How Do I Introduce My Cats to My Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheIvoryKitty, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. TheIvoryKitty

    TheIvoryKitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2011
    Central California
    We had chickens when I was younger, and as long as I can remember my cats got along with them just fine. They all seemed to respect each other.

    But now I'm raising chickens by myself for the first time, many years later, and I'm just not sure how to introduce my new cats to the chickens without having a bloodbath on my hands. One of my cats is a stray from suburbia and the other one I raised from a kitten - they've never seen chickens until I brought my babies home. Both cats are very predatory - they are constantly killing birds, gophers, and voles out in the yard. My fat cat, Feral, sits outside the chicken coop watching my 6 week old chicks all the time! I'd like to be able to let them out for free ranging when they're older but - I just don't know!

    I'd like my chickens to stay alive, and I'd sure like my fat cat to keep his eyes! I'm pretty sure he wont like them being pecked out!

  2. midwestchickenwrangler

    midwestchickenwrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2010
    Greenfield, Indiana
    I introduced my 2 barn kittens to my chickens a few days after I got them. I wanted them to realize where "home" was before I threw in another thing to remember. I just put the cats down on the ground beside the chicken runs and the cats were scared to death! They both took off and ran back to the barn. I have showed them chicks also, same reaction. I haven't tried with grown cats though, they may take it defferently.
  3. WalkerH

    WalkerH Chillin' With My Peeps

    I guess I can't help you much on that. I had one cockerel that didn't like my fat cat stalking up on the chicks. Even though he was only a couple weeks old and ran at her and she ran away. But then again she is very fat and I think she was more curious and wanted to be pet since I was out there, she doesn't hunt.
  4. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    Yakima, WA
    How about this for an introduction:

    Mr. Cat -- meet Lunch -- Lunch, this is Mr. Cat.

  5. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    My furballs are curious about my featherheads but cautious. My cats are straight indoor kitties though so no real hunter instincts there. The only thing they've ever killed was one very unfortunate mouse. Peek a Boo showed the most interest but once they got to be about six weeks old she left them alone. It was funny when they were little though! She'd sit and watch the little peepers with me and every once in a while she'd reach through the bars on thier brooder. I'd kinda growl her name and she'd look at me with this 'but I just wanna TOUCH one... *sniff sniff*' look and pull her paw back. It was hilarious. But the bigger the birds the less interest the cats had in them. Small and zippy is definantly a bigger attraction than something that appears to be their own size or larger.

    As to introducing your felines to the chickens... I'd probably recommend a controled exercise involving a spray bottle. Cat goes near a chicken, cat gets wet. Negativly associate water with the chickens and they should learn to just avoid them.
  6. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2011
    we have a neighbors cat that is about a year. he is constantly coming over and hanging by the run (we did end up putting up a 3 foot hardware cloth strip along the bottom just in case he felt like sticking his little paw in), seems more interested in the chipmunks and squirrels than the chickens. has also caught us a few barn mice!
  7. Dewsetter

    Dewsetter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2011
    Liverpool, England
    It's only early days for me too as I have only had chickens for a few months but I have had no problems. My chickens freerange when I am at home and I also have 3 adult cats and each one reacts to them in a different way

    Cat 1 - Dexter - 'if he doesn't see them then they don't exist' he gives them a wide berth and averts his head so he does't look at them. I don't know if he does this because he is scared of them or because he can't trust himself not to eat them! Either way there are no problems.

    Cat 2 - Kai - 'No way is he ever going near those cat killers!!'

    Cat 3 - Tao - 'Really can't be bothered' why have to run to catch your own food when it gets handed to you on a plate whenever you make a little noise and put on a sad face.

    If you are concerned about the introductions just do it in a controled way. Get a cat harness and lead from a pet shop or use a little dog one. Allow your chickens out to peck about and take each cat near to them and see how they react. You may find they just don't take any notice at all and them problem solved [​IMG]
  8. TheIvoryKitty

    TheIvoryKitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2011
    Central California
    Quote:I've tried the water thing with other activities I don't want him doing, but unfortunately he likes water. He gets into the shower with me on some mornings and he swims in the pool in the summer. Ah, my cat is a weird one. Sigh.

    However, I will try the harness idea - we will see how it goes! Scary! [​IMG]
  9. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    I have train our family cat not to go after any kind of baby poultry that I raise. He is now deathly afraid of them. [​IMG] If I was holding him, and put him close to the chicks he would claw, and fight his way out, and run as fast as he could the other way. [​IMG] What I did was when we first got him, I put him by the day old chicks, he wanted them for dinner. But I ended that by giving him a good rap on the head. So he wants nothing to do with them now, he has not touch them for 5 years. [​IMG]
  10. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ

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