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!

Goose vs kitten -Is the goose safe?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Chitigirl, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Chitigirl

    Chitigirl Just Hatched

    8
    1
    11
    Jun 3, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    Hello everyone. I'm looking for input from seasoned geese keepers please. I have an indoor/outdoor 7 month old Pomeranian goose, two ducks, three chickens and one high-energy, mischievous 16 week kitten. The waterfowl have sweet temperaments and love to hang out with us.

    After rescuing the kitten at 7weeks old, I found out he was feral. While he has learned most of his manners, and is usually sweet with the humans in the house, except for some rough play and constant attempts (still!) to nurse, he torments the goose. And, although she is probably 15lbs, and he is a couple lbs. the goose hasn't realized she's bigger and could put him in his place right quick. Instead, she hisses and flaps and runs away. The kitten thinks this game is perfect, he bats at her and pounces, leaving the gooses nerves frayed and razzled.

    My questions are- is my flock unsafe? Will he continue to "hunt" after he is neutered? Though the goose is curious, she won't relax, is she right to remain cautious or should I work to facilitate a more harmonious relationship? I know the goose is a prey animal and the kitten a predator, but many geese have dog friends. I hope we can keep the kitten, but I love having goslings and ducklings running in and out of the house, I'm not sure I'm willing to give that up.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you have to offer.:D
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,335
    5,093
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I don't have any cats or kittens but I can relate to how dogs and geese and ducks relate. My dogs are scared of my geese and will be mean to them so I don't let them interact unless I am with them. Eventually your goose will stand up to the cat but it's still young so it will take a while, unless your kitten is going to be as large as a bob cat I wouldn't think it could pose a problem as far as attacking and hurting any of your waterfowl unless you have ducklings and goslings then you may have to keep the cat away till they are larger. Cats have a strong prey drive and anything tiny like a duckling or gosling /chick would most likely be fair game. I don't let my dogs around the babies we hatch here until at least 1 month of age and then I am with them. The hiding and pouncing is very typical of what a predator would do if stalking the goose so It's understandable the goose would be nervous not sure how you can train the cat to stop this behavior towards the goose. Hopefully they will work it out themselves as your goose gets older. How does the cat act with the ducks? and chickens? and
    Welcome to BYC
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  3. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    74
    171
    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    Usually your cat will count your livestock as members of the family. I once put my hamster in the bathtub while cleaning his cage, not knowing my cat was sleeping there. When I returned half an hour later, the hamster was climbing the cat, and the cat looked mildly annoyed. This cat hunted and regularly brought us mice and birds - but he somehow knew the hamster was off-limits. As a child I had dozens and dozens of small pets like hamsters, parakeets, mice, and fish, and none of our cats ever even tried to touch them.

    That said, you should supervise your cat around smaller goslings and ducklings, until you know if he considers them prey. Sometimes an introduction helps.

    Regarding your problem with your grown goose and the cat:
    I think your cat is only playing with the goose as he would with another cat. One of my cats, Leo, used to play that way with my late goose, Keld. He'd even bring her dead mice and rats. Keld wasn't really scared of Leo, but she did get annoyed, so a few times they'd take turns chasing each other. I'm sure Leo had a blast, and I'm equally sure Keld didn't care for it. She'd start chewing Leo, but he just thought he was being petted. Leo's seven years old, but he still loves to play.

    My current goose doesn't care for the cats. She'll bite them (harder than Keld did) if they get too close, and especially Leo loves to sneak up and startle her. She's not really terrified like your goose, just generally annoyed at their presence. I've watched her drag Leo two feet across the lawn, and he enjoyed it - until she bit down on his ear and he ran off. She doesn't bite them that hard, but if she gets to their tail, face, or ears, it hurts and they'll hiss and go away. Once she must have had a tight grip, because one of them lashed out with a claw - and hit her in the eye. She almost lost her eye, but thanks to my very competent vets, she didn't, and she can still see with it. I consider that a freak accident.

    My goose has been with the cats since the day she hatched, and I don't see their relationship changing. Their languages are too different. The cat way of greeting someone they know is to quietly and briskly trod up to them, which the goose comprehends as sneaky and threatening. The goose way of greeting someone they know is to make a ruckus.

    I'm convinced your cat is only playing a fun game and that your goose in in no way in danger. Geese perceive the oddest things as threats - "better safe than sorry" is their motto. That doesn't mean that the threat is in any way real. Keld was terrified of flags, and I cannot imagine any situation in which a goose could be seriously harmed from one.

    I'm also sure your goose is truly terrified, and that is a problem. Maybe you can train her not to flee; instill her with some confidence towards the cat. My goose was terrified of my friend's tiny runner drake, who'd always come running to greet us (and try to make out with what I can only assume he saw as a big, beautiful blonde). It got to the point where she wouldn't even enter the yard. So I made sure I was always between them, and I sided with her and hissed and yelled at the duck with her. The duck was indifferent, but my goose feels much safer around him now. She doesn't even get nervous unless he's closer to her than three feet. And whenever that happens, we do the hissing, yelling, and wing-flapping again.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,335
    5,093
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I agree the kitten is playing, the poor goose just doesn't see it that way, when I was a kid we had a cat that would squeeze between the wall and refrigerator and wait for someone to walk by and jump out on them, scared my grandmother many times. lol I think the goose and cat will work things out eventually. I would love to have a cat to live with the chickens and ducks to keep the mice pop down, but I don't think my geese would tolerate one, they pick on my dogs every time they all are out together. I think they would make life miserable for a cat. They pick on the rest of the flock too. Such Bullies.I call them the gang of thugs.

    goose girl that is so funny about your goose and the runner drake I bet that's a hoot in person you both hollering and flapping your wings. lol
     
  5. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    74
    171
    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    Yeah, it's definitely going on my resume:

    Language Skills
    Danish: native
    English: fluent (speaking, reading, writing)
    Goose: excellent command (honking, hissing, flapping)
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,335
    5,093
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Looks very impressive. [​IMG]
     
  7. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,782
    63
    146
    Mar 8, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    My goose HATES my cats now. At first she was scared now she puffs up, stretches her neck, wings out, hisses, and charges at them!
     
  8. Chitigirl

    Chitigirl Just Hatched

    8
    1
    11
    Jun 3, 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    Thank you Goose Girl, Miss Lydia and Carrosaur! I feel much better now, despite this poor gooses anxiety. She does love for me to intervene. And the other day the kitten did fall asleep right next to her, so she nibbled on his head. He purred louder. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,335
    5,093
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Aww sounds adorable, how about some pics? [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by