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Thread: Can a hawk pick up my cat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Clarence, NY
    Posts
    4

    Can a hawk pick up my cat?

    We moved last September, we're not in the country (Clarence, NY, suburb of Buffalo), but we have woods in our back yard. My cats are indoor cats, but I like to take them outside on a leash in the front and back yard to let them enjoy the sun in the summer. Tobi (girl) will be 1 year old in April and Jax (boy) will be 1 year old in May. When they were weighed in October, he was 6.75lbs. and she was 7.75lbs. Last September I noticed hawks circling in the sky everyday!!! I saw them in our trees, too!!!! They're pretty big, too! Anyway, I don't have any experience with hawks or predators, I was wondering, can they/would they pick up my cats and carry them off? Right now the trees are bare and we have a few feet of snow everywhere (lovely Buffalo winter, yuck) so I can see clearly all the tree branches and I just noticed a hawk sitting right at the top in one of our trees in the woods. They are still around!!! Would they attack my cats with me there? I bought a kitty walk town and country for this summer, it's an enclosed cage type thing for the cats to be in outside. It's made of mesh (industrial strength fishnet, woven to a metal hoop). The hawks can't go through that, right?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    17,331
    First of all, your kitties are precious!
    Secondly, YES I have heard of hawks picking up kittens and other small animals.... I would be VERY careful! I would *think* that the enclosure you are talking about would help, but I don't know if I would even risk it! I would definitely only put them in there while you are nearby and keeping an eye on them!
    Kim Loves Cats and Doggies Too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Clarence, NY
    Posts
    4
    Thank you! And Jenna is adorable, too! I esp love her socks!

    I will definitely be with them when they're in the cage, too. (if I decide to give the cage a try) I would never leave them alone though.

    I love our new home and yard, but I can't stand the hawks! Our old home had nothing to be scared of, then again, we didn't have woods behind our house. I just hate that now I have to be afraid because of those hawks! They are always around, too. I hope other people don't let their cats out, but I saw paw prints by our garage the other morning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Dallas/Fort Worth Texas
    Posts
    420
    YES! I personally was driveing along one day and watched a hawk pick up a very large rabbit. I watched that hawk drop that rabbit from way up trying to kill it, I have no doubt after seeing that rabbit size, that a hawk could and would do the same to a cat.

    My request to you is be very cautious with them, I do not think they would come down with you there, but you never know just how hungry they are. As far as the mesh fence, I would assume it would be safe, but keep your eyes open. The one i saw took the animal really high and dropped it trying to kill it, (yes I intervined and saved the rabbit)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Monessen, PA
    Posts
    347
    Most definitely yes there is a danger. There was just a story recently in Pittsburgh that a woman had a hawk carry off her Yorkshire Terrier. I can't remember what his weight was (I hope he is having a good time at the RB though poor little guy). I know when we bought our house 10 years ago we were warned to keep our guys inside for just that reason. My hubby saw a "rather large bird" sitting on the fence post in the yard across the street this weekend in fact......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alaska: Where the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
    Posts
    5,450
    I don't know anything about hawks (I'm not even sure there are any in Alaska) but we've had problems with eagles. Also, Princess Kuhio was dive-bombed by an owl once! She managed to run under the car before it could get her. We were too far away to have been any help at all. We learned our lesson (thankfully before it was too late). The following is from a 1993 newspaper article:

    Eagle Snatches Dog While Owner Watches
    Valdez, Alaska -- A bald eagle satisfied its hunger at a Valdez gas station when it snatched up a small dog and flew away, leaving the dog's owner screaming in horror.

    The chihuahua-like dog had been let out of a motor home to run around in the station's parking lot while the owners, an unidentified couple from Georgia, cleaned the vehicle's windshield.

    Witnesses said the pet was about 5 feet away from the RV when the eagle swooped down from a perch in a nearby tree. Before the owners could react, the eagle circled up and away, heading off toward the city's harbor clinching the pooch tightly.

    "It was the damnedest thing I ever saw," said Dennis Fleming, a gas station attendant. "The dog gave one yelp and that was it."

    The woman owner clutched her hands to her face and cried, "Oh, my God," while Fleming tried to console her.
    Ask your vet about microchipping. ~~ It could have saved Kuhio's life. And it cost Halo hers.
    Consider having your cat tested for Polycystic kidney disease ~~ Rest in peace Willy
    Loved by Lisa

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    619
    I did not know that...that's very useful info, though! I know they like rabbits and mice, but I NEVER thought about cats and dogs.

  8. #8
    Yep. Owls can too. Pretty much most birds of prey can take a cat or small dog.
    ~Kimmy, Kia, Chipper, Zam, Logan, Raptor, Nimrod, June, Mei, Jasper, Esme, Lucy Inara, & Morla

    Thanks Kfamr for the sig!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,015
    Your cats are adorable, I especially like the black and white one with the black nose.
    I would be careful and stay outside with your cats when you let them out.
    I don't think the hawks will come too close when people are nearby.
    We have a hayfield behind our property with woods on the other side of it and there are lots of hawks that live in the woods and circle around our area.
    We have seen them swoop down and catch field mice in the field and catch fish in a nearby creek.
    We had one sit on our fencepost one time and it was amazing how big they really are.
    My friend's neighbor had her chihuahua snatched by a hawk and they lived on a farm in upstate NY so it can happen if you're not looking out.
    RIP sweet Samantha
    6/26/88-8/28/08
    ----------------------------

    Milly & Izzy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Clarence, NY
    Posts
    4
    I'm so glad you saved the rabbit, I'd do the same. I'd be flailing my arms and chasing it. I already looked like an idiot when I was out with my kitties last September...I was constantly looking in every direction in the sky and trees for the hawks like a paranoid freak, heheh. My new neighbors must really think I'm weird! They have HUGE dogs, so they have nothing to worry about.

    Thanks everyone for your stories (albeit sad), but they made up my mind...I am definitely not going to take my kitties out on a leash anymore!!!! I'd rather have them po'd at me cuz they can't go out than being carried off by the hawk! And hopefully this will alert more people to the dangers of predators in the sky.

    I will give the cage a try, but I'll sit right next to them the whole time, and keep looking at the sky and trees. And if they are around, kitties are going inside! They have plenty of toys to play with and I just bought them a huge 15 level, 2 housed condo on E-bay, it gets delivered tomorrow. I got it for $175 (including s/h & tax)! Condos that big go for $400 or so in a store! Check it out, type in "cat condo" and it pulls up all the cool condos!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Middle of Germany
    Posts
    8,728
    My parents live in the forest, and their cat Dino has been attacked by a hawk twice. I don't know if the bird was actually able to lift him up since Dino is a grown up cat, but he had serious injuries in his neck, so better be careful!

    Kirsten

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Clarence, NY
    Posts
    4
    Thank you! He's my baby boy, it's weird, all his pads on his paws are black except on his left paw, the middle finger pad is pink! And the black spot on his nose used to be actually 3 separate dots, but when he got bigger they merged into one blotch. Tobi's a cutie, too (don't want her to feel left out, heheh), she loves water and is always in the sink and tub!
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