Bald Eagle Snatches Up House Cat With One Swoop

Your cat may be fierce, but he needs your protection.

Watching your house cat's natural instincts take over as they stalk a squirrel in your backyard or chatter excitedly at the birds outside the window is always fun. But, unfortunately, your cat isn't on top of the food chain, and something else might be stalking him.

Large birds of prey, like hawks, falcons, and eagles, survive by hunting small mammals. They most often hunt woodland animals like mice and rabbits, but they've also been known to go after slightly larger animals— Cats, and even small dogs, included. This is particularly true if you've got a small kitten, as your tiny friend is more easily scooped up by birds of prey, especially if they're not particularly fast yet.

When a woman in Two Harbors, Minnesota saw an eagle perched in the snow, she took out her camera eager to capture the bird's impressive take-off. But when the eagle finally spread its wings, she wasn't expecting to see a cat trapped in its talons.

Bald Eagle Flies Away With Cat

As humans continue to invade wild animal habitat, these kinds of attacks become more common. Cats are especially at risk, and owners are encouraged to keep their felines indoors. If your cat insists on exploring the outdoors, let them do it safely. Get them a harness and long lead and supervise them at times. You can also help your pet look more intimidating, and less like prey, with a specially-made protective vest.

Keeping cats indoors is the center of a great debate on what's best for cats, but most veterinarians agree that cats should be kept indoors for their own safety. Outdoor cats or indoor/outdoor cats live significantly fewer years than their indoor counterparts, and indoor cats can have a quality lifestyle with a little bit of effort. Again, if your cat insists on exploring the outdoors, you can take your adventure cat out on a harness just like you would a dog. Just be a little more patient with them and train your cat slow and steady while they adjust to their new lifestyle.

Eagles and other big birds can spot their prey thousands of feet in the air. They swoop toward Earth with deadly silence to attack with their lethal talons. They're majestic, awe-inspiring examples of the animal kingdom, but they're also dangerous threats to the pets you love. Keep your animals safe, especially if you live out in the country!

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This article was originally published March 23, 2018.

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