Do cats eat squirrels?

Cats are finicky eaters…some are downright cautious with what they will ingest. Before food is sampled, the cat would do a lot of pawing and sniffing. These animals are obligate carnivores. This means that a cat’s diet should primarily contain animal based protein. Cats would therefore eat any kind of meat. Cats are often depicted as rat and mice eaters but these feline friends would eat meat of other preys as well. A cat would eat birds and bunnies…cats would eat squirrels too.

Squirrels are commonly seen everywhere. Squirrels are found in woodlands and in city parks. These animals are also found around people’s homes especially near bird feeders. These mammals are omnivores…they eat plants and flowers, insects, eggs and baby birds. Of course squirrels are commonly known as nut eaters. These cute furry animals are excellent climbers. Tree squirrels are typically solitary animals. Ground squirrels though usually work together. Save from flight, squirrels have very few defenses against predators. Through a kind of whistling call, squirrels would warn each other of the presence of predators and of an approaching danger.

Squirrels are classified as rodents. Cats are rodent hunters. Cats have sharp teeth, sensitive hearing abilities and excellent night vision. The ability to move stealthily is one of the reasons why cats are excellent hunters. This hunting ability is actually the reason why cats were domesticated. The innate hunting ability appears to wane a bit with domestication. Indoor cats have very few opportunities to hunt. Because there is no need to hunt for food, hunting turns into a play activity for the cat. Cats would not kill the prey at once. It would release the prey and let it run freely for a while and then capture it again and often times bat it with its paw. Squirrels are cute animals and the cat’s toying with this prey can irritate humans as it would be considered as a cruel game more so if the cat would leave when the squirrel is killed. Well fed cats usually have no inclination to eat its hunted prey.

Cats have different personalities. While some would just toy with the squirrel, others would eat the prey. Cats after all, are meat eaters…cats are strict carnivores. If cats can eat rabbits which are much bigger, then the smaller squirrels can certainly be eaten. Squirrels are typically about 7 to 10 cm in length. Cats would eat the squirrel and most would leave only the tail. Eating squirrel and other kinds of prey is more common in feral and in stray cats. Well fed cat may lose the interest once the squirrel is killed. It would be different for homeless cats that need to scavenge for food from trash cans would not pass up the chance to eat meat. These cats would enjoy eating the squirrel.

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