I've noticed several topics about cat attacks on chickens over the last few months here on BYC. This thread is not intended to talk about if cats attack, when they attack, how to prevent, etc... That is all discussion that is already happening in other threads. Check out the Predator and Pest forum if you want to discuss these issues. This is just some HEALTH information for those that have experienced an attack by a cat, or even have a nice cat that has gotten mischievous around your chickens or chicks. Or even if you have a kitty that 'grooms' your chickens... Note: this thread isn't meant as a 'scare' thread, but simply to share some knowledge that is not always commonly known. As with all knowledge, use it or not, it is your choice! It is very important to remember that 90% or more of domestic cats (which as a species includes feral cats too!) carry the Pasteurella bacteria in their mouths. Dogs can carry and transfer this bacteria too, but with much less frequency than cats. Small predators such as raccoons can also carry this bacteria. Why is this important? The Pasteurella bacteria, once transferred to a small animal (but especially birds) usually multiplies rapidly, can become systemic quite quickly (cause a serious infection), and for some birds is commonly fatal (approximately 50-60% of the time) unless a course of antibiotics is administered quickly (within 24 hours). A large fowl, full grown hen or rooster might be able to fight off this infection if they are otherwise healthy, but it can cause serious problems for smaller birds, chicks, and birds with weakened immune systems. Even healthy, adult birds can succumb!! In this way, even a small puncture from cat's teeth or a scratch can be quite harmful indeed. For some birds it can be fatal. Even if the scratch or bite is superficial is not in itself a bad injury! Cats are especially deadly predators to small animals (especially wild birds), which often perish within two or three days of escaping a cat's attack, even if the cat did not injure it fatally or "only" had it in its mouth and didn't even bite at all. Given this knowledge, it is important to monitor any birds that have been attacked (or groomed by/played with) by a cat, or other small predatory animal such as raccoons. If you have an antibiotic on hand, it would be wise to administer it immediately after such an attack. From an article below (emphasis mine): Dosage of antibiots depends on the weight of your bird-- follow label instructions or consult with a local vet. If you don't have one, many avian vets are understanding about home-care for chickens and will give the dosage for you, even if you are not a patient of theirs. As always, I am not a veterinarian and you should always consider the advice of a trained avian veterinarian over mine!! (The Pasteurella bacteria is why some people have some bad reactions to cat bites/scratches as well. Many of us fight the bacteria off and see no ill effects, but those that do not can have symptoms ranging from mild swelling and pain to a serious infection. Infection is also more common in those with weakened immune systems). Some sources, just so you don't think I'm nutters. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2219107 http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2003/november/Cousquer/Avian-Wound-Management-Part-2.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7376178 http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Pasteurella+multocida http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/field_manual/chapter_7.pdf Please feel free to add any information you might have, or correct me if I'm wrong. Feel especially welcome to share this to anyone you know that has problem cats around their flock...!! This might save the life of some chickens out there.