Do hawks eat Cats?

While flipping through the channel I can’t fail to notice in national geography documentaries of a hawk chasing cats and eating them. Hence it is possible for hawks to eat cats.

Even so, hawks are spoilt for choice as they feed on any small animals. For instance mice, squirrels, rats, snakes, lizards, insects, frogs, rabbits, and voles.

In addition, they cannot do away with an opportunity if the cat becomes prey too. Subsequently, when still hungry they will eat even small birds like doves. Hawks are pretty strong and can carry prey weighing less than 1 ounce to even a big animal that weighs 5 pounds or more like a cat.

Hawks are animals we should keep away from our backyard especially if you have a cat, chickens, or small dog outside.

Although, it may be hard for a hawk to pick an adult cat that may weigh heavier than it. The hawk has a lot to choose from in the wild but when in the urban areas your cat may be one of its many choices.

A cat may be surprised and overwhelmed by the hawk as it is swift while hunting and does it quietly. Furthermore, if it is a kitten it may not have the strength to fight back.

What do Hawks Eat?

Unquestionably, hawks have a high appetite and feed mostly from the meat of other animals. Moreover, being a bird of prey also known as raptors they hunt other animals to be their food.

Hawks are carnivorous and their only meal is the meat of other animals. A cat may not be their main prey as they live in the wild but if a chance presents itself a cat can be their prey.

Cats are mostly indoor pets but once in a while may venture outside through the cat flap to play or to explore the yard. It may be hard to supervise the cat as sometimes it may sneak outside without one knowing. Despite this, we have numerous ways of keeping the cat safe from hawks while still outside.

Hawks feed on small birds too and if you have installed a bird feeder in your backyard or property that may be the next hunting spot for these big birds.

If your intention is to feed the small birds and keep them safe from the hawk, cover the feeders. This obstruction will cover them from being seen by the hawk from high above.

How to Keep Your Cat Safe

  1. Firstly, let your feline friend outside for fresh air or to play on a cat enclosure that will prevent the hawk from reaching it.
  2. Obviously, a hawk repellent may be a great solution. Just like we use repellent to keep out cats from the garden, the same way we can use a hawk repellent.
  3. Use a scarecrow or owl decoy to scare the hawk away. Importantly, try to alternate the decoy as hawks are intelligent birds and may know it’s a trick if left at one place for long.
  4. Another home remedy like CDs can be used as reflective deterrents to scare the hawk away from your backyard. You can use CDS you do not listen to, Hung on trees or bushes and the shiny reflection will keep the hawk far from your backyard. Not only is this method safe but also no money is used, although keep shifting the position of the CDs to fool the hawk.
  5. Install ultrasonic bird repellant, you can fix it somewhere where the noise will irritate the hawks and other birds of prey and okay for you and other pets in the home. The volume can be increased or reduced as you wish. These repellents are very popular as they are not toxic and can also come with lights to deter the hawks away from your backyard.
  6. Cats are indoor pets and can exercise with a cat wheel or play with her scratching posts although sometimes they love playing outside. Ensure to supervise them when outside. Also, one can build enclosed cat runs, the mesh will prevent the hawk from reaching the cat.
  7. Any pet food or bird seeds should not be left outside as they attract small birds to your yard. Small birds become a target to the hawks when they come to feed on the seeds endangering your cat too when outside.
  8. Trim bushes where the hawks can perch and attack your cat.
  9. Also, keep your backyard and home area clean to avoid attracting rodents, mice which are a delicacy to a hawk and may attract it.

Highlights of a Hawk

  • A hawk is a majestic medium-sized diurnal bird of prey from the family of Accipitridae and feeds on meat only.
  • Without a doubt, it is carnivorous and eats small animals from rats, mice, rabbits, snakes, lizards, and even cats if an opportunity presents itself.
  • Clearly, a hawk soars to fantastic heights many thousands of feet above the ground. Additionally, their wings enable them to navigate high altitudes.
  • Depending on the species
  • Hawks are known to stay on open lands, marsh shrubs habitats and can live to up to 20 years especially the red-tailed hawks.
  • These birds when large can weigh 2-4 pounds but can vary in size. They can pick up and attack small pets like cats and dogs.
  • Notably, hawks make up 90% of the world’s total but in North America, they are around 2 million hawks.
  • Alongside this, hawks are very fast when hunting their prey and may go to 190 km/h especially the red-tailed hawk.
  • The red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey breed in most of North America and has a wingspan of 110-141cm.


Hawks are majestic birds and if you notice them hovering around your property or backyard there are humane ways to deal with them.

Undoubtedly, remember a hawk is a protected animal and should not be killed, trapped, or relocated without a permit.  These may lead to tough fines and jail time.

Lastly, the methods above to keep your cat safe should be utilized before using any drastic measures.