Possums will mainly eat household pets and small animals since it’s an omnivorous animal living in the wild. The marsupial animal is gentle and calm. But do possums eat cats?
Most homeowners receive possum as dirty scavengers and pests, but NO, possums don’t eat cats – instead, they’ll feel threatened by the kitty pets and most likely run away. However, possums can spread diseases to cats.
- Possums will disturb your peace by digging in the yard or garden to get berries, grapes, nuts, fruits, and other produce.
Possums? How do they Behave?
Despite that possums won’t kill or eat cats, they’re harmful as they’ll injure humans, animals, or even cats – especially when threatened.
- The possum will defend itself by playing dead, teeth-display, hissing, and growling.
Further, the marsupial animal will damage the structural esthetics of your home as they build nests and invade the house.
Further, possums will destroy your nuts, green plants, and fruits while also leaving foul odors and stinky droppings around the home and yard.
Opossums: Are they the Unsung Heroes?
Opossums are beneficial as they’ll eradicate bugs like ticks, mice, rats, and cockroaches; besides eating carrion (dead animals), garbage cans, compost, and clean up over-ripe fruits.
- Possums are excellent groomers, as thus, they’ll kile over 95% of ticks attempting to bite them. So, if the animals move around the yard, it’ll exterminate many ticks.
- Possums will control the deer tick (among 5,000+ ticks ) that may cause Lyme disease – the animals work like vacuum cleaners for ticks.
Besides, opossums will eat and control snakes around the home and are resistant to their venom – including that from rattlesnakes and copperheads.
In the evening shift, the opossums are described as nocturnal and solitary – they’ll occupy cavities and burrows or even under trees. But they may lie and freeze when harmed or frightened.
Can Possums Give Diseases to Cats?
Possums can give diseases or causes infection to cats, humans, and dogs. So, you’ll require to vaccinate cats against leptospirosis and clean up feces and urine with bleach.
- Further, wear protective gloves as you handle the Possums, their feces, or urine.
However, opossums won’t prey or attack larger mammals or cats (unless cornered) but will feed on carrion or fresh meat.
- Possums carry diseases like coccidiosis, toxoplasmosis, tularemia, relapsing fever – but possums don’t carry rabies.
So, is it advisable to have possums around the house? Well, opossums may be risky in some ways but still beneficial as they’ll eat pests like snakes, rats, and roaches.
- The urine and feces of possums could be infected and thus spread diseases such as toxoplasmosis – or even contaminate soil or water.
- Further, the animals could transfer coccidiosis when the cats contact the possum’s diarrhea or feces.
Possums could transmit diseases that may affect the cat’s respiratory tract (or trigger ulcers), such as tularemia, Chagas, trichomoniasis, and tuberculosis.
Is it legal to kill a possum? What about Humanely?
First, possums are legally protected under the NPW Act 1974 – you can’t kill or catch them (even if you mean to release them later) with no license.
- Possums live an average of 1 to 2 years but can do up to 4 years, but don’t kill them – mainly when you see their destructive habits.
But you can humanely euthanize the possums with fire or carbon dioxide gas. These methods allow the instant killing of the animal without causing it excessive torture.
But there are other techniques you can use to remove pets without harming them;
- Remove holes, dilapidated structures, and brush piles – this helps eliminate the animal’s hiding areas.
- Don’t leave ready, rotten, or ripe crops and fruits on the yard or garden – so harvest the crops and fruits on time.
- Clear the trash and pet food from around the yard or house before nightfall.
So, if you get a possum that is hurt, what should you do? Well, seek advice and help from animal control, veterinarians, wildlife department, or Opossum Society.
Read Also: Do Possums Eat Chickens?
Feline Predators? What Animals Eat House Cats?
Animals that can kill or prey on your cat include stronger or larger animals that live outdoors, including coyotes, wolves, and cougars.
- Other smaller animals prey on cats, such as owls, hawks, snakes (constrictors & venomous), and eagles.
Further, dog breeds (like wild dogs) will equally prey on cats, but domesticated dogs won’t hunt your cats.
Finally, some animals will attack cats while defending themselves – but it can be fatal to cats. Some of them include venomous creatures like spiders, scorpions, and snakes.
- So, animals that’ll hunt your cat for food include foxes, mountain lions, raccoons, and coyotes – they’ll hunt for the weak, defenseless, and young cats.
Besides, other predators include microscopic organisms like flatworms, which will attack cats.
- Others are bacteria that have mutualism with the cat. – in their digestive tract.
Boas and pythons pose a danger to cats – they’ll ambush the felling pets. The snakes use heat-sensing and smell pits around the cat’s food.
Possums won’t hunt or eat cats – but they’re beneficial to farmers and homeowners as they’ll assist maintain yards by feeding on crop-damaging insects and pests like snails, rats, and slugs.