Many people who keep silkie chickens have other pets, such as cats. Cats are renowned for their hunting abilities. Many cat owners have been startled by their cats bringing in a mouse, rat, or bird, which may or may not be dead. You may be cautious about getting silkie chickens if you have a cat, and it is wise to investigate if cats will attack silkie chickens.
Cats vary in their hunt drive. Cats that are active hunters will attack silkie chickens, especially bantams, chicks, or young birds. Well-fed pet cats are less likely to attack silkie chickens. Feral cats should be regarded as definite predators, and you must take measures to protect your flock.
Animal lovers often want to keep multiple pets of different species. Unfortunately, sometimes these pets are not compatible because of their basic instincts.
It is essential to know if you can keep cats with silkie chickens.
Will All Cats Attack Silkie Chickens?
Cats are predators, and birds are their natural prey. It follows then that a small chicken breed like a silkie may be vulnerable to an attack from cats.
It’s important to understand that all cats are not the same. Some have high hunt drives and will catch anything they can, including silkie chickens.
Others are laid back and disinterested in hunting and will not attack silkies.
The most vulnerable silkie chickens are newly hatched chicks and young birds. Bantam silkie chickens which are tiny, will also be in danger.
Some cats are merely curious. An aggressive display or sharp pecks and wing-flapping from the silkie chicken may discourage them from injuring or killing it.
Well-fed pet cats are less likely to hunt and kill silkie chickens. Their full stomachs and satiated appetites make them lazy and disinclined to spend the effort on attacking a silkie chicken.
Some cats have been brought up with silkie chickens and other birds and are comfortable with the chickens cuddling them for warmth.
Silkie Chickens Can’t Defend Against Cat Attacks
Silkie chickens cannot fly because their fluffy feathers do not allow them to get airborne. Therefore, they cannot easily escape by flying into a tree or over a short distance as other chickens would.
In addition, silkie chickens have elaborate crests, which may look like a fabulous hairdo, but are not practical. Their crests prevent them from having a wide visual field, and they may not notice the stalking cat.
Cat Breeds Less Likely To Attack Silkies?
Like dogs and chickens, there are a lot of different cat breeds. Some cat breeds are less active and more docile.
If you already have silkie chickens and want a cat, you should consider one of these breeds.
- American shorthair
- Exotics shorthair
- Russian Blue
- Maine coon
- British shorthair
- Scottish fold
These cats typically prefer lounging around in the sun or keeping warm and snug in the house. They are breeds that have been bred for their calm, docile temperaments and will be unlikely to hunt your silkie chickens.
Which Cat Breeds Are More Likely To Attack Silkies
Very active cat breeds are usually more inclined to attack silkie chickens. They tend to be athletic, curious, and have a high prey drive. Examples are:
- Cornish Rex
Although there are cat breeds more likely to hunt than others, every cat is an individual, showing specific traits that will influence their hunting.
Will Feral Cats Attack Silkie Chickens?
Feral cats are becoming a global problem. Their numbers are increasing in many countries. These cats live as they would in the wild, even if they live in a city.
They must hunt to eat, and they will attack anything they can, including silkie chickens. One study showed that pet cats spend about three hours a day hunting. Feral cats spend twelve hours a day hunting.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they get their nutrition from animal protein. The feral cat must catch and eat another animal to meet its nutritional needs.
Prevent Cats From Attacking Silkies With a Secure Coop
A secure chicken coop and run are the best way to protect your flock of Silkie chickens. Ensure the wire is strong enough to withstand a cat ripping at it with its claws.
The enclosure will need a top covering to prevent cats from climbing over the sides to attack the silkie chickens.
Cats do not usually dig under fences, so you do not need to sink the wire deep into the ground to prevent the cats from getting in.
Dogs Can Prevent Cats Attacking Silkie Chickens
Although dogs are predators, some are easily trained to leave silkie chickens alone. As a result, they may act as protectors for the silkies and deter cats from attacking the chickens.
Dogs are very likely to chase strange or stray cats that enter the yard. In addition, some dogs are livestock guardians and will actively protect their flock if raised from a puppy with chickens.
Examples of livestock guardians are Anatolian Shepherds and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (also called Great Pyrenees).
Tips To Prevent Cats Attacking Silkie Chickens
Roosters are natural protectors of their flock. Although a silkie rooster may be small, they have a lot of fight and will aggressively challenge a cat. This display may be all that is needed to deter the cat.
Keep A Large Flock
Keeping a large flock is likely to discourage cats from attacking silkie chickens.
Large flocks increase the likelihood of one of the chickens spotting the cat and sounding the alarm.
Get A Larger Chicken
Another option is to get a large chicken breed to keep with your Silkie chickens. Brahmas, Jersey Giants, and Orpington chickens are usually too big for cats to attack and will fight back if the cat stalks the flock.
Getting a breed that won’t pick on your Silkie chickens is essential. Unfortunately, some chicken breeds are more likely to attack and bully other chickens. Avoid these breeds if you want a peaceful flock.
Some of the most aggressive chicken breeds are:
- Rhode Island Reds
- Plymouth Rocks
These chickens are more likely to attack and bully your Silkie chickens. They may also harm or kill the Silkies.
Train Your Cat
You could also try training your cat not to hunt chickens. Whenever you see your cat go near the coop, you spray it with a water bottle. With time and patience, your cat may learn that chickens are off-limits.
Lock Your Chickens Up
Always ensure your silkie chickens are securely locked up for the night. Attacks at night are common as the chickens are easy prey when sleeping.
Some cats will go after silkie chickens. However, this behavior varies from cat to cat since they all have different personalities and breed influences.
Additionally, if you keep your feline friend well-fed, they are less likely to attack your beloved chickens.
- Do House Cats Get Along With Chickens?
- Are Chickens Considered Domesticated Animals?
- Do Silkies Get Along With Dogs?
- 23 Animals That Steal Chicken Eggs
- How Much Space Do Silkie Chickens Need?
- Do Silkies Lay Eggs You Can Eat?
- Why Are My Silkie Chickens Dying?