squeeze through, so that he has a safe space for himself. The coop itself is about 5x8, with a 7 foot ceiling. Should be good for one cat and 3 birds [​IMG]
     
  6. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    I remember when I was a kid my mom had my cat declawed. It was horrible and I cried for days. She walked like she was walking on fire. It just broke my heart to see her in such pain. Just imagine having your fingernails and toenails removed and having to walk on them. Try diging in a litter box to go potty. She was an indoor cat and was scratching up stuff. But outside cats need their claws for protection and hunting.

    On another note, I have 3 kittens that are constantly in contact with my chickens and chicks and they don't bother them at all. Now the quail catch their eye and so do the humming birds. The chickens will go after the kittens and they do it on a regular basis. In my kittens case it's them that's not safe from the chickens. Even George goes after them and they don't do anything back or even deserve the harsh treatment. They will just lay there or stand, which ever they happen to be doing when they get attacked. But they will go in the coops and pens when i'm in there or if they're open. Here's one I took this evening. The kitten is streached out in the door way.
    [​IMG]
    By emvickrey at 2010-07-24

    Their mother doens't bother them either. I had her and her kittens when they where first born in my nursery with chicks in there too. She never bothered them. But the neighbors cat shows too much interest in the chicks. So it's all up to the cat on how it's gonna act.
     
  7. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

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    Tell your friend in no uncertain terms NOT TO DECLAW. It's horribly cruel, and it's rightly illegal in many parts of the world unless the cat has a serious issue that requires amputation of the claw. The claws are for more than just defense, they are critical in helping keep up with balance, climbing, and re-aligning their backs. Declawed cats often become more aggressive and turn to biting and slapping at you with their paws.

    Ok, sorry about that! I've just had to deal with way too many rescues that have been declawed and it's gone horribly wrong. It's so unnecessary for a kitty and it breaks my heart. [​IMG]

    *climbs off soapbox*

    Ok, onto the subject of raising a cat with the chicks. I'd definitely seen folks here and elsewhere who have cats that live peacefully with chickens. It's not a usual thing, but it does happen.

    However...

    I think the most important thing to ask yourself here is if you are willing to risk your girls lives to find out whether you can raise a kitten with them. Since they are older, they may be big enough to defend themselves and teach the kitten an important lesson, but you may end up with lacerations or a lost eye somewhere.

    Personally, I just make it a policy not to trust predator species around prey species.
     
  8. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @[email protected] Chirping

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    I had no idea they were making it illegal! I wish they'd do it around here - I told my fiance when we got the current kitty, Rommel, that I'd give him away before I'd let someone cut his claws out!
    I think I'll introduce them slowly, and see how they get along. Rommel is curious about our pet rats, but one is territorial and lunges at him when he gets within 2 feet. I've never seen a cat run so fast! I think he may have popped his furry little pants the first time [​IMG] He's not the bravest of felines....and he was a stray when we tok him in [​IMG]
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I may be confused about your intentions but it sounds like your new kitten will be confined to the chicken coop and run... along with the chickens? If that is the case, I think he will eventually have some instincts take over and want to chase them....just for lack of anything else to entertain himself with.

    I think they can get along wonderfully otherwise and it only took one correction for my new kitten to leave my new chicks alone....that and a protective mama hen.

    I'm with the do not declaw crowd....ick, ouch, etc. [​IMG]
     
  10. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

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    Ok, declawing: They don't just take the claws- they usually snip off the very end of the bones, too. Cats are not as domesticated as dogs so to many cats, losing the ability to use their front feet means death to them. Some will literally just give up, lay down and die. Seriously. I made this mistake with one of my cats. I took her and her brother to be declawed at the same time. He did fine and she did not. She did survive, but I had to hand feed and water her and take her to the potty box. She literally would not move if I didn't pick her up and move her. Had I known then what I know now, I never would have done this to my cats.

    With that said, cats feet and claws carry bacteria that does not mix well with chickens. Some chickens that have been scratched or punctured by a cat's claw develop a nasty infection and some die. Having them co-exist in the same household should be no problem, but putting them in the same coop sounds risky to me. Good luck with your decisions. Hopefully someone with the same issues as you with their pets will have some helpful advice.
     

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