I love watching cat videos and one of my all-time favorite videos is a compilation of cats getting along with other pets in the same household.
It is amazing to see cats cuddling in bed with chickens, ducks, parrots and even horses!
Pretty amazing how different animal species can get along.
The question of the day would be can cats and ducks really get along?
And do cats eat ducks if the opportunity arises?
Yes, cats do kill ducks for food as cats are predatory in nature. You might see this behavior more commonly in feral cats than in domestic cats. However, your pet cat might still attack ducks if they trigger its hunting instinct.
In this article, we will be looking into the relationship dynamics between cats and ducks. And more importantly, how you can maintain harmony between your pet cat and pet dog.
Let’s dig in.
The Predatory Nature Of Cats
In the animal kingdom, there is a certain pecking order to it. Cats aren’t apex predators and are in danger of being preyed on themselves.
But on the cat’s ‘menu’ lies many birds and small creatures that cats can hunt for food.
Since the evolution of cats, they have always been solitary animals and can only depend on themselves to survive.
Nature has made cats into effective hunters to give them a better chance at survival. Furthermore, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that, unlike dogs which can digest carbohydrates, cats need a pure animal meat diet to survive.
Wild or feral cats kill ducks for food if the need arises. Although cats are great hunters, they still prefer easy prey hence an adult duck might be too much to handle. But ducklings are at a greater risk of being hunted.
Can Both A Cat And Duck Live Together Peacefully?
They most definitely can if you as the pet owner do a proper introduction and socialization process.
It might be challenging at first given the relationship between cats and ducks but it can be done.
When you are introducing your cat and duck for the first time, don’t just put the two in the same room together and say a hail mary.
Your cat might be secretly thanking you for a sumptuous meal.
Make sure to separate your cat and duck for at least a few days. Let your pet cats get used to the smell of the duck by letting them smell a towel or blanket that the duck has been on.
Cats socialize by smell so this is a good way to start.
After a few days of scent recognition, keep your duck in a cage and let your cat approach it. Don’t freak out if you see your house cats go into hunter mode.
Your duck is safe inside the cage but might be a little nervous due to the presence of cats.
You will have to keep at this phase until your cats don’t show any sign of aggression towards the duck. Wait till your house cats show more gentle curiosity before proceeding to the final phase.
The final test will be allowing your cat and duck to meet face to face in the same room. Make sure that you are to supervise and remove your cat once it starts to show aggressive behavior.
Give your cat some time to smell and get used to the duck.
Keep the meeting short and slowly increase the time together over a few sessions. Your cat should start regarding the duck as a family member and not duck confit if they are well socialized.
Cat And Duck Socialization Tips
It does help a great deal if you do it while your cat is still a kitten and regard everything as a toy. This helps create the bond between cat and duck a lot faster.
If you have a much older domestic house cat, it can be more challenging if you have a small duckling. An adult duck would deter the cat from seeing it as prey due to its bigger size.
Will My Cat Attack And Kill My Duck?
Even after a great socialization process, it is hard to guarantee that your cat won’t try to harm your duck one day.
Cats are rather unpredictable and can transform from sweet cuddly house cats to bloodthirsty feral cats in a heartbeat.
Unless you are absolutely sure that your cat is cool with your duck, I would not suggest keeping them together unsupervised.
Domestic cats might not hunt a duck for food but cats are known to hunt and kill just for fun.
How To Protect Ducks From Cats?
If you are looking to keep your duck safe from your cats, here are some effective methods that you can use.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
I’m assuming that your duck is kept outdoors most of the time. If you allow your cat to roam outdoors in your garden, it might be good to start restricting their access.
Let them stay indoors most of the time and only let them outdoors when you are home to supervise.
Use A Collar Bell
The collar bell should go on your cat and not the duck. The ringing of the cat’s bell will serve as an alarm to the duck and allow it to run away or be defensive.
It is definitely harder for the cat to sneak up on the duck when the collar bell is making a ruckus most of the time.
Feed Your Cat Well
Our cats don’t have to hunt for their food like wild cats or stray cats. But this doesn’t mean a hungry domestic cat won’t try to make a meal out of a duck.
By satisfying your cat’s most important need, you can rest assured that it won’t suddenly develop a craving for duck meat.
Keep Your Duck In A Cage
Your cat and duck might get along like lifelong buddies. But if your duck is kept outdoors, it is at risk of getting harmed by your neighborhood cats.
Many wild cats kill ducks for food and it is easy for a wild cat to locate your dog by sound and smell.
By keeping your duck in an enclosure, it can be safe from predators when you are not around to keep a watch.
Are Ducks Dangerous To Cats?
Most ducks are pretty chill if you leave them alone. But they won’t hesitate to use their powerful beaks on your cat if it senses danger.
Ducks don’t have teeth but their beaks can still cause cuts and lacerations.
Furthermore, ducks can also spread diseases like Salmonella and Avian flu to pets and humans. So please bring your duck to the vet for its proper vaccination and medical check-up before bringing it home.
How To Cook Duck For Cats?
If your cat has a liking for duck meat, it is in luck!
You can easily buy cat food that is made from duck meat. Make sure to take a look at the ingredients label to ensure that it is actually made from duck meat and not duck by-products or duck flavoring.
If your cat is on a raw meat diet, feed only duck meat that is bought from a proper butcher. Don’t feed your cat raw meat from a duck that you have hunted.
There is a high risk of contamination from such a source.
If the duck meat is not from a commercial source, you will need to boil the meat till it is properly cooked before feeding your cat.
One thing to note about duck meat is that it is considered red meat which makes it high in animal fat.
Cats don’t do too well on a high-fat diet so feed duck meat sparingly and not as the main meat source.
Stick to chicken or turkey which has less fat in the meat.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Duck Meat?
Yes they can. If you are feeding your cat duck meat for the first time, watch out for signs of a duck allergy.
This can happen to some cats as ducks aren’t really on the menu for many cats.
If your cat is showing signs of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset or constant scratching after consuming duck meat, take it to the vet for treatment.
It is possible for house cats to live in harmony with ducks. Many pet owners have done so with proper socialization to ensure nothing bad happens.
Always keep a watchful eye on your cats and ducks when together as cats suddenly turn aggressive and attack the ducks.