Besides eating fruits, seeds, nuts, and plants, possums eat small animals like voles, hamsters, and rats. If you have little kittens in your home and possums lurking around your home, that information might scare you. Kittens are only slightly bigger than the typical rodent prey of possums. So, of course, you might be asking yourself, “do possums eat kittens?”
Do possums eat kittens?
Under normal circumstances, possums will not eat kittens. Possums are generally non-confrontational, so as much as they can, they will avoid animals – such as cats – that can confront them. However, if a possum has nothing else to eat, hunger may force it to hunt, kill, and eat a kitten.
Going by the answer in the previous paragraph, possums are not outright predators of kittens. This leaves you with many other questions like, “do possums and kittens get along?” Well, if you read this article to the end, you will find the answers you seek.
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Why Possums Might Eat Kittens
Possums are unlikely to eat kittens. However, if their circumstance drives them to, they may have no choice but to eat kittens.
In general, possums are timid animals. They are non-confrontational, so they would rather not hunt or attack animals about their size or larger than them. But when there is dire food scarcity, possums may throw caution to the wind and go after animals like kittens.
The success of such attacks on kittens depends on the presence or absence of a deterrent. In other words, a possum may only successfully attack, kill, and eat your kitten if you or the mother cat is not around.
For obvious reasons, if a possum tries to attack your kitten while the mother cat is around, it might end up dead. But knowing possums, they will probably stay away from kittens under such conditions.
Do Possums Eat Cats?
Possums do not eat cats. While they are omnivores, cats are not their natural prey animals. That being said, while possums may not eat cats, they are a potential threat to cats.
Even though possums are generally timid and gentle, they may attack cats if they perceive the cats as a threat. Of course, cats are predators and hunters by nature, so you expect them to win a fight against possums. But then, their victory may not be flawless as possums may still injure them in a brawl. The chances of a possum injuring a cat are even higher if they attack in numbers.
Obviously, if your cat gets injured, its victory against the possum would be the least of your concern. So, as much as you can, protect your cats against attacks from possums.
Besides physically injuring cats, possums can make cats sick, and this can be deadly. Possums carry various diseases that can affect cats. Some of them include:
- Chagas disease
- Spotted fever
- Relapsing fever
Most of the diseases stated above are typically transmitted through the urine and feces of an infected possum. But there’s a chance that possums can pass them on when they scratch or bite. This is especially true for rabies – rabies virus is typically present in the saliva. So, if a rabid possum bites your cat, things might get ugly for your beloved feline.
Besides the diseases listed above, possums may also expose your cat to parasitic infestations. In other words, your cat may get mites, ticks, fleas, or lice from an infested possum.
The summary here is to try to keep your cats away from possums as much as you can. Do not let your cat confront possums, and do not let your cat come in contact with possum pee or poop. Also, do not let your cat get close to soil or water that a possum may have contaminated.
Do Possums and Kittens Get Along?
In many cases, possums can live peacefully with adult cats. They may not be best buddies, but they will tolerate each other.
Since possums and adult cats can tolerate each other, possums and kittens may just get along fine. Even at that, we do not recommend keeping possums alongside cats or kittens. Possums are timid and unlikely to start a fight. But cats are pretty much the opposite. Unfortunately, if a cat starts threatening a possum, a fight might break out, and their cohabitation would go awry quickly.
What Animal Will Kill and Eat Kittens?
When it comes to keeping your kitten safe, possums may not be the scariest threat. The following animals will kill and eat kittens:
- Some dog breeds
The animals listed above are natural predators of cats. So they are more likely to attack a kitten than a possum.
Under normal conditions, possums do not eat kittens. They will not even try to hunt kittens or confront them. However, if there comes a time when a possum has nothing else to eat, it may try to eat a kitten.