Are you looking for simple yet effective ways to get rid of snakes? The idea of getting a few cats may have crossed your mind. In this article, I will help you understand if that is a good idea.
Can cats kill snakes? The simple answer is yes. However, it is a little more complicated than it sounds. Even though cats can kill snakes, not all cats may be interested in hunting. Most cats love to play. They are unlikely to spend time hunting for snakes.
Do you have a snake problem in your property? Or are you trying to avoid the problem? You may have lots of questions. Cats have always been praised for their ability to keep pests away. You may be wondering if they can help keep snakes away too. Keep reading to find out.
Can Cats Kill Snakes?
Cats are all different. While some love to hunt and play around, others may prefer to stay indoors. They may not necessarily be the best way to keep snakes away from your property. However, cats remain a popular option for fighting snakes.
There are lots of ways that pet cats can help you get rid of snakes. Some of them include;
- The Small of their Urine
The smell of cat urine is unpleasant. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, their urine has a strong smell that keeps away snakes, bugs, and rodents. If you have a few cats, the ammonia in their urine may be enough to keep snakes away.
- Food Competition
Snakes feed on large insects and mice. Cats also eat the same. If you introduce cats into your home, they will be competing with snakes for food. Food scarcity may force the snakes to move out of your property.
Some cats like to hunt. They have a natural instinct to hunt anything that may seem like prey. Even though they may not eat snakes, they like to kill them and play around with them. Snakes that run away will encourage your cat to keep chasing them. If they don’t kill them, your cats may scar snakes enough to send them out of your property.
House cats are good at catching snakes. Their agility and quick reflexes come in handy. In fact, house cats have a much higher kill rate than other members of the cat family. Even kittens have a natural ability to hunt and kill snakes especially when hungry.
- Natural Fear
Most snakes are naturally afraid of cats. They prefer to stay away from animals that are larger than themselves. If you allow your cat to go outside, its presence may be enough to scare snakes out of your garden. However, you should be very careful about this.
Cats and snakes are natural enemies. If the snake can’t get away, it may try to protect itself. Even though snakes are afraid of cats, venomous snakes may jeopardize the life of your cat.
- Cats can Sense the Presence of Snakes
Even though cats do not necessarily have a sixth sense to detect the presence of snakes, they can detect the presence of an enemy. When they detect the presence of snakes, they automatically get in to fight mode. Cats can detect the presence of snakes in your property long before you do.
- Cats are Loyal
Even though cats are predatory and mean in nature, they can be very loving and loyal to their owners. If they like you, they will go out of their way to protect you. If your cat notices a snake hiding somewhere in the room, they are likely to warn you. Even if they don’t necessarily kill the snake, they may save your life.
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Can Snakes Attack Your Cat
Snakes are highly unlikely to attack your cat. However, they may instinctively protect themselves when attacked.
Snakes are afraid of animals that appear larger than them. Generally, your cat is more likely to attack the snake. Snakes only respond in defence.
Some snakes may kill your cat. I suggest that you identify the type of snakes in your property before getting a cat. Giant or poisonous snakes may kill your cat. If your cat has been bitten by a snake, it may exhibit the following symptoms;
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Increased aggression
- Puncture wounds and bleeding
- Drops of blood in the urine
- Discoloured gums
- Muscle weakness
- Dilated pupils
- Temporary paralysis or reduced coordination
If your cat exhibits these symptoms, you need to take action as soon as possible. Perform first aid and seek the help of a vet. Apply pressure to the wounded area and place an ice pack on swollen parts. Even though washing out the venom may sound like a good idea, it isn’t. It causes the poison to spread faster. Take immediate action if the cat was bitten close to its heart.
The vet will examine your cat and determine the best treatment option. If your cat was bitten, the vet will try to determine the exact type of snake using a detection kit. Treatments vary from one cat to another depending on the severity of the bite, the type of snake, and how rapidly the symptoms may be progressing. Some cats may require supplementation of oxygen until the venom wears off.
If a vet gives your cat an antivenene, it neutralizes the existing venom. It is not a vaccination against future bites.
Do not worry if your cat sustained a snake bite. About 80% of cats survive snake bites if they receive treatment fast. The probability of your cat surviving a snake bite depends on how fast it is treated. Complete recovery may take 24 to 48 hours.
Can Snakes and Cats Co-Exist?
Cats and snakes cannot exist together as they are natural enemies. Cats hunt and kill snakes for food or for fun. Some snakes are poisonous. Their bites could potentially be fatal.
Cats are encouraged to attack snakes if they seem scared. Keeping snakes and cats in the same home may not be a good idea.
Even though the nature of cats is more predatory than snakes, snakes can eat cats as well. Snakes such as pythons can get as big as 15 feet. They can swallow your cat. Boas are also likely to eat your cat especially if it provokes them.
When cats and snakes live together, they may be in constant fear of each other. The fear and nervousness are not good for your cat’s health.
Even though there are exceptional cases when cats and snakes may be friends, they generally don’t belong together.
Other Tips to Keep Snakes Away From Your Home
Even though cats may be an effective way to keep snakes away from your home, they are not your only option. If snakes are common in your area, take precautions before you have a problem. The following tips may help you keep snakes away.
- Clear Debris
If there are piles of leaves, grass, or debris in your lawn, they may be a hiding place for snakes. Getting rid of them may help you keep snakes away from your property.
If you have a pile of unburnt wood, it may be a place for snakes to hide. Always keep your grass short. Long grass is a desirable breeding ground for snakes.
- Be Careful With Birdhouses
If there are lots of birdhouses in your property, you are highly likely to have snakes. Certain birds attract snakes such as grey rat snakes. If you have a birdhouse on your tree or fence, you are basically inviting snakes. Place them on wooden or metal poles instead. Ensure that your poles have some sort of a conical barrier.
- Don’t Have Food Lying Around
If you have pets, feed them inside the house. The presence of food outside your home may attract snakes. If you have any fruit trees, pick up fallen fruits as often as you can. They attract rodents which are a source of food snakes.
- Inspect Your Home Frequently
Inspect your home as often as you can. Check for cracks and openings where snakes may get in. If there are any cracks in your foundation, have them sealed as soon as possible. Cracks may let in rodents or snakes.
- Get Rid of Your Garden Pond
Even though ponds are a fun addition to your garden, they may attract animals such as frogs. They attract snakes that may get into your house.
- Hire a Professional
If you have trouble keeping snakes out of your property, you may have no choice but to seek the help of a professional. They will recommend solutions to get rid of snakes in safe and effective ways.
In summary, cats do an incredible job in pest control. They may be a great way to get rid of snakes from your property. If you choose to let your cat roam outdoors, they should have a collar with your contact information. Look out for signs of snake bites and treat them as soon as possible.
Article by Barbara Read
Barbara Read is the heart and soul behind CatBeep.com. From her early love for cats to her current trio of feline companions, Barbara's experiences shape her site's tales and tips. While not a vet, her work with shelters offers a unique perspective on cat care and adoption.