Do Cats and Chickens get Along?

I have lost chicks to cats. Not my cats but stray cats that come into my backyard looking for food. 

My 2 cats live side by side with chickens. I got them used to be around chickens since they were kittens. Can cats and chickens live together? It is very possible for cats and chickens to live together. This is if the cats have been conditioned to treat chickens as friends and not food. 

Cats in the wild are predators and chickens will treat them as such. Feral cats will try to enter the chicken coop or run, looking for chickens to eat. Chickens by nature will make warning noises when they sense a predator. The cockerels will be on alert to attack the incoming threat. 

It is possible to bring in a cat if you have a homestead with chickens. This however might be a bit tricky since you are not sure whether the chickens will accommodate the cat. 

Keep the safety of your cats in mind. Even docile chicken breeds such as the Sussex and Brahma can hurt an innocent curious cat. The cat can be playing, but the chicken thinks it is an attack, defending itself by pecking and scratching the cat.

Training Cats and Chickens to Live Together. 

Unless cats and chickens have been brought up together, you will need to train them to live together as friends. Without training, they will attack each other. 

You should not worry since after training them, they will get along with each other very well. Chickens are curious about anything new. Cats are curious by nature. Training has to be done to allow them to stay together without fighting.

Introducing cats to chickens or chickens to cats is done gradually in phases.

Introduce cat and chicken across a fence

The first phase of chicken and cat introduction is done with a fence separating them. This allows them to get used to each other’s presence without close contact. Close contact can elicit their defense mechanisms, leading to a fight.  

During this phase, the cat and chickens will get used to each other’s smell. 

In the event the cat starts being aggressive, you can distract it using toys. 

For this phase to be successful, the chicken and cat should be comfortable with each other. 

When this happens, it is time to move to the next phase. 

Introduce cats and chickens with close supervision and without a fence

The next phase of chicken and cat introduction is getting the cat and chicken together without supervision. This way they get to move around each other and feel how it is to be around each other. 

If the chickens look as if they want to attack or the cat displays any predatory signs, it is time to separate them and try again another day. Please note that the process is gradual and will take time. 

Once the cat and chickens can interact with each other, you can move on to the next phase.  

Introduce cats and chickens with supervision

During this phase, the chickens and cats are let to be with each other, with supervision from a distance. This way, you will be able to know how they will behave when you are not around. If they behave as if they want to fight, it is time to go back to the second phase and supervise them closely. 

If this phase succeeds and if you are confident that the cat and chickens can get along, it is time to let mingle freely without any supervision.

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About James Polystead

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard. follow me on Twitter

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