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Birds of prey attacking cats?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Have any of you who have outdoor kitties had any experience with large birds (eagles, hawks, etc.) coming after, or carrying off your cats?

I don't let my cats outside, but I do have a new puppy who has to go outside to do her business. About a week ago, my son spotted two VERY large birds circling overhead. Both birds went into a dive, and at first I thought I was the target so I jumped up, then realized they were after the puppy, who was hunched over going potty. Luckily she was too close to the fence for them to make a succesful snatching, and they broke of their dive. They got within about 20 feet of us, so close that I could hear the wind flapping against their feathers.

I searched the internet, but could not find a lot of documentation about this, but I did find a message on a forum from a man who knew someone that flew red-tailed hawks. He said that about twice each season, the hawks would return with a full grown CAT in its talons, instead of the usual rabbit or field rat.

I am not sure how common this is, but I would advise anyone who lets their cats out, to keep an eye on the sky.
post #2 of 7
Oh my gosh! I've never heard of that! I'm glad they didn't get their 'hands' on your puppy. Twenty feet is a bit too close for me - I'd have been scared to death.
post #3 of 7
Yep- I have a story to tell about that. We were in Alaska and on vacation out by Homer. There are tons of eagles and ospreys in Homer. We stopped at a gas station to fill up, and there was this motor home parked nearby with a yappy poodle dog- and I mean yappy. Our German Shepherd was even getting annoyed listening to the yap yap yap...

The older couple were arguing about taking yappy out to pee. The man didn't want to bother (didn't sound like he liked this dog much) They were arguing so bad, the dog had to go even worse, and so the dog slipped out of the door and took off across the lot to a grassy area. He never made it. A huge bird- I have no idea what kind dove down and picked this poodle up carrying it away!

The woman was in hysterics yelling at the man to drive drive drive- Mike said as he drove away the man looked very smug!
post #4 of 7
My friend lives in a very wooded area where there is a good deal of wildlife around. She has a family of foxes that don't live that far away and constantly will find deer and the such in her yard in the morning.

After her cat had a litter and she decided to would keep one she at first kept it in the garage. She said that the kitten loved sleeping with her seven year old dog. As the weeks progressed the kitten would go outside more and more. Then one day an eagle snatched it up and took it away.

She's never had that problems with the larger cats she's kept outside. She has four adult cats that are constantly outside and have avoided all the animals that could cause harm. But the kittens she has had no luck. Now she waits until they are a bit bigger and have a better sense of danger.
post #5 of 7
Birds of prey will go for anything in their prey's size range. A cat or dog is as good as a rabbit to them. It's not a bad thing, but it scares us and makes us sad.

I lost a cat to a coyote because my Mom couldn't get the cat to come inside. Later that night she went to try to get the cat to come inside again and she heard his rabies tags clinking then a cat yowl and a coyote howl. They searched everywhere for that cat both before, during, and after and couldn't find anything.
post #6 of 7
Large birds of pray will absolutely go after a cat, kitten, puppy, small dog, or anything else they can capture. Eagles and Great Horned Owls are ENORMOUS birds and they have a long history of going after cats (especially the Owls!) As pretty as they are, these can be foul tempered birds so don't take any chances. (I've worked with rehab on some of these large raptors, and as much as I love these amazing birds I would be VERY careful around them.) Even vultures will go after a small animal they think is weak - and are no above killing something if they get the chance (note they don't have the claw strength of the large raptors so aren't as likely to attack as a large eagle or owl.)

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
This is a picture of a bird seen a few days after the attack, who may be one of the birds who tried to get my puppy. The image is blurry and the bird is hard to see, but keep in mind that this picture was taken from over a MILE away, and you can still see the bird's profile.

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