There is a story on the BBC website about a seagull seizing a family’s pet Chihuahua and flying off with it. The dog weighed 2 kg (4.4 pounds). And there is a little video on Pinterest which shows a seagull swallowing a rabbit whole and this is not a particularly small rabbit. It is an extraordinary little video which you can see on this page. The seagull is a great black-backed gull and an apex predator in its habitat. Below is a screenshot:
Having read this story and seen this video there is no doubt in my mind that seagulls could attack a small cat and take him or her away. Ornithologist Peter Rock said on BBC radio 4 that seagulls are capable of picking up small animals.
The Chihuahua’s owner, Ms Hill said:
“A seagull swooped down and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. My partner tried to grab his legs, but he was not tall enough and the seagull flew away. Is not nice at all that one of my babies has gone.”
She has vowed to keep looking for her dog every day until he is found. Mr Rock suggest that if you have a very tiny dog you should not let him run around in your back garden. If that applies then you have to also use the same attitude towards small cats. Looking at the video on this page it would seem that the seagull can swallow a small cat whole which is extraordinary.
The advice can’t apply where there are no seagulls clearly but on the coast it may be an aspect of cat guardianship which should be in the minds of owners. It is just another potential hazard for outdoor cats.