The Neighbor's cat

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tom Kathleen, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Tom Kathleen

    Tom Kathleen Just Hatched

    Mar 18, 2017
    Help needed. The neighbor's cat ate a leghorn -- they are still smallish. But now I'm worried she's developed a taste for chicken and knows where to get them so any of my flock could be at risk. I'm going to try some stuff this morn to deter her but need something quick and easy (i.e. don't have ability right now between caring for kids and caring for my elderly parents to put up a new electric fence, sit and watch them all day when they are out, erect a net roof, etc. reading for ideas online and those are all the go-to solutions but not one I can do in a few hours)

    I lock them up from about 530 p.m. to 9 a.m. and she got one yesterday afternoon during broad daylight (I'm assuming that was when it happened, I just found the remnants of the small chicken). They are inside chicken wire but I've seen her climb the fenceposts in the pasture and assume she did that to jump in.

    PLZ let me know if you have any QUICK tips for keeping a chicken-hungry cat from coming back for our babies.

    I'm going to soak the area around the outside of the run with citronella (allegedly cats hate the smell) and gerry-rig something on the top of the fenceposts so she can't climb them.

    Please don't suggest shooting the cat, sitting out there all the time, etc. I'm caring for my mom with dementia and my dad with limited mobility and still have 3 kids at home ages 11-17. I can't only let them out when I'm in the yard and I'm not even going to bother to tell the neighbor. The cat roams the neighborhood and always does and always did, I'm not going to shoot someone's pet (she is a pet with a name) even if the owner is irresponsible. Talking to the neighbor to ask it to keep the cat in would just annoy the neighbor and not produce any results.

    I do have 8 geese in my flock, but they're only 3 weeks old. Nearly as large as the full-grown Rhode Island reds, but still mentally babies and not in "defense" mode yet to bite a cat.
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    So you are saying you did not see the cat doing this?? If not its probably a better chance its another preditor than the cat??
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    X2 First you need to determine who your predator really is. If the cat, then I would inform the neighbor that the cat is coming on to your property killing your chickens. If something else, then you can take steps to prevent what it is.
    Was there a pile of feathers? From your description I might suspect a hawk.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Tom Kathleen

    Tom Kathleen Just Hatched

    Mar 18, 2017
    am going nuclear on cat repellent. yep, nearly 100 percent sure it the neighbors cat based on remnants. the hawks we have around here usually carry off prey to near forest to eat. this was feathers only and still a chick (think large cardinal sized). also, the feathers were in the area where the cat likes to hang out (she basically lived at this property before we bought it 2 years ago and former owner fed her here).

    our extension page listing predators and how they consume chickens seems to point to cat as well: "With smaller birds, however, cats often consume the whole bird, except for the wings and scattered feathers."

    sadly, no point in telling neighbor as Jessica (the cat's name) wouldn't be kept in and once an owner lets a cat out the door, there's little they can do to control it. can't wait until the geese get big enough to take a bite out of her bottom,though
  5. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    So you need quick and easy. Cats hate getting wet, what about a motion sensor activated sprinkler? Should only take a few minutes of your time to setup.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Cats roaming is still against the law. You might consider calling animal control. They can issue fines for letting your animals roam which may help deter them from letting it roam. As well as they can collect the cat and make the owner come bail it out of jail. They never have to know you're the one who called. And if your neighbor is indeed feeding the cat then it isn't hungry... it likes chicks and other small game! And IF the cat is hungry then it needs a new home where they will feed it. A dog deters them pretty fast. But I'm guessing if that was an option you would have mentioned it.

    That pet with a name... Jessica, doesn't care if your pets have names or not. Let the cat go to a home where it will be cared for, if your shelter happens to be no kill.

    I have seen automated sprinklers that are movement triggered and attach to the end of a hose.. Startle the cat enough times and I would think it would start to recognize the location as a danger zone and avoid it.

    Hopefully your geese will do well... but how many more chicks can you afford to lose? It's too bad people don't know how to be good or responsible neighbors. [​IMG]

    But more than that, I am sorry for the difficulty in caring for aging parents! [​IMG] It must be very difficult. [​IMG]

    I hope I am never faced with shooting someones' pet... there have been 2 dogs on the loose here recently and wearing collars. Pet or not... taking the life of ANY animal is very difficult. [​IMG] But I WILL NOT sacrifice my flock to a neighbors stupidity. And as much as I'm against it... completely understand the 3 S's now... shoot, shovel, shut up! Sometimes it's not a matter of making a good decision but more choosing the lesser of the evils.

    Great cat repellent... radiator coolant, no shooting. That's not how I operate though and guess I shouldn't share that kind of ugliness.

    Good luck, wish I could be more help... but you can't cure stupid (your neighbor). [​IMG] Is the cat even spayed or neutered?
  7. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    Hey I am not saying it is Not the cat, but again you are saying you did not see it happen just the evidence points toward it. Is it possible another predator kill it and the cat came alone and got some of the already dead chicken to chew on. I have 15 cats in my chicken area and also just added about 75 just weaned chicks in 3 pens---they never even act interested in them. But that does not mean yours neighbors cat is not guilty.
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    A well fed cat won't be bothered with hunting and the it's only little scurrying or flapping prey animals that produce the hunting reaction from domesticated cats. I've raised many chicken and quail chicks inside and our cats never worry them in the least, yet we've had a few mice come inside and they have been hunted down and caught by our two cats. And I would never have the cats in the same room when we let our finches and parakeets out for some exercise because their small size and furious flapping would stimulate their prey drive.

    Our neighbours cat decided to jump in my coop one day (because he wanted me to keep patting him) except there were three broody bantams in there. One swift peck and he was out of there! I did have to laugh. Yet he catches sparrows and other wild birds with ease.

    You need to know what predator for sure you are dealing with. Put your kids on predator duty - put a prize up for the person who can tell you which animal is coming around watching your birds a little too closely. I'd get a roof over your run even if it's just some bird netting. You don't need to have the added worry of whether your babies are going to keep being eaten with everything else you have on your plate.

    My girls live in roofed runs because I have tiny bantams, as well as some larger girls, and we sometimes have hawks around. I found one circling when I had some big Orpington pullets free ranging. So they are now living with everyone else in a roofed run. That way I know they are safe.
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I had a stray cat jump out from beneath the house and pull a 6 week old chick back under. If that wasn't witnessed I'd have assumed something else. Just saying it happens. Once the birds are bigger cats are not a threat.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  10. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    Some cats do get them mixed up with birds when they are that small---it for sure can happen.

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