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Are Owls Flying Cats?

Are Owls Flying Cats?

When you see an owl, you will associate it with a cat. In fact, many people out there think that owls are cats. It is the reason they call them cats with wings. But owls exhibit bird-like behaviors such as flying and laying eggs. These behaviors make them fit well in the bird’s category. Also, owls can adapt and live in any ecosystem. They are specialized predators with ears and eyes that help them succeed in hunting. Also, they feature unique wings which allow them to fly quietly.

Although owls look and share many features with cats, they are not flying cats. They are nocturnal birds that spend their night hunting in rundown firms and deserted places. Just like cats, they feed on small animals such as rodents and squirrels.

Owls look very much like cats. But they have eyes, face, and fur which can easily make one think that they are cats with wings. Here are some of the things you may want to know about owls and cats.

Why Do Owls Have Cat’s Eyes?

Owls have big eyes, which they cannot move in the socket the way human beings and other animals do. It is the inability to move the eyes in the socket that makes it necessary for them to move their heads through a range of 270 degrees. Also, owls are more sensitive to light than cats. It explains why they have excellent eyesight compared to cats.  But cats, too, are susceptible to light. They are six times more sensitive to light than human beings.

Notice that both owls and cats have good night vision compared to human beings. They have a tapetum that enhances their vision. It is found at the back of the eyes and acts as a mirror to help them use any available light. An owl has a larger tapetum compared to a cat. Besides, it has rod cells that help them to see better at night.

What Do Cats and Owls Have in Common?

Owls look very much like cats. Both of them are nocturnal animals with elaborate features that help them excel in hunting. Also, they can quickly adapt and live in different habitats. Both the cats and the owl have excellent hearing abilities and can easily detect and locate their prey. They feature binocular vision which allows them to see when the light condition is low.

The cat and owl move silently through the environment and hunt for similar prey such as small birds, rodents, insects, and reptiles.  But some owl species and cats can coexist in a friendly manner.  Lastly, both owls and cats have a robust digestive system that can consume a whole prey, absorb nutrients and eject feathers, fur, skin, and bones.

Do Owls Attack House Cats?

Cats and owls coexist well, but the owl becomes extremely active during the night, meaning that they can attack both the cat and puppies because of the fur. But the owl can stalk and attack the cat, who may be unaware of the impending danger. Note that owls are fast and speedy. They fly and have sharp beaks and deadly claws that make them pounce and catch the prey easily.  

In some cases, owls may attack the cat because it is small and looks like prey. Besides, when the cat catches a rodent, the owl may attack it to snatch prey. But if the owl cannot snatch the prey, it may choose to attack, fight or treat the cat as prey.

But there are many species of owls. We have those that hunt at night while some will hunt at twilight. Some owls are dangerous at dawn, and so you should always keep an eye on your cat when you hear the owl hoot.

How To Keep The Cat Safe From The Owl

The cat is a nocturnal animal, so its lifestyle necessitates hunting during the night. As such, it may be difficult for you to keep an eye on it on a 24/7 basis. But if you live in an area with a large population of owls, you may want to protect your cat from a possible attack. You may do this by keeping your cat indoors, especially during the times when owls are active. 

Do not leave windows open at night. Besides, you will need to create an entertaining indoor environment to dissuade the cat from venturing out.  If the owl attacks the cat, but survives, call a vet because the bites and scratches can cause infections and other dangerous diseases.

Where Do Cats And Owls Live?

Whereas cats live with people, owls live in deserted places. Also, owls do not construct their nests because they lack the skills. But when they construct one, it will always be shoddy. In some cases, they use their own feathers and their preys’ fur to construct their nests. However, a burrowing owl can choose to nest in holes that they insulate with grass. These are holes dug into the ground and they use materials such as plant stalk or grass to insulate the young owls from adverse weather conditions.

There are different species of owls, so their nesting habits may differ depending on the species. For instance, barn owls make their nests in artificial structures while others make their nests away from where people live. Some will choose to operate in cavities or in hollowed trees.

We also have a few other species that take over abandoned nests. If a hawk, crows, or eagles abandon a nest, an owl may take over and use it as its nest.  Some other species use covers in caves and rocks as their nests. In some cases, they chase squirrels out of their nests and take over. If the nest is habitable, they can use them for years.


Owls look and behave like cats. They are all nocturnal animals that hunt the same prey. However, the cat prefers to live with human beings while the owl will live and operate in abandoned areas. Some species can coexist with cats, while others will attack and injure the cat. So, ensure to keep the cat indoors if you live in places inhabited by owls.