Cat vs Eagle: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

cat vs eagle

Clash of cat vs eagle is rare, but when such interactions happen, most people have no clue who has the upper hand until the end.

While eagles are quite dangerous with their sharp talons and beaks, aggressive cats also use their quick feet and sharp claws well in an attack.

Read on to know which one is more likely to win in such an unexpected clash.

Attributes Cat Eagle
Size (Length, height, weight in lbs) (18”,10”, 12 lbs) (40”, 30”, 12 lbs)
Hunting attributes Sharp claws Sharp talons, Powerful beak
Territorial instincts Territorial Strongly territorial
Adaptability Adaptable Adaptable
Hunting technique Ambush Speed
Food chain position Apex predator Apex predator
Behavior Aggressive Aggressive
Lifespan Upto 18 years Upto 25 years

Would an Eagle Beat a Cat?

The analysis below is done on eight different factors to highlight which one excels on which parameter.

1. Size


An adult eagle can be as long as 40 inches and weigh 12 lbs. The average height is 30 inches.

An average adult cat can weigh 12 lbs and have a length of 18 inches and a height of 10 inches.

Based on size, eagles have the upper hand. However, when it comes to a fight, a single factor can’t determine the result.

2. Physical Attributes


Each one of them possesses physical traits which can overpower the other.

For example, a cat has sharp claws and is extremely nimble. Besides that, cats possess keen senses as well.

Eagle, on the other hand, has sharp talons, powerful beaks, and excellent eyesight.

Based on this, you might think that the eagle has the upper hand, but the nimbleness of a cat can help it evade the eagle.

3. Territorial Instincts


Cats are terrestrial. They are excellent hunters on land, especially when the prey is small.

Eagles usually hunt from the air and are very territorial.

It’s very unlikely that the encounter of eagle vs cat happens midair. Therefore, the cat is always at an advantage when the fight happens on land or near land since it’s in its natural habitat.

4. Adaptability


Cats are adaptable hunters. While they are nimble-footed on land, they can jump as high as 8′. Apart from that, cats can hunt on various terrains. Cats certainly can’t fly, but their ability to jump and hunt gives them an advantage.

Eagles are aerial hunters. When it comes to aerial attacks, they can adapt quickly. However, to thwart eagles, all cats have to do is go inside a structure or a cave. That’s all.

The problem is cats can see clearly only up to 20′. Eagles can easily fly at 30 mph in horizontal flight, increasing speed during a vertical dive. That certainly reduces the advantage cats have on land.

5. Hunting Prowess


Cats often ambush their prey. They are efficient at hiding themselves and striking only when the prey is distracted or vulnerable.

Eagles can easily spot their prey 2 miles away. Considering that they are up in the sky or perched atop a mountain, their prey won’t even know that an eagle is watching them.

Moreover, when they dive to catch their prey, their speed goes way up, meaning the eagle can snoop on their prey in no time.

The problem is since cats remain in stealth mode and are nimble, their confrontation seldom occurs. Each has different hunting prowess, making it difficult to pick a winner.

6. Position in the Food Chain

Both wild cats and eagles are apex predators.

When it comes to house cats, however, it is an entirely different matter since they seldom hunt more than rodents. You can call them tame.

On this front, eagles do have an advantage since they have retained their fierce nature.

7. Behavior


Along with hunting skills and attributes, aggression is needed to win a fight. Hence, it’s time to understand the behavior of both these species.

Wildcats are highly motivated to be aggressive hunters because such behavior gets them food. Other than that, they resort to aggression in case of conflicts. Domestic cats hunt when they get a chance.

Eagles are extremely aggressive hunters. The bigger the size of the eagle, the more aggressive it is. As per Biologist Jack Whitman, they’re built to kill. Moreover, they are opportunistic hunters, especially bald eagles. Therefore, no prey within their sight is entirely safe. Not only that, but certain species, like the golden eagle, can also hunt larger prey.

All in all, the Eagles have a slight behavioral advantage in case of a fight.

Numerous videos on TikTok and YouTube have captured the unlikely encounter between cat and eagle.

So, who would win in a fight in such cases?

In the unlikely fight between a cat and an eagle, the outcome depends on whether the cat can pin down the eagle to the ground or not.

The answer to the question, can a cat kill an eagle is yes, only if it can pin down the eagle and injure it early on in the fight. If the eagle can fly away and strike multiple times, it has a slight chance of winning. Still, it would suffer extensive damage due to the sharp feline instincts of the cat and excellent hunting prowess.

In case of an ambush, undoubtedly, the eagle wins.

Not only that, if you are wondering do eagles eat cats, the answer is yes. Most times, when an eagle attacks cat, it’s to satisfy his/her hunger.

It’s a tough call to be honest.


So a straight-up fight between Cat vs Eagle will be a fight of strategies as one is not likely intimidated by the other, with the cat likely to win if the eagle is pinned to the ground. In case of an ambush, the eagle is going to be the winner. This assuming, the cat is of the same size as the eagle.

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