How often do cats get killed and disemboweled by wild animals? We need help trying to decide if our cat was killed by some wild animal or worse; by an insane human. Then we need help in trying to decide what to do.
He never went farther than the next door neighbor’s homes on either side of us. We put up posters all over, ran ads in the newspapers, went to all the neighbors, not just the ones next to us, and looked in ALL areas that were woodsy… as we live in town.
Then this morning, on the cement patio right outside our back door… where we go out on several times a day… there he was. There were no other signs that he had been bitten, broken, anything… just his abdominal contents removed. Can’t understand how he would have come home, AFTER THREE WEEKS, and been killed by a wild animal on our steps.
BUT the alternative is that some sick person had him and killed him, and put him on our patio right where we would find him for some sick reason scares us. There was a nut that came up to my daughter about 4 weeks ago and hit her repeatedly in the face, until she called the police. Then there was cyber bulling that was hateful after that, and before the cat/kitten went missing.
I’m just hoping that this happens to cats more than I am aware of, for reasons that don’t involve sick humans. I found my cat, Samantha, dead on the side of the yard, dead with her belly cut open… some of her guts lying on the grass. It happened late at night, early morning… there was no blood on her fur or on the ground.
Editor’s note: I’m very sorry for your loss, Carl.
What animal would have killed my cat?
They will be killed by coyotes, eagles, owls, raccoons, dogs and otters. Two cats were killed by an otter when the cats got to close to their nest. Cars and humans also kill cats. PAWS regularly sees cats which have gunshot wounds or vehicular injuries.
How do I know if my coyote has killed my cat?
Tracks. Look for coyote tracks in the area where your pet was attacked. ….Scat. Coyotes may leave scat, otherwise known as feces or droppings, behind if they have been on your property. ….Wounds. Coyotes typically bite larger animals directly behind the throat or jugular area. ….Prey Was Eaten.
Do coyotes eat the entire cat?
Being extraordinarily adaptive opportunist survivors, coyotes indeed will eat domestic cats and small dogs, as well as a wide range of rodents and other smaller wild animals.
Do raccoons attack and kill cats?
Most raccoons will kill cats for sports, even though larger cats have a good sense to steer clear of the raccoons, but the hunting skills of the raccoons make them so fast . … Aside from smaller cats and dogs, raccoons have been found to attack other animals such as birds, and even fishes in the pond.
It is common to find a house cat sleeping during the daylight hours, growing significantly more active after dark. Cats enjoy the quiet of the night. With fewer people around,
Large predatory animals that prey on cats include cougars, wolves, and coyotes. Additionally, many comparatively small animals, including eagles, snakes (venomous and constrictors), hawks, and owls, hunt cats for food.
Carnivorous predators are broken up into two further types: those that primarily scavenge carcasses and hunt and kill prey independently. Herbivorous predators, like krill, horses, and porcupines, consume autotrophs (plants and algae). The final two types of predators involve small, sometimes microscopic, organisms living within another animal.
This means that the parasite deprives the host of essential nutrients to the point where its health declines. The majority of snake species wouldnt consider an adult cat to be a source of food. Many large, nonvenomous snakes found in the U.S., such as boa constrictors, started off life as domestic pets.
Research published in Biological Invasions notes that Burmese pythons are established in Florida. As ambush predators, they will remain motionless and silent until a prey animal wanders too close. Eastern and western diamondbacks have hemotoxic venom that causes tissue damage and attacks red blood cells.
The Journal of Wildlife Management found that coyotes actively prey upon cats, especially during the pup-rearing season. Individuals will prey upon smaller animals, such as squirrels, rodents, birds, and even domestic cats. As noted in the Journal of Forestry Research , wolves were almost driven to extinction through habitat loss and hunting.
Before total extinction, it was recognized that wolves were an essential part of the ecosystem for prey population control. A camera was set up to monitor a nest and captured footage of a cat being eaten by a family of bald eagles. The Bureau of Land Management notes that the bald eagle is the second largest bird of prey found in North America.
Cougars, also known as pumas and mountain lions, primarily hunt deer, coyotes, porcupines, elk, and raccoons. Prey is usually killed by being crushed by this powerful grip, trauma caused by the talons, or a quick bite to the neck. Given that cats are similar in size to raccoons and like to explore when its dark, it puts them at risk of being preyed upon by an owl.
It may also find a comfortable perch and wait for a suitable animal to cross its field of vision. Before thousands of years of selective breeding, cats were quite effective at hunting large rodents, like rats. A raccoon can overpower an adult cat during territorial disputes or fights over food.
However, the venom can cause reactions local to the bite, creating internal and open wounds. Spider venom can also cause other symptoms to emerge as the body fights against a toxic substance. With venom that causes paralysis and respiratory failure, a lack of treatment is a death sentence for a cat.
Copperheads A common snake in North America with a mild bite, for a pit viper. Due to its highly potent hemotoxic and neurotoxic venom, it is considered the most toxic of all rattlesnakes one of the most dangerous snakes in the Western Hemisphere.
I rescued this cat, wonderful 1 1/2 year old kitten, however he was used to the outdoors, and went crazy when inside, he befriended my dog, and were great pals, however yesterday an animal attacked him and the injuries were severe and in his belly, genital area, whatever attacked this cat, tore him up something fierce, I had my son take him to the vet, and he was put to sleep, I would like to know if someone out there knows what kind of animal will attack the belly area. I m devastated by the death of this beautiful and healthy animal, he was an outside cat, only because he was truly miserable indoors, he used to walk behind my dog and I when I took my dog for his walks, and they played together, I just need to know how this happen. If anyone out there can shed some light I will truly appreciated.
A few weeks ago, a Pit Bull killed the resident cat at my vet’s office when the owner brought the animal into the hospital without a muzzle and leash. A coyote or a dog would have dragged him off or would have torn him apart, we finally concluded it was most likely a raccoon who was attracted by his food.
I can’t hurt him, but just want him to go.I’ve another cat to get spayed in a month or two, and she’s so small that I’m worried about this enormous tom. We only have dogs as far as predators go, here in France, but they hunt 3 days a week, and I’m terrified each time, that one of my cats won’t come back. Finally, one night, DH heard a rustling in the bushes by the tree and shined a flashlight out the side of the screen room.
My God, 6 tails by the feeding bowls and she watched the racoons finish eating the cats?
Lets talk about the multifaceted problem of outdoor cats. Its a problem everywhere, not just on Bainbridge. Its actually less a problem on Bainbridge than many other places in the country. But it is a problem on a number of different levels.
They carry diseases that impact on other wildlife and other cats such as Panleukopenia, Corona Virus, and Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Thirty years ago it was completely socially acceptable if you had a dog you could let it free roam the neighborhood.
Some of the things that PAWS has done during the 10 years Ive been with the organization is to eradicate four major feral cat colonies on Bainbridge Island.
Do Cats Have Natural Predators?
Predators eat other organisms. The different types of predators are defined by what the predator eats and how it harvests that food. The four main types of predators are carnivorous, herbivorous, parasitic, and mutualistic.A carnivorous predator must hunt and kill its prey. Carnivorous predators are broken up into two further types: those that primarily scavenge carcasses and hunt and kill prey independently. There are many carnivorous predators, including wolves, cougars, owls, and snakes. Herbivorous predators, like krill, horses, and porcupines, consume autotrophs (plants and algae).The final two types of predators involve small, sometimes microscopic, organisms living within another animal. For example, flatworms living within a domestic cat. Mutualism is when this smaller organism lives in harmony with its host and causes no harm. An example is the bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Parasitism, however, can impact or even kill the host. This means that the parasite deprives the host of essential nutrients to the point where its health declines.Each of the above types of predators can be further broken down into more detailed and specific categories. For example, insectivores (animals that primarily prey on and eat insects) are a carnivore sub-type. Also, omnivores practice predation on plants and animals. The predators’ list below is primarily made up of strict carnivores.
