how do i teach two indoor cats to get along with chickies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickenrandomness, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. i'm checking out chicks tomarrow!!!! but i has a problem, i have two cats, both indoor cats. the chicks are 2 months old. what do i do?
  2. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Matthews, NC
    Congratulations on your excellent decision! Chickens and cats are the best combination. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure about your cats, but there's no way I'd put fewer than two doors between my indoor kitties and those small, rustly, peepy things that smell like chicken. You'd probably have to engage in animal cruelty to traumatize the cats enough to stay away from the chicks, and even that might not work if you weren't around. I suspect this because I had chicks in my house starting in early June, and one or the other of my two cats were posted outside the room with the brooder in it twenty-four hours per day. They looked like they were just going about their business, but every grooming session and nap just happened to take place right against the door to the office where the chicks were.

    They might have been too timid to do anything even if a peep did walk up to them, being indoor cats, but they've tag-teamed lizards and rodents to death when I wasn't home, and they did it without ever reaching them. If a chick were ever trapped like that, the stress might hurt her even if the cats didn't. If, on the other hand, the chicks are big enough at eight weeks to be intimidating to the cats, there's the possibility of an infectious bite or scratch if the cats got frightened and lashed out. I'm imagining a scenario in which a cat gets the lid off of a brooder and falls in, or two chicks fly out of the brooder and scare a cat sitting next to it.

    I think I read that, once the chicks are fully grown, the cats will leave them alone and the grown chickens will return the favor. At this stage, though, they're probably all still in danger, especially if you've got a hefty or playful cat and pullets who practice flying without looking around first.

    Can you put a lid on the brooder for the chicks and leave it inside a closed room? That way you'd have to forget both the lid and the door for the cats to come in contact with each other. In this weather, you could probably move them straight into a predator-proof coop, right? That's the way to go, in my opinion, because you don't have all the dust and poop in the house. Just a thought. Cleaning out a brooder and kitty litter all the time gets old fast [​IMG]

    Edited for grammar. Sigh.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  3. kylara70

    kylara70 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    My cats couldn't care less about the chicks at all. I have one inside and he never gave them a moments notice at all in a rubbermaid or in the dog pen. The outside cat will not go anywhere near them.
  4. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Matthews, NC
    That settles it. I have psycho cats. Sorry!
  5. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    My cats will be little predators towards the chicks, but I've never had a problem with cats around my adult (non-bantam) chickens.

    My one cat had to be closely watched around baby chicks, or he'd try to snag one through the bars. He still is convinced he could get one of the adults (from his cat run), but my money is on the chicken winning that contest.
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have both outside and inside cats. There are feral chickens around so the outside cats know better than to mess with chickens. My inside cats, on their occasional forays outside, have not been educated to the chickens rule rule, so they are my problem with the chickens. I am a new chicken owner. I also do not have roosters to teach them so I have to make sure they are locked inside when I let the chickens out to free range. I need a bad butt chicken to teach them a lesson.
  7. whillo

    whillo Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Willamette Valley
    My little cat is a hunter. I was pretty surprised when she pretty much ignored the chicks when they were on the dining room table for two weeks. I had a clear tub with a hardware cloth lid sculpted over it. She never tried to get it open, but I still locked it down with a belt if I wasn't in the room. Then they went outside into a horse trough and another hardware cloth lid, locked down with bungee cords. I expected her to sit on the lid but it never happened. Now that the girls are in a pen and she can see them face to face she still ignores them other than a fleeting glance as she passes. Do I trust her? Not for a second! She's brought birds into my bedroom that were bigger than my chicks now at 8 weeks. I've seen pictures of cats with chicks and it looks unbelievable to me. But then, I never thought my dogs would treat the chicks like they were their puppies either.
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick 8 Years

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I don't let my cats near the babies but they don't have any interest in the big chickens at all - after about 3 months they are big enough that the cats stay away in my case. Maybe even earlier but I didn't try it out.

    With little peeps I am sure they would be a quick snack for the kitties, but all cats are different. If I let my cats in the room where I have the day olds I'd have the brooder well secured. I doubt they'd try and break in but they'd probably glare a lot. [​IMG]

    My biggest worry around my cats is my Styrofoam incubator! I have to lock that puppy away or they'd try to eat the foam and ruin the durn thing!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  9. DragonEggs

    DragonEggs Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Borger, TX
    You can't TEACH a cat anything. They do what they WANT. If your cat wants to hunt the babies a squirt bottle with water and citrus oil will be all that can deter her (once a cat gets the urge to hunt it will NEVER stop completely) it'll just keep the cat a safe distance away (while you're not looking, then they'll be right back at it).

    However, if the cat decides it's found some new cuddle buddies, once again, nothing you can do to change that. Your cat is naturally going to be FASCINATED by the new additions but you won't know for sure how they'll act with the babies so I wouldn't risk an introduction until they are older and just keep the babies in a "No Cats Allowed" place.

    The good news is there are many more horror stories about peoples sweet lovable family dog that would never hurt a fly getting at baby chicks and chickens then you hear about cats (even strays, and all cats have a stronger independant and hunting instinct than dogs do) doing it.
  10. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    "how do i teach two indoor cats to get along with chickies"

    You jest! Who EVER taught a cat ANYTHING? They teach you what they want and how they want it. Shape up!

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