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
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.


Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CompostQueen, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    The other day when I went outside to let my chickens out of the coop in the early morning I look down and see a TINY gray Siamese looking kitten laying right next to the coop. Away it ran. I continued to see it early in the morning and at dusk for the past week.

    The other night I was over at my in-laws until a little too late. When I came back all of the chicks were in the coop ready to be put to bed. I did a quick count and one was missing (I had 28). We eventually found one of our (two) Turkens with its entire back ripped open and all of the organs eaten. After looking on here I assumed it was a possum or a raccoon.

    Tonight at dusk around 8 pm as I am herding the chicks into the coop the kitten once again appears. My husband sees it lunge at one of the chicks teeth and claws bared.

    Before we headed off to bed tonight my husband went out to put something in the compost, he hears the chicks making unusual noises, he looks in the coop and the kitten is IN THE LOCKED COOP. I guess he/she had just gotten in as all of the chickens appeared to be physically okay. The coop is a converted shed with a bottom. It has a screen door and a window both covered in hardware cloth. At the top of the screen door (about 6 feet up) is a small gap, just a few inches wide that I string the power cord through. Our only explanation as to how it got in is climbing up the hardware cloth and squeezing in.

    We have tried to catch the kitten a few times before but he has always been able to get away. Of course this time he was cornered but given his size we totally under estimated him. He is barely bigger than the chicks, like the size of a large guinea pig. But he clawed and bit my husband surprising him into dropping him and he got away. We closed the external shed doors for tonight and turned off the heat lamp but that is obviously a very temporary solution.

    Obviously I am SO thankful and relieved that the kitten was caught before he did any damage. [​IMG]

    I assume that the kitten is probably Ferrel. Is my best bet to trap him and take him to the SPCA?
  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress 9 Years

    Thats what I'd do with him, if he is feral. I know a lot of people believe in just killing them, but thats not the answer. Good luck. [​IMG]
  3. mylittlezoo

    mylittlezoo Poppy Creek Farm

    Mar 16, 2009
    These kinds of cats often make their way to me from my local humane society, and I tame them up and turn them into social creatures, suitable to be house pets. Maybe someone in your area does something similar?
  4. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    I am completely with both of you! I do not want to kill it, I know it is just trying to survive. I just want it FAR away from my chicks!

    Is there a definitive way to tell if they are feral? He seems so wily and vicious given his age for a house cat!

    Does it seem possible/likely for a kitten to kill a chick?

    Also what is the best/most humane way to trap? Use a live trap with kitten food?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Well it's a smart little devil isn't he! I would take him to a shelter for that reason alone! Sounds like it deserves a chance.
  6. mylittlezoo

    mylittlezoo Poppy Creek Farm

    Mar 16, 2009
    CompostQueen - whereabouts are you? You'll need to livetrap the little guy, baited with kitty food. The high-value, stinky, yummy kind [​IMG] FancyFeast is always a good one. You can evaluate better when you have him as a captive audience.

    My guess is yes, he is feral. If he bit / scratched etc, then he's unlikely to be a housecat. I have scars that testify to this [​IMG]

    Oh, and yes, he'll take out one of your chicks for sure. Cats are deadly killers.
  7. ekemily

    ekemily Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    It will probably be easy to trap him and then take him to the SPCA. Cat (and kitten) bites can be really nasty, so make sure your hubs really cleans the wound well and checks for inflammation. Cat bites are nothing like dog bites.
    I can't imagine shooting a little kitten. He is doing what he has to do to survive. [​IMG]
  8. mommyofthree

    mommyofthree Songster

    May 18, 2010
    How old is the kitten?? They can be tamed with patience, if you bring a feral cat to the humane society they are almost always put down. I wonder if it's mom is around, she may be the chicken killer and she's teaching the kitten to hunt...??
    I would bait a live trap with canned wet cat food. I have been catching feral cats and kittens around here in droves lately!! People apparently think it's okay to drop off their unwanted cats near farms. [​IMG] I've fixed 3 adults this summer, and I currently have 2 females with their kittens!! Then there are 2 more females to catch and I think I'm done. I'm getting the adults fixed and just re-releasing them, one ended up in my chicken coop after we released her so we took her and her boyfriend to a relatives barn to live there. They can't do much harm to pigs and cows. [​IMG] The rest leave my chickens alone.
    I am taming the kittens and it's going really well. At first they were mean nasty little devils, but now they even let my kids hold them. I just found homes for 2 out of 3 in the first litter, I caught them when they were about 7-8 weeks old (it took 3 hours) and was able to tame them in only 2 weeks. The other litter is much younger, we found them around 4 weeks old. My kids are having fun with them, pushing them in the doll stroller and wrapping them up in little blankets like baby dolls. They'll either make really great pets or they will absolutely hate kids. [​IMG]
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Cat bites are nasty. If you take the kitten to a rescue, IFF they can tame it, it may be adoptible; if they cannot, and it is healthy, they will almost certainly neuter it, clip the ear (to indicate that it has been neutered) and re-release it back to the area it came from. This tactic has proven to lessen ferel cat populations.

    You need to close that gap above the door, just about any predator in your area can acces your coop through it.
  10. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    It is worse than cat bites are nasty, cats also can carry rabies that cat needs to be caught and the head provided to the state lab and your hubby needs to see a doctor pronto.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: