Can Cats Catch Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are small, fast-moving birds that are often seen flitting around gardens and backyards. While they may seem like easy prey for cats, the truth is that cats rarely catch hummingbirds.

There are a few reasons why cats don’t catch hummingbirds very often.

  • First, hummingbirds are very good at flying. They can fly up to 60 miles per hour, which is much faster than most cats.
  • Second, hummingbirds are very agile. They can change direction quickly and easily, which makes it difficult for cats to catch them.
  • Third, hummingbirds have a sharp beak that can inflict a painful bite. This is a deterrent for most cats.

However, there are some cases where cats have been known to catch hummingbirds. This is usually when the hummingbird is injured or sick. A sick or injured hummingbird may not be able to fly as well, making it easier for a cat to catch..

The Nature of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are known for their incredible speed and maneuverability. They are the smallest birds in the world and can fly in various directions, including backward and upside down. These tiny birds possess a unique ability to hover in mid-air, thanks to their rapid wing beats that create a humming sound. Their bright plumage and long beaks make them a sight to behold.

Cat Behavior and Instincts

Cats are natural predators with keen hunting instincts. Even well-fed domestic cats retain these instincts, which can be triggered by small, fast-moving creatures like hummingbirds. Cats have excellent vision and are highly adept at tracking movement. Their stealth and agility enable them to pounce on prey with precision and speed.

The Dangers of Cat-Hummingbird Interactions

While cats may exhibit a strong prey drive toward hummingbirds, it is important to understand the risks associated with such interactions. Hummingbirds are delicate creatures with fragile bones and feathers. A cat’s sharp claws and teeth can cause serious harm or even death to a hummingbird. Additionally, stress caused by a cat’s presence near their feeders or nesting areas can disrupt their feeding patterns and nesting behaviors.

Ways to Protect Hummingbirds from Cats

To ensure the safety of hummingbirds and prevent harm from cats, it is crucial to take proactive measures. Here are some strategies to protect hummingbirds from feline predators:

  1. Keep cats indoors: The safest way to prevent cat-hummingbird interactions is by keeping pet cats indoors. This not only protects the birds but also ensures the safety of the cats by preventing potential accidents or confrontations with other animals.
  2. Create a barrier: If allowing cats outdoors, consider creating a physical barrier around hummingbird feeders or areas where hummingbirds frequent. This can be achieved by installing a mesh or wire fence that allows hummingbirds to access the area while keeping cats at a safe distance.
  3. Supervise outdoor time: If you choose to let your cat outside, supervise their outdoor activities. Keep them on a leash or within an enclosed area to prevent them from roaming freely and posing a threat to hummingbirds.
  4. Distract with toys and play: Engage your cat in interactive play sessions to redirect their predatory instincts. Providing them with toys and mental stimulation can help satisfy their hunting drive and reduce the likelihood of them targeting hummingbirds.
  5. Plant bird-friendly gardens: Create a hummingbird-friendly environment by planting nectar-rich flowers and shrubs. These will attract hummingbirds to designated areas away from your cat’s reach.

Creating a Hummingbird-Friendly Environment

Apart from protecting hummingbirds from cats, there are additional steps you can take to create a hospitable environment for these enchanting birds:

  • Hang hummingbird feeders at a safe distance from windows or other surfaces where cats can ambush.
  • Place feeders and plants in areas with natural cover, such as shrubs or trees, to provide shelter and escape routes for hummingbirds.
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic feeding area to prevent the spread of diseases among hummingbirds.

If you have a cat and you are worried about them catching hummingbirds, there are a few things you can do.

  • First, you can try to keep your cat indoors. This will prevent them from being able to catch hummingbirds in the first place.
  • Second, you can plant trees and shrubs in your yard that provide shelter for hummingbirds. This will give the hummingbirds a place to hide from cats.
  • Finally, you can discourage your cat from chasing birds by spraying them with a water bottle or making a loud noise when they do it.

Here are some additional tips to keep your cat from catching hummingbirds:

  • Provide your cat with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied. This will help to reduce their boredom and make them less likely to chase birds.
  • If you see your cat chasing a hummingbird, immediately intervene and redirect their attention. You can do this by clapping your hands, making a loud noise, or spraying them with a water bottle.
  • If your cat does catch a hummingbird, immediately take it away from them and release it back into the wild. Hummingbirds are delicate creatures and can easily be injured by cats.


While cats have a natural instinct to hunt, it is important to protect hummingbirds from potential harm. By understanding the nature of hummingbirds and the instincts of cats, we can implement strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of these beautiful avian creatures.

By keeping cats indoors, creating barriers, supervising outdoor time, and providing distraction and play opportunities, we can minimize the risks associated with cat-hummingbird interactions. Let us strive to create an environment where both cats and hummingbirds can coexist peacefully.


Should I keep my cat indoors to protect hummingbirds?

Keeping cats indoors is the safest option to protect both the cats and hummingbirds. It eliminates the risk of predation and ensures the safety of the birds.

Can I let my cat outside under supervision?

Supervised outdoor time can be allowed, but it is crucial to closely monitor your cat to prevent any interactions with hummingbirds. Keep your cat on a leash or within an enclosed area.

Are there any plants I can grow to attract hummingbirds away from my cat?

Yes, planting nectar-rich flowers and shrubs can attract hummingbirds to designated areas away from your cat. This helps create a hummingbird-friendly environment while keeping them out of harm’s way.

How can I create a safe feeding area for hummingbirds?

To create a safe feeding area, hang hummingbird feeders at a safe distance from windows or other surfaces where cats can ambush. Provide natural cover like shrubs or trees for shelter and maintain a clean feeding area to prevent the spread of diseases.

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