how much of a threat at cats?

Bronya

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
40
0
34
birmingh uk.
My garden is in a built up area of Birmingham with many houses owning cats, who are more often out side roaming than they inside. They pay a lot of attention to the chickens and come pretty close up. My girls are part free range. (When I'm work there in the run) but on my days off and weekends there in the main garden free to roam. Most of the time I'm in The garden or house watching out of the window, and checking up on them. How worried should I be about the neighbourhood cats?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,799
27,215
1,077
St. Louis, MO
They'll take chicks in a heartbeat. Full grown large fowl aren't in big danger. A big hungry cat can and will kill any chicken.
Why do people feel the need to let their cats roam at large and kill with abandon?
I don't get it. Save the wildlife and keep housecats - HOUSECATS!!!
 
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Bronya

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
40
0
34
birmingh uk.
Luckily most of the cats are pretty well fed, don't have any chicks yet so that's not a huge issue, however next year it could be. I have 8 week old ORP cross, there pretty big now. Just don't want any harm to come to them.. Popped my head out 5 Min ago, and there were two cats just sat on the grass looking at them. Schools didn't seem bothered and I'm worried as their used to the cats they won't see a threat if it comes...
 

RJSchaefer

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
180
7
88
Rockford, IL
They're probably not a major problem in a town. I live in a very rural area, people just drop their kittens in barns, lots of feral cats. The US solution is a hunting rifle. Probably not an option in the UK. I doubt they'll decide to hunt your birds for food, though.

The real concern, especially with house cats, is they will decide one day its play time. And while they won't necessarily kill a bird, they could main/injury it beyond repair. Do you have any recourse? Any zoning laws about nuisance animals?
 

TehLizardKing

Songster
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
253
10
124
Lincolnshire
I've had a lovely hen and all five of her chicks slaughtered - and left to rot - by a disgusting cat
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. I throw wet sponges at them whenever they come near the garden now, they know this is enemy territory now!
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As ChickenCanoe said, some cats will kill anything from a bee to a piglet when hungry. There are some evil cats out there, it's just like with people. I knew a guy once who saw a hedgehog, stamped on it, kicked it under a moving car, and then laughed, all before I could even try and stop him.

Anyway, RJSchaefers right. be careful, because some cats also like to tease the chooks. When they find out that most chickens are scared of things that try to eat them, they'll have the time of their lives, and won't stop until they die laughing.... one of my girls, better known as Dolly the hawk slayer, had a run in with a feral cat recently, no surprises who came out on top though
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I also have a problem with people letting their cats murder innocent wildlife. So far I have found eight slow worms, a black headed gull, a snipe, a pheasant, four grey partridges, numerous songbirds, a common lizard, loads of frogs, toads and newts, and six hedgehogs, all killed by ONE cat in my neighbourhood. Something needs to be DONE about this!
 
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Bronya

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
40
0
34
birmingh uk.
They're probably not a major problem in a town. I live in a very rural area, people just drop their kittens in barns, lots of feral cats. The US solution is a hunting rifle. Probably not an option in the UK. I doubt they'll decide to hunt your birds for food, though.

The real concern, especially with house cats, is they will decide one day its play time. And while they won't necessarily kill a bird, they could main/injury it beyond repair. Do you have any recourse? Any zoning laws about nuisance animals?
sadly there are no zoning laws for house cats, the area is to big to control things like that.
Dogs are different, you could phone a warden about a nuisance dog and have it picked up, cats they won't touch.
 

austinclarksf

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
118
0
81
I live in ABQ, New Mexico, and there are dozens of stray cats and dogs in my neighborhood. I own two cats as well, and they wander as they please (r.e wildlife concerns- human deforestation, urbanization, and environmental destruction is the culprit, not your neighborhood cat... ). The feral cats in my neighborhood are tough lookin critters too.

My cats are interested, but afraid of my hens. They feel the same way about my 3-month old pullets. They climb up on top of the door to my chicken run and watch the chickens, but have never even attempted to attack. Chicks, they would attack without thinking. When my girls are out roaming the neighborhood, I have had no problems. When my girls are free ranging, the pullets draw some attention but have never been stalked or attacked.

The neighborhood cats are not interested in my chickens at all. There's at least three that live in either my backyard or my neighbors, and I haven't seen them hang around once.
 

cosmo1104

Chirping
7 Years
May 6, 2012
137
11
93
there are pellet guns strong enough to kill any critter raccoon sized or smaller, about $70 and its silent and not a danger to others, well... depends on your shooting ability.

whats a wet sponge do?

look up break barrel pellet guns, plenty of strength to get rid of a cat, or you can just get pump bb gun for $40 and sting them enough to get rid of them for awhile
 

allieszoo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
112
6
81
Stanton, KY
It really depends on the cat and the size of your birds. Some cats will just want to play, some will want to eat them, but I have seen my friends full grown hens scare off a cat with no problem.

If you do not want/are not able to do the pellet gun option - I would keep a hose or water bottle nearby - I have not met a cat yet that won't run like crazy from a spray of water.
 

TehLizardKing

Songster
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
253
10
124
Lincolnshire
Hmm...the cats that used to come into my patch are cissies.... as i said, all it took was a few well aimed sponges. I would love to shoot them, with a rifle if possible, but it's illegal to shoot cats here, and since i know all of their owners, someone would notice, and undoubtedly, point the finger at me.

you're right about the spray bottle allie, and an ostrich works just fine too
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