Cats and Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marileejolin, May 11, 2010.

  1. marileejolin

    marileejolin Hatching

    May 11, 2010
    My husband and I are wanting to start raising chickens but have a few concerns I was hoping ya'll could help with.

    #1: does it work to have baby chicks indoors with an indoor cat? We are caring for my in-laws cat for a few months so she is strictly indoors and she is DYING to get outside and chase a squirrel - it dawned on me the other day that she might be thrilled to have four flightless birds in her house. What do you think? Will she eat them all the moment we're out of the house?

    #2: we travel quite a bit (weekend trips) and are worried about giving the chicks adequate care for the first 6-8 weeks. We have nice neighbors who would probably help us out but is having someone come over to check on them once or twice a day enough for 2-3 days when they're still so little?


  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Cats and chicks can get along fine as long as the chicks are in a very secure brooder. Otherwise, no. I'd also pay some attention to making sure the chicks and cats can't see each other. It might be pretty nerve wracking for chicks to grow up with a predator watching them all the time. Some people put the chicks (or other birds they have) in a room closed off from their cats.

    Some cats do fine with chickens when they're grown, particularly when the chickens are standard sized and able to face down the cat. Bantams (like mine) are small enough to still be considered fair game for cats, which is why we don't free range without supervision. There are too many people in our neighborhood that let their cats roam.

    I wouldn't leave very young chicks unattended all day. There are too many things that could go wrong that you'd want to spot within a few hours. And caring for chicks isn't like putting out food/water for a dog or cat. It's kind of a specialized thing. If your neighbors don't know anything about chickens, it might not be the best thing to ask them to take over this job. Having said that, though, I should add I'm a nervous Nellie. I'm not even leaving the house for a few hours at a time without someone to watch our new hatchlings. And they have hens to look out for them, too.

    Once chickens are grown, though, you shouldn't have any problem leaving them for a day or two, provided you have a secure coop and run for them and neighbors checking in.
  3. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I have 3 cats and one of my cats 'Salem' can go outside and while the chickens are out Salem will go out there and the chickens have chased him away so now he won't even mess or even look at them. I would be a little leary of the baby chicks being in the same room. Cats are very inquisitive and they don't give up to easy. I would at least have them in a separate room where the cat can't get so that way they won't be terriorized. My daughter has 5 parakeets in her room and when we are gone the door has to be closed so Salem won't go in there. He has tried to jump and luckily he can't get good traction or else he would pull the whole cage down and that would not be pretty.

    I hope you can keep the babies safe. And believe me I am a honest to goodness CAT LOVER but even I know that their instinct is to eat little birdies and it doesn't matter if they are chicks or parakeets or wild birds.

    Good Luck and hope all goes well...
  4. Beekercat

    Beekercat Chirping

    Aug 23, 2009
    Gainesville, Florida
    My cat was less than impressed when we first got the chicks 6 weeks ago:


    The chicks didn't seem to be too freaked out about being able to see her, either. I guess they got used to her lurking around them all the time. All that being said, they did have a cat-proof top on the brooder AND we upped Lucy's Meow Mix daily allotment. [​IMG]
  5. snowflake

    snowflake Crowing 8 Years

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    [​IMG] I have a cat and 2 dogs, when we first got out baby chicks last year it was Feb and very cold in MI. so they were in the house for almost 21/2 months. we had a good hardware cloth on the top and they did fine. make sure they are not in the room when you open the top however,as once our Husky grabbed one so fast, it would make your head spin. I was able to get the chick away before any permanent damage, but we were lucky. Now that they are full grown she likes to stalk and chase but is more cautious lately as the roos are going after her I think. Last night I had the new babys out 6 weeks old. and the cat was very good but I would not trust her if I were not watching very closely. They may be OK if left alone with neighbor checking, but it might be better if you could move brooder into her basement , or garage for the time you are gone. . Chickens are a lot of fun, worth the extra effort. Have fun! [​IMG]
  6. Mother of All

    Mother of All Songster

    May 3, 2010
    I started raising chicks about a year ago. I keep the chicks locked up so the cats can't get to them but when I started I caught the cats in with the chicks and never harming them. I got better keeping the cats locked out and now my cats just hang out and watch them.
  7. imthedude

    imthedude Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    our cat was mostly curious. like others, our birds were locked up when they were still babies, but now at 10 weeks they are bigger in appearance than her. it also helps that she is 13 y.o. and has a steady supply of cat food. [​IMG]
  8. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    We took our baby chicks with us to the beach. We go alot on the weekends. We took a group of 4 and later a group of 5. They do great. We put them in a rabbit cage and we even took them on the beach. We had a little trouble getting them to wear the sunglasses. Seriously they were no trouble at all.
  9. snaffle

    snaffle Songster

    May 27, 2009
    I would be careful around a cat that hasn't been around chicks much.

    My barn cats have always been fine with chicks, but I have had one that wanted to chase them.

    Many years ago when we moved to your current home, I was concerned about our pregnant female cat. I knew she was due soon, but had no idea of the tom cats in the neighborhood and was afraid the toms would come and kill the newborn kittens.

    momma cat gave birth, and I couldnt find the babies for days.

    One day I watched momma cat squeeze into, past and behind the hen that was setting on eggs. As momma cat went passed the hen, the hen pecked at her repeatedly.

    I took a peek behind the hen, and sure enough, those newborn kittens were behind and underneath the hen. No tom was going to find them there.
  10. babypeeps

    babypeeps In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    We have 3 poodles and 2 siamese cats in the house. our brooder is in the dinning room. We have hardware cloth on it so no kitty paws can get thru. my cats are curious. But i know that if one was loose it would be bye bye birdie. but in the brooder they are safe and sound. The cats do love watching them. My outdoor cats never paid attention to my adult chicks. I'm more worried about my poodles than my cats LOL

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