Can I Keep Baby Chickens If I Have Cats?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 04 February 2015

Baby Chickens & Your Kitty Cat: Nasty Nemesis Or Feline Friend?

Baby chickens are synonymous with all things cute, fragile and oh so cuddly. Domestic cats on the other hand are also considered cute and cuddly by some, but there is an overarching cunning side to these sophisticated felines. After all, they are closely related to lions, which have ruled the animal kingdom and the zodiac for thousands of years. It is only fair that you should be at least a little cautious when introducing baby chickens into your family, especially when your cat has already staked out its territory. So please read on if you need some sober advice on the dangers and delights of introducing cats to baby chickens.

Protect Them While They’re Young

It is a distinct possibility that your kitty cat will have its eye on your baby chickens. From a cat’s perspective, they are a small delectable meal, and like Rambo, their instincts to kill may quickly resurface once they see your chicks fluffy butts poking about in their backyard. It is imperative that you keep an eye on your baby chickens whilst they’re in the brooder, especially if you have a curious kitty around. As cats are expert climbers (almost like ninjas) it won’t be enough to keep the brooder in a high or out of the way place. Ideally it would be best to keep the brooder in a separate room with the doors and windows tightly closed. Otherwise you may discover a side to little Mittens that you did not want to see. To this point, once the baby chickens have been moved into a coop, it is still very important to keep a watchful eye over your little ones. Need I remind you that your cat is a particularly clever creature and it may find a sneaky point of entry into your coop. That’s why it’s important to purchase a strong and sturdy coop, like The Penthouse, which will surely foil the attempts of even the most conniving kitty. 

Baby chick and cat

How Do I Know If My Baby Chickens Are In Danger?

Though it is a very scary situation if your lovable kitty is getting ready to pounce on your poor defenceless baby chickens, the good thing is that your cat’s body language is a big giveaway. A cat on the prowl normally creeps quite low to the ground, with their head lowered and their tail twitching slightly. Essentially, the ugly truth is- they are trying to sneak up on someone or something with the intention to kill it. Frightening stuff I know! But, if you ever see your cat doing this you know exactly what they are up to. In this event, chase after your cat, pick it up and put it in into another room to cool off. Otherwise, your baby chickens might not see adulthood.

From Baby Chickens To Empowered Chooks

Once your baby chickens have matured into full grown chooks your cocky kitty won’t feel so tough. Cats rarely attack full grown chickens. In fact, many people have reported that their cats are actually quite afraid of the full grown chickens, even breeds as small and sweet looking as a Silkie. The real challenge, especially if you hatch your owns chooks, is to protect your baby chickens while they’re young.

Chicken and cat in backyard

Puuurfect Partners In Crime

Once the pecking order between your cat and your now mature baby chickens has been neutralised there will be some benefits for you to enjoy as a byproduct of this new found partnership. Some poultry gurus have reported that their cats have actually protected their flock from other predators, such as feral cats, foxes, dogs and all sorts of other horrors. It’s great to know that this once dysfunctional pairing has the possibility to develop into such a dynamic duo! So long as you are able to keep your baby chickens safe while they’re young, your cat and chooks could become the next Starsky and Hutch, Venus and Serena or Thelma and Louise.

Cat and chicken drinking out of a bowl

Baby chickens and kitties may need regular supervision in the early stages of their friendship, but that is no reason to avoid getting yourself some cute chicks. So long as you keep a watchful eye on the baby chickens and don’t entrust your cat in their care straight away, they are likely to develop a rewarding lifelong friendship.

One of the best ways to protect your baby chickens while they’re young is by investing in a sturdy chicken coop, like the Taj Mahal or The Mansion- these coops will surely keep your clever kitties at bay.

Also, if you've got the cats under control but the dogs the real problem, read about how you can bridge the gap between baby chickens and canines here.

Sources and further reading