Do Owls Attack And Eat Cats? Everything You Need To Know

  • Reading time:9 mins read
  • Post last modified:February 24, 2023

Owls looking for prey

Do Owls Attack And Eat Cats?

Large owl species may hunt surprisingly large food, such as small deer, and most owl species are also extremely indiscriminate feeders, devouring whatever they can find. What about cats, though? Will an owl attack and consume a cat if given the opportunity?

Yes, the answer is a resounding yes. Although it is unusual and quite uncommon, anecdotal proof exists of cats being taken away by huge owl species. Cats and owls are both nocturnal, which means they are most active at night.

If an owl’s usual food source is in limited supply, or if they just perceive a wonderful platform, your cat may be their subsequent meal. In this post, we’ll look at the chances of an owl attacking your cat and how you may avoid it.

When Do Owls Prey On Cats?

Although cats weren’t on most owls’ menus, some owls are big enough or desperate enough to take on a household cat. Owls will not attack a cat merely because they are bored or because they sense a threat.

The reasons are mainly that their usual meal is scarce, your cat might well have caught a rodent or tiny animal that the owl wishes to take, or your cat has succeeded in getting one of the owl’s offspring.

Owls like a wide range of food, comprising rodents, fish, other tiny birds, and practically any small animal, including cats on occasion. Even while owls have a favourite cuisine, they are opportunistic feeders that will eat anything is available, and if your cat happens to be in the wrong location at the wrong moment, an owl will undoubtedly regard them as a prospective meal.

How Do Owls Carry Cats?

Although most cats are too large and unwieldy for most owl species to pursue and scoop up, any cat below 5 pounds, notably kittens, is fair prey for an owl. Even though a huge cat is too hefty for most owls to transport away and consume, they will almost likely attack one for a variety of reasons.

Small deer have been observed to be carried away by certain large types of owls, so a cat would be no problem. The Great Horned Owl, for instance, is the biggest of all owl species in North America. The typical weight of one of these owls is roughly 3 pounds, however they may carry weights up to 9 pounds at times.

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The typical domestic cat weighs about 10 pounds, however certain species, such as Siamese cats, weigh less than 5 pounds. So, if the proper owl starts attacking the correct cat, they will very probably be dragged away.

Do Cats Eat Owls?

While domestic cats are skilled hunters who will prey on small birds and rodents, it is uncommon for a cat to catch and kill an owl. Owls are typically larger and more powerful than the birds and rodents on which cats prey, and they have sharp talons and strong beaks that can be used for defense.

It’s also worth noting that owls are primarily nocturnal hunters, whereas cats are more active during the day, so the chances of a cat encountering an owl are slim.

However, there have been documented cases of cats attacking and killing owls, particularly in areas with large populations of feral cats that may be starving.

How To Protect Your Cat From Owls?

Maintaining your cat indoors at night is the greatest method to protect them against owl attacks. Furthermore, bright lighting in your yard will repel owls since they dislike bright lights, but your cat still might stray into darker locations.

Keep a watch out for owls in your region, and if you see or hear any, keep your cat indoors at night. Even if your cat appears to be unharmed after being attacked by an owl, you should take them to the clinic right away.

Even little surface scrapes caused by an owl might result in an illness. Keep in mind that killing or injuring an owl is unlawful in most places and could result in a large fine or perhaps criminal prosecution. As terrifying as an owl assault on your cat is, you shouldn’t ever hurt them.

Barred Owl Eating insect

Do Barred Owls Eat Cats?

Small mammals such as rodents, rabbits, and squirrels, as well as small birds, reptiles, and amphibians, are the primary prey of barred owls. While it is uncommon, barred owls have been reported attacking and killing domestic cats, particularly small or young cats left outside unsupervised.

Cats, on the other hand, are not a common part of the barred owl’s diet and are not a preferred food source for these birds. In general, barred owls prey on smaller animals that are easier to capture and consume. Furthermore, like other owl species, barred owls are primarily active at night, which reduces the likelihood of encounters with cats.

Do Great Horned Owls Eat Cats?

Great horned owls are large and powerful birds of prey with a diverse diet that includes small mammals like rodents, rabbits, and hares, as well as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even fish. While great horned owls rarely attack and kill domestic cats but they are capable of doing so.

Great horned owls are skilled hunters with powerful talons and beaks for catching and killing prey, including cats. Cats, on the other hand, are not a preferred food source for great horned owls, who prefer to prey on smaller animals that are easier to catch and consume.

Do Barn Owls Eat Cats?

Barn owls do not prefer cats as a food source, preferring to prey on smaller mammals that are easier to catch and consume. Barn owls are skilled predators that prey on small mammals like rodents, shrews, and voles.

Barn owls hunt in an unusual manner, flying low over open fields or grasslands, listening for the sounds of small prey moving in the grass below.

However, as with all birds of prey, it’s critical to keep your cat safe when they’re outside, especially at night. Keeping your cat indoors or providing them with a secure outdoor enclosure can help protect them from predators such as barn owls.

Take Away Message

While an owl attacking your cat is quite unusual, particularly if you do not live in a rural location, it is still a probability. Evasion is the best option, and if you see or hear any owls in your vicinity, keep your cat indoors at night.

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