Will A Maine Coon Kill Chickens? Best Reasons Why

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If you have chickens or you’re thinking about getting some chickens, you may be wondering whether a Maine Coon could hurt or even kill your chicken. Maine Coons are pretty large, so it’s only natural that you might be worried about them.  The truth is that around a Maine Coon a chicken, and especially a younger chick, is likely a potential target for a meal.

Yes, Maine Coons will kill your chickens, especially if the Maine Coon is feral or if the chicken is a young chick. Maine Coons are likely to attack prey animals. Maine Coons enjoy hunting and unprotected chickens, especially if they are young, make suitable prey for them.

This article will go over some information about Maine Coons and provide you with some answers to relevant questions. If you are at all worried about your chickens falling prey to Maine Coons, then read on to see how you can best prevent any potential attacks on your chickens.

6 Reasons a Maine Coon Will Kill Chickens

Maine Coons are likely capable of killing chickens (especially if they are young chicks).  What are the reasons they will kill chickens?

Outdoor Maine Coon

Do you keep your Maine Coon cat outdoors as an outdoor cat?  Do you let your Maine Coon cat roam indoors and outdoors, perhaps through a cat door?  Easy access could seriously contribute to the possibility that your Maine Coon may try eating one of your chickens. 

The access that you may give your Maine Coon to your chickens, merely by having your cat outside, can increase the chances that your Maine Coon will try attacking one of your chickens.

To get the best information on if using cat doors is safe and if you should let your cat outside, check out my article:  Click Here.

Feral Maine Coon

If you have a feral Maine Coon in the area or even a stray Maine Coon, your chickens may be at risk.  This risk is because feral Maine Coons will be looking for their next meal, and that might mean they pick a fight with a chicken.  That means if you have potential prey animals around, such as chickens, their curiosity will be piqued.

My guess is that if you have a stray or feral Maine Coon around, you will probably notice them lurking nearby during dawn or dusk when they are generally more active and likely out hunting. 

To learn more about feral cats and if they fight to the death, check out my article:  Click Here.

Baby Chickens Running Around

A Maine Coon might be able to handle a full-grown chicken, but they will undoubtedly be able to take a baby chicken or chick.  Have you seen what small chickens look like when they walk around a yard?  They look like a meal, especially to a big, hungry cat. 

Small chickens just won’t be able to protect themselves against a large cat, like the Maine Coon, the way a large chicken would be able to.  This inability to defend themselves means they are more likely to become preyed upon by a predatory animal.

No Roosters

Roosters are the security system that your chickens need to help keep most predators away.  If you have roosters around, my guess is a Maine Coon will not attack any of the chickens or chicks.  Roosters will put up a fight and try to chase away any potential threats to the chickens.  Not having roosters deprives your chicken flock of an effective protector.

Hungry Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats can grow up to 12 pounds for females and 18 pounds for males.  Depending on how well they are fed, it wouldn’t surprise me if you saw them get larger.  This means that Maine Coon cats eat a lot of food.  When they are hungry, they might start looking at prey animals as potential meals. 

An adult chicken can weigh between 5 – 10 pounds, making them considerably smaller than the average adult Maine Coon.  Think about that difference when considering having a Maine Coon around them more often, especially if that Maine Coon gets hungry.

To learn more about the characteristics of a Maine Coon, especially when compared to another cat, check out my comparison of the Maine Coon and Siamese:  Click Here.

Maine Coon Hunting Skills

Cats are natural hunters, and although it is just part of their nature, sometimes it may look like they enjoy hunting. 

Maine Coons are generally adept hunters, and some of that is due to their physical characteristics since they have paws that help them move gently on snow, often have Tabby coats which help them camouflage, and are intelligent.

If a cat like a Maine Coon appears to be stalking or hunting chickens, it is because they think they can be successful at it. 

To learn more about if cats like to hunt, check out my article that dives deep to find out the real answer:  Click Here.

Do Cats Kill Full Grown Chickens?

All cats will not try to kill full-grown chickens.  But, with the way that cats act sometimes, they may try to attack chickens.  This is because cats will sometimes attack animals that they don’t intend to eat or even kill, and sometimes it even looks like they are just playing with the prey animal.

I would think that stray or feral cats would be much more likely to attack full-grown chickens and try to kill them for a meal.  They may even be successful due to the differences in weight between the two animals. 

I would consider larger cat breeds such as the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Turkish Van as more likely to tackle attacking a full-grown chicken and killing it.  My reasoning here is that they are larger cats and would be less intimidated by a full-grown chicken and would also be able to handle them better.

I mentioned the Maine Coon and the Turkish Van above.  To learn more about how the Maine Coon compares to the Turkish Van, check out my article:  Click Here.  

Will a cat eat a Chicken?

Yes, a cat will eat a chicken.  Cats are excellent predators with hunting skills, and they will attack prey animals.  Cats will eat birds, including chickens if they can snag one for a meal. 