Snakes are found throughout most of America, so encounters with snakes are common. The majority of snake species wouldn’t consider an adult cat to be a source of food. The snakes that may include:
Pythons and Boas
Even though pythons are nonvenomous, members of the Pythonidae family still pose a danger to cats. Any snake that’s large enough to prey upon small mammals will consider cats prey. Many large, nonvenomous snakes found in the U.S., such as boa constrictors, started off life as domestic pets.Also, the Burmese python will prey upon cats. Research published in Biological Invasions notes that Burmese pythons are established in Florida. Encounters with this snake are not uncommon, and there are concerns about the snake population spreading beyond the Everglades.Pythons are ambush predators. A python will lay in wait for a meal to cross its path. Using its strong sense of smell and heat-sensing pits, it targets its meal. It will then latch onto its prey before wrapping the animal in its powerful coils. Constriction can kill a cat in a matter of minutes.
A diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in the U.S. There are dozens of reported cases where a cat has been bitten by one of these deadly pit vipers. However, there is little evidence of rattlesnakes actively preying upon cats. However, eastern and western diamondbacks are large enough to consider smaller cats or juvenile and sub-adult cats prey.A curious cat may antagonize a rattlesnake, triggering a defensive response. If the snake is hungry and the cat is small enough, the snake may follow the ‘waste not, want not’ principle. Large adult eastern and western diamondbacks will eat fully-grown rabbits. A small domestic cat is about the same size.Rattlesnakes are a part of the Viperidae family. As ambush predators, they will remain motionless and silent until a prey animal wanders too close. Eastern and western diamondbacks have hemotoxic venom that causes tissue damage and attacks red blood cells. So, a cat will quickly succumb to envenomation.
Dogs, both feral and domestic, will occasionally prey upon cats. How an interaction might go between a cat and a dog will depend on their personalities and upbringings. A cat and dog may be completely ambivalent towards one another. Conversely, they may attack one another.A dog may chase a cat upon sight. This can be out of genuine aggression, territorial instincts, or the desire to play. A cat may also attack on sight, although it is more likely to puff up in a threat display first. Aggressive dogs and feral dogs may actively hunt cats.
Coyotes are a part of the Canidae family and are prevalent throughout the U.S. Coyotes live in packs and alone. The Journal of Wildlife Management found that coyotes actively prey upon cats, especially during the pup-rearing season. This study also found that both packs and individuals would successfully attack and kill cats.Coyotes hunt using their olfactory senses and keen eyesight. Coyotes will hunt in pairs or packs to take down larger prey, such as deer. Individuals will prey upon smaller animals, such as squirrels, rodents, birds, and even domestic cats. As an opportunistic predator, a coyote will prey upon whatever it comes across.
Wolves are the largest surviving member of the Canidae family. As noted in the Journal of Forestry Research, wolves were almost driven to extinction through habitat loss and hunting. Before total extinction, it was recognized that wolves were an essential part of the ecosystem for prey population control.So, repopulation and conservation efforts were put into place. This included wolves being protected in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act. Due to this and human populations encroaching on their natural habitats, wolf-human interactions are becoming more commonplace. This also includes wolf-cat interactions.Wolves are opportunistic hunters, so they will prey upon cats if they have the chance. This is most likely during the colder months when other prey is scarce or while the pack is rearing young pups.
A camera was set up to monitor a nest and captured footage of a cat being eaten by a family of bald eagles. Experts have said, previously and since this event, that eagles preying upon cats is uncommon.It is believed that only large eagles have the ability and strength to prey upon cats. The Bureau of Land Management notes that the bald eagle is the second largest bird of prey found in North America.Eagles hunt during the day and will swoop down and latch onto their prey. This prey consists of fish, birds, small mammals, and rodents. Large eagles are capable of preying upon cats, but whether they would is uncertain.
Cougars, also known as pumas and mountain lions, primarily hunt deer, coyotes, porcupines, elk, and raccoons. Livestock herds are also a temptation for cougars, which is why farmers hunted the species.Cougars are opportunistic, nocturnal hunters. Usually, hunting will occur between dusk and dawn. Much like the domestic cat, a cougar will stealthily sneak up on its prey. At the right moment, it will lunge and aim a deadly bite for the back of its prey’s neck. Cougars have been known to prey upon pets, especially those allowed to roam outside at night.
