Do cats eat squirrels? The short and simple answer is: yes, cats do eat squirrels. Although squirrels are not a cat’s direct enemy, cats are predators. If you present a cat with an opportunity to hunt a squirrel for its lunch, it will gladly do so. Virtually any species that are smaller in size than cats would cause their hunting instincts to trigger. Cats would often even hunt squirrels for fun.
It’s true for a cat to prey upon small mammals, such as rats, mice, birds, and other small prey, but it’s not unheard of for a cat to hunt a squirrel. Cats like to have fun. They enjoy the thrill of the chase. Squirrels are generally easy to pursue and kill. Therefore, a cat would deliberately attempt to chase down a squirrel if the latter tries to run away. Feral cats are even more likely to kill squirrels because of their wild instincts.
Where Do Squirrels Live?
There isn’t much difference between a cat’s and a squirrel’s habitat. They can both live everywhere in the world. However, the area of their habitat depends on their type. Tree squirrels, for example, prefer to live in wooded areas because it is instinctive for them. Ground squirrels prefer living underground by digging tunnels and caves as their habitat. Squirrels can live near houses, albeit between trees and underground. For this reason alone, no wonder why cats see them eye to eye frequently. As a result, cats and their wild counterparts wouldn’t take long to attack these little squirrels. Their instinctual traits can help locate squirrels both in a tree and underground.
Are Squirrels Afraid of Cats?
Squirrels aren’t exactly afraid of cats, but they are mindful of them. They have every reason to be aware of – not just the cats but larger predators as well. Although squirrels are lightning-fast, cats are more powerful and larger. On top of that, they are excellent hunters because of their naturally gifted hunting abilities. By nature, squirrels are not aggressive. They are harmless, and they steer clear of others’ business. They try their best to hide from large predators such as cats, especially feral cats. However, expect a cornered squirrel to fight back. Squirrels have sharp claws that allow them to defend themselves if a predator attacks them.
Do Squirrels Carry Diseases To Cats?
If you have a pet cat, there is a high chance its immune system will be weak compared to that of outdoor cats, such as the feral cat. Therefore, upon killing a squirrel and eating it, there is a high chance your cat will catch diseases. Squirrels carry several diseases such as rabies, brain worms, typhus, and plague. There is very little chance that your cat will catch one of them. Another possibility is parasites.
Squirrels are wild prey, prone to infestation with mites, ticks, fleas, and many other external parasites. If your cat successfully hunts a squirrel and eats it, it’s super convenient for the internal parasites to pass into the cat’s body. What’s even more dangerous is that it wouldn’t take long for a cat to pass these diseases on to you or your baby living in your house. Within no time, you wouldn’t notice, but this can potentially turn into a more significant community sickness. It would be best if you were super vigilant about your cat-eating squirrels.
What Should You Do if Your Cat Eats a Squirrel?
Since squirrels are zoonotic animals, that means not only do they carry different diseases; they can easily transmit them to others. If your cat eats a squirrel, there is a high chance it will catch the disease and fall ill. It can even die from the potential sickness. Domestic cats are not as strong compared to the ones outside. For example, a feral cat will have a higher immunity because of constantly encountering dangerous challenges out. That is why doctors recommend taking your pet cat to the vet as soon as it eats a squirrel. Only the vet will be able to operate and determine if there is a risk of potential illness.
How Can You Stop Your Cat From Killing Squirrels?
The only way to protect both parties is by keeping your cat on the other side of the door. Since squirrels are harmless creatures, they are not one of those animals which will attack a predator ten times as large as cats. However, cats do not share the same concept. Cats are carnivores by nature, and, therefore, they need meat to survive. As a result, if they get an opportunity to go outside and have fun with the squirrels, they wouldn’t think twice. Another popular way to stop killing squirrels is by making cats easier for the squirrels to spot.
People often put their cats in brightly colored collars with bells attached to them to alert prey. Even though this might cut down the number of potential kills, it will still not prevent your cat from killing the squirrels since the cat has excellent hunting traits. Even though it’s not the most effective way to stop squirrel killing, you should still ensure your cat is wearing a bright-colored collar. Not only would it lower the squirrel killing, but it would also make the retrieval easier if your cat escaped the house.
Conclusion For “Do Cats Eat Squirrels”
A cat will eat a squirrel if given the opportunity. Your pet cat is more likely to catch and kill a baby squirrel as they are not so intelligent and efficient. But the same can’t be said for the wild cats that you often see outside, such as feral cats. However, try taking your cat to the vet immediately if it eats a squirrel. Squirrels carry several diseases that can seriously cause sickness, not only to your pet cat but also to your house. Therefore, prevent your cat from sneaking outside to avoid wild encounters that will not only affect your cat but potentially your household too.
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You can watch “Cat Chasing a Squirrel” from empele10 to see a cat’s behavior towards these little creatures: