Do cats eat turtles?

Turtles have a number of predators. These reptiles are rather high on the animal food chain. Some of a turtle’s predators are crows and other wading birds, opossums, raccoons, skunks, frogs and snakes. It is not uncommon for people to have pets of different shapes and sizes. The pets would have different personalities as well. A family can have dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits and turtle pets. Dogs are known to eat turtles. Can cats eat turtles too? Pumas and other large cats eat turtles. Domestic cats can eat the soft shelled turtles or pet turtles the size of a silver dollar. However, a cat that managed to separate the turtle from its shell and eat the meat would be one very persistent and vicious predator of this slow moving reptile.

Turtles are very low maintenance pet. There are many reasons why people would keep pets. Dogs and cats make loving and loyal companions. Dogs would double up as guards. Some people would choose a not so ordinary kind of pet for the novelty factor and for the entertainment they will provide. Turtles belong to this category. Turtle pet owners would know that the pet would not bond with them just like a dog or a cat will do. But turtles would not need to be walked nor would these pets demand interaction with the family. Turtles are similar to gold fish. These kinds of pets would provide the owner hours of entertainment simply by watching the movements of the pet. Needless to say, turtles would need to be fed. Young turtles are carnivores. As they get older, they become omnivores thus they would eat insects, small amounts of cooked meat and fish, worms, vegetables and even flowers. Turtles are slow moving thus they practically do not have a way of protecting themselves from predators. Of course, they have their bony outer shell. Turtles have a hard shell that covers the ventral and the dorsal surface of the body. This shell would protect a turtle from smaller predators like cats and to some extent from raccoons and skunks but not from dogs and large cats. Dogs and large cats have the ability to gnaw bones thus it is very possible for these large predators to get to the turtles meat.

What about domestic cats…do our feline friends eat turtles too? Turtles, especially the bigger ones are hunted. The shells are made into jewelries and ornaments. The eggs and the meat are eaten. Cats are obligate carnivores. The pet cat can certainly eat the meat of a turtle if the shell is removed. A domestic cat that has found a turtle in the garden pond would find it very difficult to get to this reptile because of the shell. Apart from the innate hunting ability, cats are very curious animals. Domestic cats don’t need to hunt for food because the food bowl is regularly filled by the loving owner. However, these well fed cats would still hunt…these cats enjoy the chase more than they love eating the prey. A cat would have a very frustrating day if it has found a turtle for a prey. The slow moving turtle would simply need to hide inside the shell and no matter how hard the cat tries, it would not come out. A very persistent cat though can kill the turtle by chewing the shell. Cats are natural hunters…cats would stalk their prey. A cat can wound a turtle by biting any body part that is not fully covered by the shell. A cat that has been staring at the turtle can easily snap its mouth when the turtle’s head peeps out from the shell. Cats can also torture (and eat) small turtles and hatchlings.

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