Large owls can prey upon cats. This includes the great horned owl, which is thought to have the most diverse diet of all raptors. Also, the snowy owl.Owls hunt from above. One will usually identify its prey while perched at a height. It will then swoop down silently. An owl will latch onto its prey using its sharp talons. Prey is usually killed by being crushed by this powerful grip, trauma caused by the talons, or a quick bite to the neck.Snowy owls can be found in the northern U.S. when food is scarce. The great horned owl is the largest owl species found in North America. Both prey upon a variety of rodents and larger mammals, including raccoons.Given that cats are similar in size to raccoons and like to explore when it’s dark, it puts them at risk of being preyed upon by an owl. Owls can fly silently, so a cat may not know it is being hunted until it is too late.
Of all the hawk species found in the U.S., only the red-tailed hawk is capable of preying upon cats.The red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk found in the U.S. This raptor hunts small animals, and it won’t distinguish between wild mammals and small cats. As such, smaller cats and kittens can be preyed upon by hawks. This is not a common occurrence, and reported cases seem to revolve around when pets are left outside unsupervised.Hawks will seek out prey by using their excellent eyesight. A hawk will coast along in the air and scan the ground for prey. It may also find a comfortable perch and wait for a suitable animal to cross its field of vision.
Although a wolverine may look like a small bear, it actually belongs to the weasel family. A wolverine will forage upon vegetation and berries, but its diet is primarily meat-based.Wolverines have been known to attack and subdue prey many times their size. They have also been blamed for missing cats. Only a small number of missing cat cases are actually connected to wolverine attacks.
Animals That Can Harm Cats
Even if they don’t actively prey upon cats, many animals will aggressively defend themselves. If a cat preys upon, tries to play with, or startles one of these animals, it may trigger a fight. Mother animals caring for their young can also fight with ferocity.
Feral and other free-roaming domestic cats will regularly fight over territory. These fights rarely end with fatal wounds. However, the resulting wounds can fester, which can be fatal if left untreated.A cat can be very territorial, especially if it isn’t neutered. Mother cats can be extremely aggressive while rearing young, especially towards other cats.
Historically, cats were used to control rodent populations on farms. Anthrozoös states that there are several cases throughout history of cats being domesticated by farmers in the Old World.Before thousands of years of selective breeding, cats were quite effective at hunting large rodents, like rats. Most species of domestic cats are smaller than their ancient ancestors.Rats are large and will fight back if attacked by a cat. A rat’s teeth can inflict damage, and a desperate rat isn’t shy of using them. One bite in the wrong place can puncture an artery. Rats are also carriers of disease and parasites.
Raccoons are common in urban areas. These pesky animals have learned that there is an abundance of food to be found where humans live. So, the chances of a free-roaming cat encountering a raccoon are quite high.A raccoon can overpower an adult cat during territorial disputes or fights over food. As nocturnal mammals, raccoons can cross paths with cats while searching for food. Depending on the abundance or scarcity of food available, the two animals may have a tussle.As a wild animal, the raccoon may have the natural advantage of lived experiences. A raccoon will usually also have a size and weight advantage over a cat. Larger breeds of cats, such as a male Norwegian forest cat or male Maine coon, are a more even match for a raccoon.
The U.S. is home to various scorpion species. Not all are dangerous, but some are deadly. Scorpions that can be found in the U.S. include:Of these, only the bark scorpion is considered deadly to humans. A cat is far smaller than a human and will be more affected by scorpion venom. In some cases, envenomation can be lethal. Beyond an allergic reaction, only a sting from a bark scorpion has the potential to be a mortal wound.Scorpions will use their venom for two purposes: hunting and defense. No scorpion will consider a cat, of any size, as prey. Stings are usually a result of the cat trying to play with or attack the scorpion.
Foxes have adapted to urban environments. This increases the chances of cat-fox interactions. Largely, this comes down to fights. Usually, both participants come off worse for wear and rarely do the injuries prove fatal.Foxes are similar in size to adult cats, so foxes will not actively hunt adult cats. The same cannot be said for small kittens. A starving fox may attack an older cat, although we cannot say this for certain. A fox will also aggressively defend its cubs if a cat wanders too close.Foxes are also scavengers. If one stumbles across a dead cat, it will eat the carcass. It may also drag the carcass to a safer place to eat. All of that said, cats and foxes will usually go their separate ways without fuss.
