Cat care

Protecting Your Cat from Owl Attacks: Safety Measures

Are cats afraid of owls? Yes, Cats are afraid of owl attacks, this is why most people use fake owls to scare away feral cats from their gardens. Owls are airborne, and they will attack prey 4 times their size, giving them more advantage over your pet.  This is why you should tick every possible safety box, and ensure your domestic cat doesn’t die in one of the most horrible ways possible—falling to death from a very high altitude.

Here is a video of a cat running off from just a stare from an owl:

Huge owls can cause havoc. A scent gland was removed from my pet skunk to remove its defense odor.

I laughed while pacing in my garden by the house one evening when I got a call. The most annoying sight was a great horned owl fleeing with my pet skunk. I researched because I was furious I couldn’t defend Freddy.

I’ve taken every precaution with my ragdoll cat, but other cat owners have had similar tragedies or seen their cats react strangely to live or fake owls. Who is the prey for cats and owls? Take all precautions.

Do owls eat cats?

Owls make easy prey on fish, rodents, small birds, and other small pets. Generally, cats are rarely attacked by an owl, but birds of prey could face a shortage in available prey—your cat may be unfortunate to go after a rat that is being targeted by the owl, and this will eventually lead to the owl attacking your cat.

An owl will eat a cat, especially if your cat finds itself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Owls are opportunists, they will eat whatever is available on the menu—so far they could lift or grab it. Cats, on the other hand, love to explore, they may soon find themselves trying to eat eggs from an owl’s nest or even killing any owlet found in the nest. If caught, you know what this can mean for your cat right?

Just like your domestic cat would have horned skills of stalking and attacking, the bad news is that; owls also stalk and attack with more efficiency. Stories have emerged on great horned owls being able to lift a Maine coon. Here is also a story with a live picture of a barred owl lifting a full-grown house cat.

Can owls pick up cats?

According to the documentation of the great horned owls, the great horned owl weighs 3lbs(1.5kg) with a length of 2ft. A great horned owl can lift not only small pets but it can carry preys who have a lot of weight more than itself. An owl can carry 8 – 9lb prey.

The Great Horned Owl, barred Owl, and eagle Owl can lift and carry cats like Singapore, Munchkin, Cornish Rex, American curl, Devon Rex, Japanese bobtail, Siamese, and Burmese. Protect your cat since you can’t separate them from owls once they’re airborne.

Protecting Your Cat from Owl Attacks: Safety Measures

How do owls kill cats?

In killing a cat, the owl makes use of its talons( the owl’s talons are very strong. Its feet’ bone structure is shorter and stronger when compared with other birds—this makes it easier to withstand impact from lifting and carrying struggling prey).

When lifting the cat, its talon usually delivers the death blow or it may airlift and drop the cat from a distance that could kill the cat. The owl is always at an advantage in flight, and it could sneak up silently on the cat.

When it comes to altercations between cats and owls, the winner is not always definite, though the latter always has more advantages. Cats can get very aggressive—defending themselves with their sharp claws and teeth, but this may not always be the case.

Here is a video of an injured owl who is still able to intimidate a cat:

How to protect cats from owls

In keeping your cat safe from owls, there are safety measures you need to take. You may not be so lucky to protect an outdoor cat, since they roam and return at will. We have put together a list of things you can do to ensure your pet’s safety.

1. Keep your cat indoors at night

Nocturnal cats and owls thrive in darkness. Going outside at night puts your cat at risk of being attacked by a huge animal or fighting an owlet. Since owls are usually higher up, they may plan and attack your pet.

2. Get bright lights

Bright lights are known to keep owls away—fixing bright lights in your yard can help protect fluffy. However, you should note that; cats will wander into the dark, making a fool out of the bright light. If you notice the presence of owls in your neighborhood, it is best to hide your cat inside the house.

3. Trim dead branches from your trees

Dead branches provide perching, nesting, and relaxing spots for birds of prey, consider trimming them off. Since cats naturally want to experience sound and sight and also get stimulation from every natural happening in the world, they tend to always want to be outside and breathe fresh air, this is why you should consider fixing a catio for your feline friend.

Ensure to remove any bird’s nest from the trees in your garden—after the babies of the bird of prey have left. Keep your cat indoors while you wait— as removing a nest that contains the eggs or nestlings of an owl violates both state and federal laws.

4. Avoid feeders

I understand you may have some deep love for birds, and you fix feeders for birds like doves, quail, and other birds to eat on the ground. Be rest assured that these birds will attract birds of prey who may go after these birds. They would mark your house as a place where they find and feed on birds, making it unsafe for your cat.

5. Feed your pet indoors

Your cat may be distracted by the meal you gave it, rendering it vulnerable to owl attacks. Food your cat doesn’t eat will attract rodents and raccoons, which attract owls.

Are cats afraid of fake owls?

Your cat may be afraid of the fake owl at first, but it will get over it that day or week. The fake owl staring at your cat will scare it if it has had a bad experience with one.

Dangers to Be Aware of When Letting Cats Outside

If you release your cat outside, it may run away, fight with other cats hunting for a mate or roaming the streets, or be killed by a wild animal or vehicle.

Many cat owners have kept their cats indoors since the 1940s litter box invention. Keep your pet indoors except for walks or fun exercise to ensure their protection. Three risks of allowing cats outside.

Attacks, disease, and unwanted kittens with feral cats

Letting your cat roam freely opens them up to a whole lot of dangers. There are two basic interactions with your house cat and other animals: friendly, and aggressive. When the interaction is friendly, your feline friend will end up mating with other cats—increasing the number of feral cats or bringing back home unwanted pregnancies.

Cats that have not been neutered or spayed are likely to get into a fight with others for territory disputes or mate disputes. This altercation will lead to lacerations to your cat’s face or body.

Friendly and unfriendly interactions will open your cat to diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus. Also, your pet will be exposed to pest infestation such as fleas, ticks, roundworms, and hookworms.

Asides from the disease and pest infestations, your domestic cat faces the risk of being caught and killed by larger cat preys or preys with high-ground advantages like owls.

Possible accidents or permanently running away

There is a high risk of your feline friend being hit by a vehicle of who’s driver might be having a bad day or not paying attention at all. These accidents could lead to broken bones, minor injuries, or death. Make sure never to treat your cat if any such unfortunate circumstance occurs.

Most times fluffy run away permanently, it’s either it is new, and you failed to confine it to a room for the first few weeks or they have been adopted by other persons who may have thought your cat doesn’t have an owner.

Protecting Your Cat from Owl Attacks: Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions

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Are cats afraid of owls? Final thoughts:

We’ve seen cats fight coyotes and foxes, but an owl won’t have time to prepare. Your cat will attempt, but it will rather avoid the owl. Leaving in bird-prey areas? Protect your cat with this instructions.


I am Joshua kaynard, an avid cat lover. Our pets provide an excellent way of connecting with nature; I am committed to helping you understand all the aspects of your feline friend's life. Enjoy!

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