What kind of owls eat cats?

People often think of owls as gentle and beautiful creatures, but some species of owls have developed a taste for cats. Though it’s not terribly common, there are certain types of owls that can—and do—hunt cats as a source of food. So, what kind of owls eat cats? Let’s explore.

Great Horned Owls

Great horned owls are among the largest owl species in North America. These large birds have wingspans up to 5 feet in length and they hunt small animals like rabbits, squirrels, mice, and even cats. Great horned owls are nocturnal hunters and they may attack cats if their normal prey is scarce or not available.

Barred Owls

Barred owls are among the most common owl species in North America. They usually hunt small mammals like voles, shrews, rats, squirrels, and rabbits but they may occasionally go after larger game including house cats when the opportunity arises. Barred owls tend to be more active during the day than other owl species so they might pose a greater threat to outdoor cats that venture out into the yard during daylight hours.

Snowy Owls

Snowy owls are majestic birds found throughout Canada and most parts of Europe. They prefer cold climates with plenty of open space where they can hunt rodents like lemmings and voles but they will occasionally stalk larger prey such as foxes and cats if the opportunity arises. Snowy owls have also been known to raid chicken coops on occasion so it’s important to be aware of their presence if you keep chickens or other poultry on your property.


While it’s true that some types of owls eat cats (or at least will try), it’s important to remember that these kinds of incidents don’t happen very often—especially if your cat is an indoor-only pet who doesn’t spend much time outside alone at night (which is always recommended). That said, if you live in an area where great horned owls, barred owls, or snowy owls frequent then it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on your feline friend whenever she does venture outside!

If you’re concerned about your cat being attacked by an owl then consider installing motion-activated lights or noise-makers around your property to help deter any potential predators from getting too close for comfort.

What are some of the main types of owls known to eat cats?

Great horned owls, barred owls, and snowy owls are all known to hunt and eat small mammals like cats if the opportunity arises

Why do some species of owl prey on cats more often than others?

There may be certain environmental factors that make some owl species more likely to hunt and eat cats, such as the availability or scarcity of their normal prey in a given area. Additionally, owls with large wingspans may be better able to catch and subdue larger prey like cats

How can I protect my cat from owl attacks?

There are a number of strategies you can use to help keep your cat safe from owl attacks, including installing motion-activated lights or noise-makers around your property, keeping your cat indoors as much as possible, and avoiding areas where owls are known to frequent. Additionally, it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about any additional safety measures you may be able to take.