So how does this work? Cat in the hen house!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gritsar, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    We have two indoor cats, both rescues. Kitty is the older one, a former feral. She was originally an outside cat until we got chickens, then we found out that she is a chicken killer. KiKi is our siamese. She's inside because it never occured to me to put her outside. Being siamese she's used to being pampered, plus she's a few fries short of a happy meal and lacks the skills to be an outside cat.

    Now we have Bug, a 7 to 8 week old rescue male. He's doing fine outside, with outbuildings to use for shelter. He's around my chickens alot because he follows me everywhere and I'm around my chickens alot. The chickens are slowly getting used to his presence.

    My only experience with cats around chickens is with Kitty. Despite her small size, a little over 2 lbs., Kitty will take down a grown hen. Plus, my chickens have no experience with cats other than Kitty.

    I think Bug is going to be fine with the chickens since he will grow up around them. DH keeps reminding me that it may not work out that way and Bug may become a chicken killer like Kitty. That's made me nervous.

    We're intending on keeping Bug well-fed. He's malnourished right now so I offer him 6 small meals a day. At the present time he's showing next to no attention to the chickens, more interested in getting affection from me. I saw him getting into the "pounce position" around the chickens the other day, but he changed his mind and went back to chasing bugs.

    So I need reassurance. Are the chances good that he will continue to ignore the chickens or am I raising another chicken killer? [​IMG]

    Having a third indoor cat is not an option, in any way, shape or form.
     
  2. pimachickens

    pimachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not all cats are chicken killers. I have known many a cat who could care less about the chickens, and knows that they are part of the family. It's just like dogs with cats...some can coexist without any problems, some just can't get over the chase instinct. I would say just keep an eye on him and see how he grows up. It sounds like he really doesn't care all that much, so I don't see why that should change.

    Good luck![​IMG]
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Ditto.

    All it took for my two cats to "not care about the chickens" is a peck each directly on their noses. At that time, I had a run in which I kept only 8 chickens, and the cats would watch them through the fence all day long. Curious cats got right up to the fencing, curious chickens came over to investigate. Cats got into pouncey pose with curled whiskers and their cheeks all round like marbles, and chickens leaned over and pecked that interesting nose.

    Both cats leapt straight up into the air and never bothered the chickens. Ever. They walk through the flock without much interest in the feathered busy-bodies, now.

    Then, the flock grew. And I added ducks. The ducks harassed the cats any time they could, just billing their tails, or ears. Cats didn't care for that at all. Now that I have a pair of huge geese, Smudge will actually go onto the house when Kate and/or Angus go for a stroll on the veranda.

    If Smudge goes into the coop, it's to follow me when he's wanting attention.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Ditto.

    All it took for my two cats to "not care about the chickens" is a peck each directly on their noses. At that time, I had a run in which I kept only 8 chickens, and the cats would watch them through the fence all day long. Curious cats got right up to the fencing, curious chickens came over to investigate. Cats got into pouncey pose with curled whiskers and their cheeks all round like marbles, and chickens leaned over and pecked that interesting nose.

    Both cats leapt straight up into the air and never bothered the chickens. Ever. They walk through the flock without much interest in the feathered busy-bodies, now.

    Then, the flock grew. And I added ducks. The ducks harassed the cats any time they could, just billing their tails, or ears. Cats didn't care for that at all. Now that I have a pair of huge geese, Smudge will actually go onto the house when Kate and/or Angus go for a stroll on the veranda.

    If Smudge goes into the coop, it's to follow me when he's wanting attention.

    See my concern is that my chickens don't try to intimidate the kitten. They run from him, which of course is a bad response. I guess I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that one of my older hens and/or one of the roos will give Bug the kitten a what-for for getting too close and Bug will learn respect from that. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Gritty,
    I've had both strays and ferals, known & unknown, seek shelter in the coop & run during the winter. Never has been a problem. The hens didn't like it at night though. [​IMG] They would chase it out.

    If the hens chase him out; Bug can sleep in the outhouse, um! I mean out building. [​IMG]

    Impy- btw- my Bug is demanding attention, on my lap, as I type.

    Just had to add that Notches (latest one) last year would go into the run and bury himself in the run litter. All you'd see is ears and eyes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Like I told you, that ain't gonna happen here. KiKi makes such a mess of the litter box - litter everywhere and pulls all the litter to the center of the box - she has me convinced that an elephant is sneaking in during the day to use the box. [​IMG]

    Bug has explored the coops. As a group the chickens refuse to go in their coops if Bug is in there.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'd probably start packing heat -- in the form of a small squirt gun in my pocket. My chickens aren't smart enough to peck the cat, either. Now he follows and watches, but doesn't attack. They just move off somewhere else, like 3' away. Pretty bad when we have to do their pecking for them....
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Good idea Judy, thanks. [​IMG]
     
  9. beth in vermont

    beth in vermont New Egg

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    I agree it may not be a problem with your male kitty. When I got a couple of Rhode Island Reds, I was concerned about them meeting my adult male tiger cat. I was afraid he would bother the chickens. I saw the cat and one chicken rounding the corner going towards each other and couldn't get there fast enough to prevent a confrontation. The chicken immediately ran at the cat and he immediately ran away! He was always careful and watchful in the barn after that and stayed away from the chickens.
     
  10. emmalynn

    emmalynn Silkies Sebbies OEGBs

    Oct 16, 2008
    Middle TN
    I have 2 indoor cats (clawed) and I brood chicks in a rubbermaid tub in the house. My oldest ignores them entirely and the younger gets in the box with them to enjoy the heat lamp. Both cats would and have killed wild birds but do not mess with my chicks. A little water goes a long way on training. Hiding behind the couch and taking aim at the cat....makes me feel all mission impossiblish....and was very effective.
     

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