Kittens and birds – they’re mortal enemies, right? Cats want to chow down on the birds they catch and birds, in the interest of self preservation, flee in terror. Or at least that’s what most of us think of when it comes to feline-avian relations. But this video of a kitten and chick napping together could change your view!
As someone who has hatched and raised hundreds of baby chickens, ducks, and quail, I can tell you that isn’t always the case. Young cats and poultry are social creatures – they want to feel like they belong. Chickens roam in flocks, cats roam in a clowder (yes, that’s what a group of cats is called!)
Baby chickens in particular are also in search of something else – a good source of warmth. Newly hatched poultry aren’t able to regulate their own body heat until they’ve begun to grow feathers. This is why you’ll often see chicks hanging out under a mama hen.
Cats and chickens can definitely be conditioned to live together. Exposing the two to one another helps build a mutual trust, and your guidance as the human in the arrangement can help both parties learn what is and is not acceptable behavior.
Introducing a kitten and chick
When introducing a kitten to a chick, or a cat to a fully grown chicken, it’s best that you observe interactions so to avoid any injury, be it intentional or accidental. Kittens are playful creatures and chicks are resilient but fragile. One injury could spell the end of a young chick’s life. So act with an abundance of caution and keep in mind that the kitten is more likely to harm the chick than the chick is to harm the kitten.
This video, shared by the YouTube channel Teddy Kittens, shows what we all hope is possible for feline-avian relations: a sweet, yellow, baby chicken interacting with and eventually snuggling up for a nap with a British Shorthair kitten. As of this writing, the video has been viewed over 16 million times. I’m guessing a lot of people out there need a little eye bleach!  
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The beauty of chicks and kittens is that they find their family wherever they happen to be. When you hatch chicks yourself, they’ll come to know you and their fellow chicks as their family. Or whatever other animals you expose them to. My giant dog loves baby chicks and, even though he’s almost 80 pounds, is perfectly gentle with him. And they love him!
Hopefully this video gave you the ‘aww’ you needed today! Cuddle on, baby animals.
- “Teddy Kittens YouTube Channel.” YouTube. Accessed December 8, 2020.
- “Kitten sleeps sweetly with the Chicken 🐥” YouTube. Accessed December 8, 2020.