Can a Paintball Gun Kill a Bird, Rabbit, Cat or Squirrel?

Paintball is a spherical dye-filled gelatin capsule that is used to play a competitive team shooting sport. They are shot using paintball markers powered by compressed nitrogen or carbon dioxide. These balls break upon impact. It came to our attention that some people are shooting birds and rabbits with paintball. In this article, we will understand can a  paintball gun can kill birds, squirrels, rabbits or cats.

This may seem like a form of harmless entertainment and only mild harassment of animals, it may be anything but harmless.

What will happen if you shoot a bird with a paintball gun?

When a small bird is struck by a paintball, it may be killed immediately. If it is not killed, it may cause fractures to the wings or legs or internal injuries. These birds will slowly die of dehydration, hypothermia, and starvation. Paint causes plumage to be matted together, compromising insulation and hence the bird die slowly from exposure. Causing unnecessary pain and suffering is against law regardless of the species of bird involved.

What will happen if you shoot a rabbit with a paintball gun?

Paintball becomes more brittle when frozen they are made gel or oil, not water, hence they can not hurt a rabbit. But if a paintball hits the rabbit at some sensitive area like eyes it can cause bleeding and a huge pain to the rabbit. So I would never advise you to use paintball gun on rabbits.

What will happen if you shoot a cat with a paintball gun?

Cats generally have a more thick skin than the rabbits and birds hence it wouldn’t kill the cats. But definitely, if the paintball hits on the bare skin, it would hurt a lot. So, never try this on your pet cats too.

What will happen if you shoot a squirrel with a paintball gun?

Squirrels are tiny delicate creatures and paintball can lead to various fractures in squirrel’s body. As squirrels are too mobile creatures like birds hence, it would disturb their habitat. So that is why probably squirrels won’t die of the direct hit but chances are they can die of dehydration.


Birds are difficult to manage because they are very mobile, the ability to exploit a variety of habitats. These balls are not that painful, but if it hits a bare skin of sensitive body part at a high speed, direct angle and at close range it would certainly hurt.

Under criminal code section 445.1, any person causing unnecessary pain or suffering of an animal or bird is liable for a five years imprisonment or a $ 10,000 fine. There is no justification in amusing oneself by shooting a bird with a paintball- not only is it inhumane and illegal, it serves no useful purpose.

There are precaution measures and safety measures players can avoid or minimize pain like the use of protective clothing and safe range. The position is important in this game. Never run into middle field blindly without a plan. Remember this is a team game, not individual.

Always have an idea of where your opponents are at all times. Agree to surrender especially for beginners, without fear of being shot painfully by the more experienced. This rule allows players the option to surrender if an opponent has a direct shot. The player should verbally surrender and raise hands to avoid being hit.

However, as an opponent, it is safe to fire at the foot when at close range to minimize pain .safety rules should be explained before the play.

Most sensitive areas are the neck, head, thighs, and hands. Paintball gloves are a necessity to protect hands. Top of the hand is more vulnerable to shots when clawing towards the opponent.

For rabbits, birds and other animals don’t have this precaution measures. They are also not aware of the game rules, hence they are more vulnerable to being hurt or even killed. This game should be played outdoors in an open field or indoors where there is no risk of injuring unnecessary people or animals.