1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Egg-stealin' Feral Cat!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by StupidBird, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,066
    13
    191
    Apr 8, 2009
    GA
    Ok, this is proof my new coop and run just became a priority...I've been missing eggs, a lot of eggs. With only 4 hens and 5 hungry grown up peoples to eat them, getting zero or one egg for days on end just won't do. I know, I know, the current set up is so full of openings I'm lucky not to lose them as it is. Squirrels? Rats?

    There's been this feral cat hanging around, the evil twin of my own cat. Except this one hisses, growls and runs away instead of walking up and flopping over your feet to be pet. No one in the family can tell them apart except when under six feet apart. But it's awfully well fed looking lately...

    I just now this afternoon walked quietly out to check on the birds, they've discovered how to get out again yesterday. Five fluffy lumps sprawled in the run. FIVE? One is that feral cat, calmly laying along side the hens chomping down an egg. It sees me, picks up the egg, squeezes through the gap, and trots off (I'm pretty slow today from a bad back). NOW I KNOW! Argh!

    Can't shoot it, because it really, really looks just like my tabby. I've read about cats here on BYC before, so I'm just ranting. [​IMG] The real solution is a better coop. A bigger coop. Bigger coop means more chickens. So far, all I've got is a pile of lumber.

    thanks for listening!
     
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    28,316
    10
    331
    Dec 2, 2009
    Canada
    I would get rid of it, now that it knows there is food at your place he will come back and try to get more. If he cant get to the eggs he might just turn om one of our chickens...
     
  3. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,066
    13
    191
    Apr 8, 2009
    GA
    I've been in an egg drought for three months...today's observation showed that the hens have completely become accustomed to the cat stealing eggs. I thought it might be squirrels, rats, neighbors... Could still be squirrels too! If it didn't look exactly like my cat, I would SSS so fast we'd have omelets tomorrow. Guess I get to call animal control and see if this county does anything about feral cats.

    It'd still be easier to nag the family members not crippled up this week to build the new coop and run faster.

    It was comical, now that I am not so murderously angry, the way the hens just lay there taking in the sun in their dust holes, as if to say "cat? what cat?"
     
  4. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    28,316
    10
    331
    Dec 2, 2009
    Canada
    My dog always used to steal eggs, and if it were up to me he would have been re-homed. But he was my parents dog [​IMG]
     
  5. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    697
    1
    129
    Sep 23, 2009
    catch your cat and pen him for a little, then sss the little brat.
     
  6. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,066
    13
    191
    Apr 8, 2009
    GA
    DH will use this as an excuse to get a dog. Then I will use the dog as an excuse to get the lot surveyed and a big fence put up. So this might cost me $5,000. for some eggs. Think I'm better off nagging for the coop fort knox.
     
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,479
    60
    233
    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Maybe you can trap the cat?
     
  8. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Not sure what is available in your area, but we have an orginization that helps deal with feral cats out here. Sometimes they are very helpful, sometimes not. Depends on how swamped and low on funds they are. Not sure of the specifics, but I know that the feral cats are live trapped, possible spayed or nuetered, then released (hopefully to another location). I could be wrong on some of that, I haven't had to deal with them in a long time, but I do know they are out there. Try contacting your local Humane Society, they may be able to direct you to the right location. I know for some it would be easier to SSS, but I couldn't do that myself. He's feral, and he's hungry. Not your fault, but not his fault either. So weird that your hens "accept" him in their run, though. I agree, I would hate for him to turn on your hens when he decideds he wants something meatier than an egg! BTW, ferals spread fatal, incurable disease like Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS, not to mention the Toms always seem to have some sort of respitory infection going on. Everytime we did a test on a Feral Tom,(under anesthetic of course, or so sick it wouldn't fight) it always seemed as if more than half came back positive for one, or both of those diseases. If he is hanging out close to your kitty, that could be a problem. Just another good reason to relocate him, IMO. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  9. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    1
    129
    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    In less than one week last spring we had 4 large egg-eating snakes. Every time we caught one, usually with an egg in its mouth, there would be at least one chicken in an adjacent nest, maybe a few dust-bathing on the floor. And one time I was putting them to bed (barely dusk, most were on the roost but not yet asleep) and I reached in to pull out one of the hens who liked to sleep in the nest box, and there was a snake right behind her (the snakes come in through the back of the nests) - I almost touched it [​IMG] Silly stupid chickens! What's wrong with them?!? I guess they don't recognize the eggs as something valuable unless they're broody.
     
  10. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,066
    13
    191
    Apr 8, 2009
    GA
    I just got back from County Animal Control; they were very nice and helpful. I have checked out one cat-sized live trap with instructions (one week free) with instructions to simply return it, with cat. No charge for drop off either. If I catch a raccoon or other wildlife, I do need to not bring those in. When I walked back out to the coop with trap and bait in hand, that feral cat was in there AGAIN. It must spend all day in there when I'm not home! Pretty funny because the hens love tormenting my cat - he avoids this 10 foot radius of all free-ranging birds (unless they sneak up on him).

    Sad, that this cat will probably be put down as too wild for adoption. It is quite healthy with a nice glossy coat from all those eggs. I only blame the ex-owner for dumping it. I keep in mind that there are plenty of nice, well-tempered cats by the dozens waiting for adoption.

    PS: there were no dobies at the shelter today waiting for adoption. Whew! Not sure I could resist... [​IMG]

    Also, our cat has fought badly with this feral before. I always kept my animals fully vaccinated for everything reasonably out there. Didn't know about the feline AIDS.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by