It may be difficult for most cats to successfully attack and kill a full-grown chicken.  However, cats may be more interested in eating the younger chickens / chicks.  It is a good idea to keep your cats indoors, and if you have chickens to have a good ratio of roosters to hens to provide protection.

Will Feral Cats Eat My Chickens?

Yes, feral cats will eat your chickens.  Feral cats will hunt for their meals, and chickens are prey, not predators.  Therefore, it is essential to take precautions in protecting your chickens, like ensuring they are in a secure area and having enough roosters around to deter and fight potential predators.

Can a Chicken Fight Off a Cat?

Yes, a full-grown chicken can probably fight off a cat.  The outcome of a fight between a full-grown chicken and a cat may be different based on the size and tenacity of the cat. 

Feral cats and stray cats may show more tenacity when fighting chickens since they probably need the meal or they will go hungry.  This may make them meaner when trying to take down a chicken. 

Larger cats, like Maine Coons or Norwegian Forest Cats, will be harder for a chicken to fight off.  If the chicken is fighting with a standard domestic cat, like my own domestic shorthair cat, I think they can probably fight them off. 

As stated earlier in this article, it is beneficial to have roosters around for protection.  Roosters will be much more tenacious when fighting off cats than hens will be. 

Will Barn Cats Kill Chickens?

Barn cats will likely focus on their favorite prey, which is probably rodents.  Chickens are large enough to deter most cats, and barn cats have probably grown up around chickens anyway. 

Young chickens / chicks will need to be observed because they are still easy prey for a predator like a barn cat.  Having roosters around will help deter barn cats from going after the chickens.  More than likely, your barn cat will have plenty of other small animals, like rodents, to hold their attention.

Will a Rooster Kill a Cat?

Yes, a rooster will kill a cat.  The most likely scenario is that your rooster will chase off a cat or have a quick fight with the cat running away.  Roosters can be mean, and they have dangerous claws. 

Cats would probably be looking for an easy hunt as opposed to engaging with a rooster.  Roosters can be scary to other animals around their size, which makes them fantastic protectors for hens.

Can a Maine Coon Kill a Coyote?

Maine Coon

No, a Maine Coon will rarely be able to kill a coyote.  Coyotes range in size between 18 to 44 pounds for males and 15 to 40 pounds for females, so theoretically, it might be possible for a larger Maine Coon cat to kill an extremely small coyote, but it is still improbable. 

Coyotes are dangerous animals for smaller prey, including prey that a Maine Coon might be interested in, such as rodents and squirrels.  If a Maine Coon were to come across a coyote or a pair of coyotes as they sometimes hunt together, hopefully, that Maine Coon will run away and live another day.

What is a Maine Coon Cat?

Maine Coons are an affectionate, loyal, and devoted breed of cat that makes great family pets. However, given the opportunity, many Maine Coons do like to hunt – especially when they are feral.

When Maine Coons hunt, they can be pretty vicious and have even been known to attack and kill birds larger than chickens.

The Maine Coon cat breed is sometimes considered the only long-haired cat breed native to the United States. They are distinctly larger than other breeds of cats and also have noticeably large eyes.

Learn more about the Maine Coon cat in my article comparing the Maine Coon to the Siamese cat.  Check out my article here:  Click Here.

How Can You Identify a Maine Coon Cat?

If your chickens are being attacked or stalked by a cat, how can you be sure it’s a Maine Coon?

There are several characteristics that you can look out for to determine if the predator is a Maine Coon or not. Below is a list of things that you can look out for to identify a Maine Coon:

  • Maine Coon size – Straight away, one of the most noticeable traits of a Maine Coon is its size. They are pretty large compared to other breeds of cats, and this makes them stand out.
  • Maine Coon fur – Maine Coons have a very distinct coat that is thick with shaggy fur. This will make them stand out from other breeds quite a lot.
  • Maine Coon mane – The mane on a Maine Coon is quite noticeable right away. It is usually longer than the fur on the rest of its body, so it tends to stand out.
  • Maine Coon eyes – This is a subtler trait but still something you can look out for. Most Maine Coon cats have quite large eyes, even from when they are kittens. This is something that can make them stand out against other breeds.
  • Maine Coon tail – Maine Coon cats have a noticeably long tail. It tends to be very thick and bushy, making it noticeable from far away.


Cats are natural hunters, and Maine Coons are no exception. Due to their large size, Maine Coons can be dangerous and can cause a lot of harm to your chickens.

The best thing you can do is to ensure that your chickens are well protected from predators is by having roosters around and keeping the chickens in a secure area. As long as your chickens are protected and looked after, you shouldn’t need to worry about a Maine Coon causing them any harm.

If you enjoyed these articles, check out a few more:

  • Maine Coon vs Burmese (Best Feline Comparison):  Click Here.
  • Maine Coon vs Exotic Shorthair (Ultimate Research):  Click Here.
  • Maine Coon vs Scottish Fold (Surprising Rare Analysis):  Click Here.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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