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Is it safe for cats to eat wild prey? (including wall rats and squirrels)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Can they catch some kind of disease? I have a couple of cats who hunt and I was just wondering. One of the cat's is not as likely to eat her prey. The other cat may possibly eat squirrels from outdoors.

700700

 

 

post #2 of 17

Wild prey is their natural diet. smile.gif. My friend's barn cats catch and eat mice, squirrels, and birds all the time. Just get them checked regularly for worms. They are eating what they are supposed to eat.

Your cats are cuties. I love orange tabbies.

post #3 of 17

Yeah, they are most likely to get worms (and other parasites).  Some people just worm their cats on a regular basis just in case.  Cats can also be exposed to pathogens such as toxoplasmosis.  There's certainly a risk involved, but commercial food has risks involved as well.  Even if the food isn't contaminated, the diet could lead to chronic issues over time by virtue of the fact that it's not what cats evolved to eat (even the highest quality commercial food isn't that great).  Cats that eat wild animals essentially have the perfect diet, nutritionally speaking.  

 

So, as with any other cat care decision, there are risks and benefits to weigh.  Personally, I have no problem with my cats eating mice.  They don't have access to mice, being indoor cats, but if they did it wouldn't bother me.  

post #4 of 17

Jason consistently brings home half eaten dead things ranging from mice and shrew size to rabbits.  There's not much we can do about it, and he has never had a problem.  There are risks, but cats are hunters and hunters often eat their prey. 
 

post #5 of 17

My one cat is an indoor cat but she gets out from time to time. She love to bring me gifts like rabbits and birds. The vet I used to go too told me that is how she has picked up worms. She seems to eat part of her of her prey them save the rest for me. That is the main reason I take her out for walks on a leash.

post #6 of 17

I have three domestic cats and one foundation Savannah. Two of the three, domestics, go in and out whenever they want. Both, of my indoor/outdoor DSH's are great hunters. They eat tons of wild prey. My completely indoor DLH (by her own choosing) will also eat, what, the DSH's bring inside. I just worm, all the cats, twice a year. So far, all, has gone well.

 

Now, in all fairness, my cats, are fed whole live prey (that I breed) twice daily.

post #7 of 17

In general it is more or less safe. The only recommendation I would have is make sure they are current on their vaccines. Make sure they have the Rabies Vaccine and the Leukemia vaccine. The only other thing that I worry about is they tend to get parasites more. Giardia is pretty easy to get. Make sure you worm them a couple times a year. I tend to use Panacur for that. I normally dont let any of my cats out but I did have a boy that was well trained and would follow me around the yard. His name was Seyah. He died this year in the summer. On my facebook page "Spotted Love Savannahs" if you go to the albums area and look for the album named Seyah F2A, it has 21 photos in it. The last few are of him with his first "big game" kill. After that for the most part he never went back to the small stuff. 

 

Leonard. D. 

spotted love savannahs 

youtube channel : lifeatthesharpend 

post #8 of 17

OK here he is see if this works or not Seyah:

 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpottedLove View Post

<snipped>On my facebook page "Spotted Love Savannahs" if you go to the albums area and look for the album named Seyah F2A, it has 21 photos in it. The last few are of him with his first "big game" kill. After that for the most part he never went back to the small stuff.<snipped>

 

I just heart.gifheartpump.gif the photo's. Seyah, is a very good hunteragree.gif. My F3 Savannah male, Loki, isn't quite that good biggrin.gif.

post #10 of 17

When I first got Seyah there really wasn't anything else like him. Back in 2005 there were not that many F2's around. He also had the dark mysterious and wild look , people just had to do a second take on him. There are larger cats now but at the time he is about as big as they came. Trust me you never wanted to get on his bad side either. A force to be reckoned  with. He could make vet techs cry in the corner! OK maybe not but he has scared a few in the past. In his day he was 21lbs and lots of muscle when he died he was only 10lbs and felt like a strong wind would take him away. I have his burial on facebook as well. Seyahs Final days. 

 

L

post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by SpottedLove View Post

When I first got Seyah there really wasn't anything else like him. Back in 2005 there were not that many F2's around.

 

I bet, it is amazing how much the breed has advanced, in, such a short period of time.

 

He also had the dark mysterious and wild look , people just had to do a second take on him.

 

He TRULY looked/looks amazing. I LOVE cool BST. Plus, all the nonstandard colors. I LOVE marble most of all. My F3 is cinnamon spotted.