Porcupines are large rodents, and few predators are willing to risk a face full of those spines. Porcupines have few natural predators. A curious or aggressive cat may make the mistake of approaching a porcupine.Porcupines are ground and tree-dwelling and found in spots all over the U.S. This animal is not aggressive in nature but will act defensively if approached by what it deems a threat.A porcupine will swing its tail around at an aggressor, stabbing it with dozens of quills. These quills are tipped with bards, allowing them to pierce flesh and remain lodged within. Although rarely fatal, unless lodged in the throat, porcupine quills cause discomfort.
Beyond diamondbacks, many species of venomous snakes live in the U.S. Any one of these snakes can kill or seriously harm your cat. Just a few of the venomous snakes that can be found in the U.S. include:The venom of these snakes varies in potency and lethality. If you suspect that a snake has bitten your cat, take it to the vet immediately. Even if you don’t know what kind of snake has bitten it, clinics can offer supportive therapy. They may also have a venom detection kit, which Toxicon notes as being a means of identifying the type of venom inflicted.
A common snake in North America with a mild bite, for a pit viper. Copperheads have adapted well to urban living and can commonly be found near human dwellings.Copperhead bites are usually non-fatal in adult humans, but cats may not be so lucky. A copperhead’s hemotoxic venom causes damage local to the bite area. It has been noted that copperheads inject little venom when biting defensively. Adult cats are too large to be considered a meal.
Cats and Wildlife Don’t Mix
by Marylou Zimmerman
Let’s talk about the multifaceted problem of outdoor cats. It’s a problem everywhere, not just on Bainbridge. It’s actually less a problem on Bainbridge than many other places in the country. But it is a problem on a number of different levels.
Cats and predators
Cats are efficient predators. Cats are instinctive predators. You can put bells on their collars; you can teach them to be nice kitties; but they still don’t care – if they are outside, they will kill things. They kill birds; they kill nesting waterfowl. They will prey on eggs in nests. They catch small mammals which has impacts on the small animal population, but it also has a great impact on the predators on which those small mammals and rodents are a food source. The owl population will be impacted if there are cats killing mice. Typically animals that are hunted by cats do not recover. Cat wounds are not easy to treat as they get infected very easily. The Wildlife Shelter statistics show that more than 50% of their injured animals come from cat inflicted wounds. If a cat attacks something, 90% of the time it is going to die, especially birds who are very susceptible to Pasturella, a bacteria that lives in the mouths of all cats.The second part of the outdoor cat predator problem is that cats are themselves prey. They will be killed by coyotes, eagles, owls, raccoons, dogs and otters. Two cats were killed by an otter when the cats got to close to their nest. Cars and humans also kill cats. PAWS regularly sees cats which have gunshot wounds or vehicular injuries. This spring we worked with a cat named Lindsay, who came to us with her femur shattered by a 22-caliber bullet. It’s not safe outside for cats.
Cats carry diseases
They carry diseases that impact on other wildlife and other cats such as Panleukopenia, Corona Virus, and Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Feline Leukemia is not such a big issue on Bainbridge Island because there are not a lot of native cats species here, but in other areas of the country where they have bobcats populations, frequently cats can impact on native cats by spreading disease.Another side of the story is that cats are also vectors for a lot of diseases affecting humans. Toxoplasmosis; rabies, round worm, hook worm, and ring worm. Bainbridge Island is the only municipality in Kitsap County that does not have an ordinance that addresses free roaming cats. Bainbridge specifically exempts free roaming cats from the free roaming animal ordinance and the poop-scooping ordinance. Just looking into my crystal ball, and knowing our litigious society, it’s going to take one child getting toxoplasmosis from the sandbox at the daycare center that someone’s cat is using as a litter box before there will be an ordinance on Bainbridge dealing with free roaming cats, and I don’t think it will be a bad thing.