Feral tomcat

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ezgreen, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. ezgreen

    ezgreen In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    A large feral tomcat was on the other side of the fence a few minutes ago eyeballing my chickens.

    I went out there and told it to "scat", and it ran off into the pasture.

    I have 5 large free range silkie hens.

    I think I know the answer to this but will ask anyway:

    Do cats kill chickens?
  2. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    I am not sure about a huge, feral tomcat.

    But I had a domestic tomcat who I could trust with the baby brooder open and babies in the brooder. He would watch them to no end -- they were better than TV -- but he NEVER, and I mean NEVER -- made any move at all to hassle them.

    In addition to that male cat, I have had three female cats during my time having chickens -- two that live indoors and one that is strictly an outdoor cat. In outdoor play out in a large field together, there might be a bit of a chase every now and then, but they mostly co-exist without messing with one another. By the way, when there is a chase -- it may be the cat chasing the chickens, but it may just as likely be the hens chasing the cat!
  3. eggboy

    eggboy Songster

    Jan 23, 2010
    I think they can kill bantams.
  4. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    I know I've read of RARE instances of a cat killing a full sized chickens. So it's rare, but a large, desperate cat, and silkies that cannot see very well....Could happen. Keep your eyes open.

    By the way, how do you know it's feral? Even if it is terrified of unfamiliar humans, that does not mean it has never been someone's pet. My own cats are terrified of strangers. Could be a stray.
  5. ezgreen

    ezgreen In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    I am thinking that the chicken feed that I throw in the yard is attracting mice and possibly rats from the field. That is probably what the cats are after.

    And if there are mice attracting cats, the feed might also attract rattlesnakes that eat mice, too. My sister stepped on a rattlesnake after filling her bird feeders. It came back the next day right under the bird feeder and her friend killed it.

    I have not worried about cats, or even really thought about them as chicken predators. But when I saw him out there I knew he was at least thinking about it. I have not noticed feral cats around my place until recently. Lately, in the middle of the night, if I turn my back porch light on I have noticed another cat in my backyard. But I put the chickens up at night so I wasn't worried.

    Need to re-think tossing chicken feed in my yard.
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:Yes, I have had feral? cats kill adult dual purpose hens.
  7. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Quote:i agree...

    ezgreen if you dont mind me asking, where are you located? i live in Hawaii and we have lots of FERAL cats and i would think if they are hungry enough they prob. will try to get one of them.

    my neighbors domestic cats have tried to get my chickens on more than one occasion also. the leghorn would not come in for a few nights and the cat found her spot, chased her around the yard in the pouring rain at 8 at night!! i was out there with the flashlight trying to get the chicken out of her new hiding spot under some crazy bromeliads - pokey, wet - not fun. i never was able to get her out - she looked rough the next morning! [​IMG] its been awhile and the cats have mellowed out and dont bother the chickens anymore.

    we dont have any feral cats in the neighborhood now that i know of but if there were i would be worried. is there someone in your area that will catch or trap it if it is a feral cat? here no one will that i know of there are way too many of them, you see them a lot at night in parking lots everywhere!

    good luck hope you can get it taken care of before its a bigger problem!

    aloha [​IMG]
  8. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Very rural where I live. People dump animals all the time. There are several around our place now....other neighbors feed them occasionally. Not enough for them to be healthy. One was outside my run and it really had something wrong with it. I got some help and we dispatched it. It probably had never even had shots. And I have a cat and happen to like them and dogs. But if there is a dumped animal up here and it acts like there is something wrong with it I will get rid of it.

    I feel strongly it had intentions towards my chickens by the way.....it is sad, but the people who dump them are a fault.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  9. ezgreen

    ezgreen In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    Quote:I guess I do not know for sure. I am not really sure how I would know, except that it is a very large, wild, un-neutered male cat that lives in the woods in a pasture behind my house. I think it is very unlikely that he is a stray. He is wild, not just scared. My fence backs up to thousands of acres of ranch land, and I have seen him in the pasture before. I really think that he is eating mice that are coming in from the field to eat the chicken feed.

    Now there is another one that has been in my backyard that is not neutered, but might be someone's kind-of outdoor cat/pet. He keeps spraying my hedges, but he is more of a neighborhood cat.
  10. ezgreen

    ezgreen In the Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    Quote:I am in the hill country in Texas. I haven't seen many feral cats around here until this big guy started coming in from the ranch behind my house. I noticed him a few weeks ago, but he kept his distance and vanished into the woods. But today he was on the fenceline...just looking at my chickens on the other side. He was at least thinking about it. I might try and trap him and have him neutered/immunized and released into a colony.

    I was thinking about throwing catfood over the fence and letting him get full that way. [​IMG]

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