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During the summer months, snakes are found slithering in yards or bushes. Cats, curious by nature, are going to want to investigate these creatures. It’s very common for a cat to attack a snake by nature. But, do cats eat snakes?
Cats do eat snakes and have a high tolerance to snake venom. However, most cats will only attack snakes, but not eat them. Cats bitten by venomous snakes are at risk of serious health issues.
Cats see snakes as enemies, and snakes see cats as enemies, so it’s likely they will avoid each other. It’s important to know the risks of cats when they encounter snakes, especially poisonous ones.
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Can A Cat Keep Snakes Away
At its most basic level, cats can keep snakes away. However, this isn’t always the case!
Cats and snakes are mostly enemies. Snakes do see cats as predators, and because of this, snakes will avoid cats. The thing is, snakes also really enjoy comfy homes with a lot of food sources.
Landscaping has a lot to do with whether or not a snake wants to live in your yard. Popular landscaping choices such as water features, large rocks, and lush greenery are prime real estate for a snake. These various features give a snake a place to hide and keep their eggs.
Another thing most landscaping provides is a space for common prey that snakes like to hunt. Small animals such as various rodents, burrow in cool and lush environments. Another animal that is commonly seen are birds, which are also a prey animal for snakes.
A final factor to consider is if your cat even wants to hunt them. If a snake is spotted in the garden, your cat might not even care enough to get after it. Some cats are a little more on the wild side, but others not so much.
All in all, your cat may drive away snakes. That being said, it is not guaranteed; in fact, it isn’t a reliable method at all.
Can Cats Kill Venomous Snakes
Cats definitely can kill any type of snake. They are quick, agile, and smart, making them a fierce opponent of a snake. This does include venomous snakes because they can avoid the quick bite that deposits the toxins. That being said, it is very risky for a cat to tangle with a snake, especially a venomous one.
When hunting, cats will usually stalk and circle their prey. This prevents the snake, or another animal, from escaping. The cat will generally swat and then jump back to avoid any attack from the snake. A scratch itself from a cat could kill a snake. A lot of dirt and germs can get caught in the hook of the cat’s nail. This debris is then transferred into the bloodstream of a snake and ultimately kills it.
Another way a cat can kill any type of snake is simply from stress. Reptiles are relatively fragile creatures. Stress can lead to other health concerns that can end up killing the snake.
Even though cats have the skillset to avoid a venomous snake, it is extremely risky for cats. It is more important that your pet is safe!
Are Cats Resistant To Snake Venom
Cat’s aren’t necessarily resistant to snake venom. However, they have a higher tolerance than dogs do.
Cats are curious, and during the summer months, there are more snakes to be curious about. If you allow your cat to be outside where snakes are more common, there is a higher chance that your cat will get bit. Even if you don’t live in a dense snake area, there are over 20 types of venomous snakes in the United States and at least one per state (minus Alaska).
The following are symptoms of a venomous snake bite in a cat:
● Sudden weakness
● Bunny hopping- If the back or front legs begin to stiffen from paralysis, your cat will jump like a bunny
● Dilated pupils
● Loss of bowel and bladder control
● Paralysis- this comes in two forms. A rigid paralysis or soft. Soft paralysis is when the cat is loose and floppy.
Thankfully cats are more resistant to a snake bite than other animals. It is still crucial that you take them to the vet immediately. If you can, tell the vet what type of snake it was and where the bite was found. This way, the vet can give the proper antivenin. If not, don’t worry. There is a multi-antivenin to treat a variety of snake bites.
What Happens If A Cat Eats A Snake
No matter what the animal is, salmonella is always a risk when eating raw meat. Aside from that, it depends on the snake.
First, let’s distinguish what venomous versus poisonous is. Venomous animals inject a toxin when they bite you. Poisonous animals give you the toxin when you bite them (such as eating the animal).
If a cat bites into a venomous snake, there will not be any toxins ingested. If anything, certain bacterias can get into the cat and cause health problems. If you notice your cat is sick, take them to the vet immediately.
If the snake is poisonous and your cat eats it, then they will exhibit several of the same symptoms if they had gotten bit. The toxins are still in their body either way. In addition to that, there again could be bacteria that the cat ingests.
If the snake is not poisonous or venomous, the worst-case scenario is that your cat gets an upset tummy or infection.
Again, if you notice any health concerns following a cat eating a snake, take them to a vet immediately.
Are Snakes Afraid Of Cats
Snakes are afraid of cats, which seems odd to people. Most people see cats as their cuddly companion and snakes as the enemy. From a snake’s perspective, this is wildly flawed.
A snake has one method of attack- striking. They are also low to the ground, making cats the bigger animal. Cat cats are larger, but they also have claws, teeth, climbing abilities, agility, and speed. This multi able creature can terrify a snake.
This also depends on the type of snake. Common North American snakes are more likely to be afraid of cats than tropical boas would be. However, most of the time, cats are the predator, not the prey.
That being said, snakes will still try to hold their ground. They show they are on the defensive by hissing, striking, and in some cases, rattling. These are all signals to the cat to stay away from them.
In any case, snakes will do their best to avoid cats. Unless the cat is extremely curious, likely, the cat will also avoid the snake.
Cats are pretty good at keeping snakes away for the most part. Snakes and cats are more on the enemy side than the friend side. Most of the time, they simply prefer to avoid each other.
There may be times where your cat gets a bit curious and will antagonize a snake. A venomous snake will strike to protect itself. Thankfully, cats are more resistant to a snake bite and will likely survive if taken to the vet immediately. If a cat eats a snake, there may be complications if it is poisonous. If not, the most that could happen is bacteria getting into your cat’s digestive tract. Raw meat always carries the possibility of salmonella, so watch out for those symptoms.
In any case, it is best to separate snakes and cats. If your cat loves the outdoors, make sure you check your yard for snakes and change the landscape to best suit your cat and their safety.