Question of the week: Is it okay if my cat eats rodents and birds?

mouseMany of our feline companions relish the hunt for birds and rodents. On occasion, some of us may even be lucky enough to be treated with a “trophy” on our front stoop. While hunting may be a favorite pursuit for kitties, it carries with it various risks you should be aware of.

The number one concern we have with rodent ingestion is secondary poisoning. Many people still lay down poisons to control rat and mice populations that are toxic not only to rodents but to other animals as well. If a cat ingests toxic levels of rat poison the results can be severe and often times fatal. Additionally, rodents may carry a variety of parasites that are easily transmissible to your kitty. These parasites include fleas and tapeworms.

Urban bird populations have been decimated by domestic and feral cats. If your cat eats the birds it catches there is a reasonable chance that he or she may suffer gastric upset (vomiting and diarrhea). Ingesting birds does not carry the same risks that eating rodents do but are not an ideal food source.

If your cat is a hunter, it may be a challenge to prevent them seeking prey outside. If you catch the cat in the act you may sometimes be able to stop them eating the prey. If you attempt to stop your cat dining on this meal, proceed with caution, these little predators may strike out at you in order to protect their prize. If you know your cat likes to hunt, make sure he or she is all up to date on vaccines and parasite prevention. If you are unsure as to the health status of your pet, please call the clinic and our staff will be happy to assist you.