Do seagulls attack domestic cats?

The question is an easy one to answer as we know from magpies pestering and attacking cats that the same happens with seagulls and I suspect other bird species. Perhaps magpies and seagulls are the most aggressive in this regard as there appears to be more reports concerning these species than for other species.

Seagulls will attack cats to protect their offspring from perceived threats
Seagulls will attack cats to protect their offspring from perceived threats. Image: MikeB
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It is instinctive for birds to protect their young who’ll be in a nest nearby. The cat will have no knowledge of it. Sometimes they’ll be bemused as to why they are being attacked. They might retaliate and they might be harmed by the seagull. Seagulls are very competent predators with an awesome capacity to eat animals whole such as rabbits or rats. Occasionally the cat gets the bird.

Pudding

There is a story in the news today of a stray cat befriended by the workers at a recycling plant in Exeter, UK, whose name is Pudding. She is a slightly obese calico cat. Those generous guys and ladies are overfeeding her by the look of it.

Pudding was attacked by a seagull
Pudding was attacked by a seagull. Image Exeter Council

Well, she was attacked and chased by a seagull and suffered a ‘flesh wound’. In fleeing she was almost hit by a vehicle on the road. She was picked up by the workers who contacted Cats Protection, the well-known cat rescue charity, who checked her health and said that she was okay.

Pudding is vaccinated and microchipped and has access to the facility for warmth and some care.

Mother

On the mumsnet.com website a user named Norma said:

They certainly do especially if there’s a nest sited nearby, we’re very close to the sea and my cat was mobbed by several seagulls every time he went out in daylight for a few weeks. I had a hard time scaring them off him.

Normaknowall – Mumsnet.com

Often the bird divebombs or cautiously approaches the cat. They’re aware of the potential for injury and even death. Birds instinctively avoid cats as they recognise them as predators. When a gull attacks a cat, they are overcoming that instinct although gulls can be big and intimidating.

Example

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