Do Eagles Eat Pet Cats?

John Malcolm

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I'd be grateful for references to any documented instances of a wild eagle successfully attacking an adult pet cat.

We have a ten-pound Lynx-point Siamese with all his claws who loves lounging on our wooden deck. There is plenty of wildlife around, which he enjoys stalking. Occasionally he catches a skink. But we have larger wildlife around because we back up to Pisgah National Forest. Most worrisome to me, in Linc's case, are the golden eagles that prowl the mountainside around our place. They will circle that deck in ominous fashion, sometimes passing about ten feet overhead as, I assume, they are looking at Linc with a view to possible consumption. One even came and sat on our roof to take a good look.

I interrupted their staring contest by going out onto the deck and carrying Linc indoors. He was quite subdued and hasn't asked to go out the rest of the day, though it's his favorite place on sunny days. I've read that an eagle can pick up a ten-pound critter, but I've no idea if they might confuse a light-colored cat with a bunny or whether a cat could effectively resist a stooping eagle. Even if Linc could give the bird a good punishment, would that only result in him being dropped from an altitude of 50-100 feet?

Anybody know?
 

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fionasmom

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I agree and just want to add that despite living in an urban location Fiona herself was almost taken by a hawk. Crows alerted me (I was in yard with her) and I chased it off. I don’t know that he could have lifted her successfully enough to carry her but,as you said, the 50 ft drop would have finished her.

As for eagles and cats, a friend who works for Maine Audubon told me that while cats are not the primary prey of eagles they will make an exception if they are hungry. Sorry to be a little graphic here,but the cat will be swooped down upon in a surprise attack which will not allow it to respond and will probably be seriously lacerated in the attack. That might be enough to cause the demise of the cat even if the eagle cannot easily lift the 10 pounds.
 

game misconduct

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pretty good bet your cat will be food if the eagle is hungry even if it cant lift off with it the impact of the dive has good chance of killing it.better to put up netting or buld catio to keep kitty safe my little sisters Chihuahua gets stalked by a red tailed hawk any time its out side for a walk or in her back patio
 

mani

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I can only speak for eagles in Australia, but yes, absolutely.
An endangered species dingo pup was dropped by an eagle.. he was one very lucky puppy.

A reputable wildlife sanctuary here site here says:

Wedge-tailed eagles eat a wide variety of mammals, lizards and birds, depending on their local abundance.
Mammals make up the greatest share of their diet, and rabbits are the most important live prey taken. They will also eat possums, gliders, cats, dogs, piglets, kangaroos, wallabies, lambs, goats, calves and foxes.
Most of these animals are introduced species, brought to Australia by European settlers.

Since the American Eagle Foundation says:
Golden Eagle eat small mammals such as jackrabbits, mice, and prairie dogs; they may also eat reptiles, birds, fish, and even large insects. They are capable of killing larger bird and mammals, including deer and domestic livestock, bighorn sheep, bobcats, seals, etc.
I would be very loathe to have my cat anywhere where one can catch him.
 

goingpostal

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It's not their normal meal but much like your cat likes to stalk and kill wildlife, it'll do. Eagles, owls, hawks and that's just the flying wildlife that might want a piece of your kitty, a friend as a kid found her cat in pieces one morning from a suspected bird attack.
 
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John Malcolm

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Thanks to all for your helpful info!

I think we'll restrict Linc to indoor recreation during the prime updraft hours of 10 AM to 4 PM in summer weather. The big birds aren't seen outside of those times hereabouts. He's by far the smartest and most affable cat we've had in half a century, so we'd hate to see him meet a miserable end... though none of our prior cats has come to grief.
 

mani

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Thanks to all for your helpful info!

I think we'll restrict Linc to indoor recreation during the prime updraft hours of 10 AM to 4 PM in summer weather. The big birds aren't seen outside of those times hereabouts. He's by far the smartest and most affable cat we've had in half a century, so we'd hate to see him meet a miserable end... though none of our prior cats has come to grief.
That sounds wise. It can happen so quickly. A friend of my brother's lost a small dog to an eagle in Tasmania. It was utterly heartbreaking.
 

maggie101

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Thanks to all for your helpful info!

I think we'll restrict Linc to indoor recreation during the prime updraft hours of 10 AM to 4 PM in summer weather. The big birds aren't seen outside of those times hereabouts. He's by far the smartest and most affable cat we've had in half a century, so we'd hate to see him meet a miserable end... though none of our prior cats has come to grief.
Glad you have decided that! Here's some extra info just for the fun of it. I was curious!

 
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