 

There are larger cats now but at the time he is about as big as they came.

Seyah, looks plenty big to me agree.gif.

 

Trust me you never wanted to get on his bad side either. A force to be reckoned  with.

 

My Loki, is so so sweet. He doesn't have a bad side. Unlike, many of the domestics I have owned, fostered, and presently own.

 

He could make vet techs cry in the corner! OK maybe not but he has scared a few in the past.

 

That is how my vets/vet techs feel about, some of my domestics. I am sure, my domestics, have injured the vets.

 

 In his day he was 21lbs and lots of muscle when he died he was only 10lbs and felt like a strong wind would take him away. I have his burial on facebook as well. Seyahs Final days. 

 

Awe, I am sorry you lost Seyah.

post #12 of 17

Seyah really did not have a bad side but he really did not like to have blood drawn. He never hurt anyone except I got bit about half dozen times in the first 6 months. Nothing too bad. Once I was breaking up a fight between him and a rescue. I always considered his color as Super Cool not just cool. He was actually not cool by the strickest definition. He did have a gold tone to his color but he was just super dark. I think the call it grizzled or could be charcoal. Moja my F1 has that coloring but not as dark as Seyah. Ruby is traditionally golden colored she is in many of my videos as well.

L

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpottedLove View Post

Seyah really did not have a bad side but he really did not like to have blood drawn.

I got ya now. Yea, I am sure, Loki, would not like getting blood drawn agree.gif. Though, he is a very good boy, about, going to the vet in general.

 

He never hurt anyone except I got bit about half dozen times in the first 6 months. Nothing too bad. Once I was breaking up a fight between him and a rescue.

 

I can't imagine breaking up a cat fight, between, a Savannah and another cat.

 

I always considered his color as Super Cool not just cool. He was actually not cool by the strickest definition. He did have a gold tone to his color but he was just super dark. I think the call it grizzled or could be charcoal. Moja my F1 has that coloring but not as dark as Seyah. Ruby is traditionally golden colored she is in many of my videos as well.

 

I love Seyah color, no matter what it's called biggrin.gif.

post #14 of 17

I wish mine would actually kill and eat the stuff they hunt.

Generally, they play with things until they loose interest and just walk off.

Pauli does kill some lizards to bring home for me but they both know food comes in cans biggrin.gif
 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxStringzer View Post

Can they catch some kind of disease? I have a couple of cats who hunt and I was just wondering. One of the cat's is not as likely to eat her prey. The other cat may possibly eat squirrels from outdoors.
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The barn cats where I board my horse catch and eat live prey all the time with no visible side effects. Now, those cats are pretty spoiled for barn cats. They do get wet food 2x daily. They are vetted yearly and go in for parasite checks every few months. Barn cats and wild ferals may not fare as well disease wise if not taken this good of care of. But I've never heard of any diseases etc. from other people with barn cats or ferals. My feral eats rabbits and squirrels all of the time. She never had problems. Yeah, she is regularly vetted, checked for worms etc. but never had any issues. She has it made for a feral. Heated garage, fresh water supply, litter box when it's too cold outside and her own corner of the garage. Still, she is an avid hunter.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer Jones View Post

I wish mine would actually kill and eat the stuff they hunt.

Generally, they play with things until they loose interest and just walk off.

Pauli does kill some lizards to bring home for me but they both know food comes in cans biggrin.gif
 

Seyah would always eat his prey. He never killed anything unless he was hungry and prepared to munch!. He loved mice and the moles and would generally play with them first then came din-din. After his first rabbit I don't think he ever turned back. Rabbit was his favorite. The first one he got was a pretty small one and he ate the whole thing minus intestines. Seyah was a pretty large boy and he would start off by gnawing off the head and eating it then ripping into the rest of it. In general for the larger ones he would take the kill to his favorite spot and sit under the palm and go at it he would save the rest for later. Later normally never came unless I took the rest of it and saved it for him. Otherwise I would throw it away depending on what was left. Sometimes he would fetch it out of the garbage , and this was after it had been around for a day or so. pretty disgusting. 

 

In any case he never went after the chickens. Here is a video of him with his chicks.

 

 

Leonard. D

spotted love savannahs

post #17 of 17

Cool video SpottedLove.agree.gif. Thank you for sharing that with us biggrin.gif. My Loki, who is an F3 Savannah, loves, to "play with his food" before he consumes it. Loki to loves rabbits agree.gif.

 

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