Do seagulls eat kittens?

Seagulls have the ability eat kittens as there are many videos on social media of seagulls eating relatively large animals such as squirrels, rabbits and rats. They swallow them whole. In the video on this page, we see a seagull swallowing whole a dead squirrel. Perhaps it was killed on the road as the seagull is eating it on the road. It is an uncomfortable video but nature at work.

Seagull eats squirrel whole
Seagull eats squirrel whole. This is a video screenshot.
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To answer the question more precisely, it is entirely plausible that a seagull somewhere has eaten a kitten, perhaps a deceased kitten of a feral cat that was outside but this must be a very rare event. But as the seagull has the ability it might happen. It is just a question of circumstance; a variety of factors coming together at one time to facilitate this form of predation or scavenging.

This video may contain disturbing content. Viewer discretion is advised.

Seagull swallows a dead squirrel whole. Video: TikTok. TikTok allows users to download and upload videos with the permission of the user. It is better for me to do this as to embed videos can lead to their removal at a date in the future.

Regarding the squirrel, it is obvious that the squirrel was dead so the seagull did not kill the squirrel. I’ve seen a seagull swallow a complete rabbit in the same way. And there are other videos, as mentioned, online of seagulls swallowing rats whole. It’s obviously quite a common method of eating for a seagull. As you can see, they have a specific technique for getting such a large food item down their throat. It’s very clever and a bit gruesome.

This is a previous post reporting on a similar incident.

The question is whether seagulls kill kittens or other small animals to then eat them. It might be unsafe if, for example, you live in a seaside town and you have kittens in your backyard. I can see that being unsafe and unwise.

Although, there are no records as far as I can see on the Internet of seagulls specifically eating kittens. That is probably because in all cases the kitten is inside the home and protected.

A seagull might attack a cat if their nest is nearby. We’ll see lots of videos online of magpies attacking cats who are in fact minding their own business. The bird is simply protecting their family against a potential threat. The cats are often bemused and simply move off. Sometimes, perhaps rarely, they might retaliate. I’ve seen one cat kill a magpie under these circumstances.

One cat owner on the website said that her adult cat had a “large bold patch on his head”. She believes that it is a healed wound caused by an attacking seagull. It might have been a fight with another cat!

Herring gulls can be big and aggressive and “will mob anything they think is threatening a chick”. One homeowner said that a seagull chick fell into her backyard and she couldn’t go into her backyard while the chick was there because “all its relatives mobbed us if we tried to go out”.

So, seagulls have the level of aggression and courage required to attack animals larger than themselves. And they will attack people sometimes in defence of their family.

In 2015, the Daily Mail reported on a “slew” of pet deaths caused by seagulls. And attacks on people when for example a boy nearly lost his finger in a gull attack and a pensioner was left “blooded”. And they report that a seagull pecked to death a Yorkshire terrier and a pet tortoise. The Yorkshire terrier was pecked aggressively, ran inside the home but suffered a head wound and brain damage and had to be euthanised by a local veterinarian.

A bird expert said that seagulls should not be misunderstood. They are not thugs but simply protecting their chicks. They try and avoid conflict with humans. Although they snatch food from humans such as chips!

Seagulls normally eat fish and marine and freshwater invertebrates both dead and alive. They also eat terrestrial arthropods and invertebrates such as insects and earthworms. They might choose carrion, eggs, rodents, seeds, fruit, human refuge and occasionally other birds.

People not infrequently regard seagulls as pests. They bracket them with pigeons. There is a video of a man punching to death a seagull who pitched one of his chips. Unpleasant and a crime as it happens. An example of animal-human conflict. Humans tend to dislike animals who are as successful at survival as themselves because they like to be unchallenged in that aspect of behaviour.

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