Can a possum kill a cat?In theory, a possum can kill a house cat. But it is extremely rare. In fact, cats, both stray cats and even pet cats, kill a far larger number of opossums, especially the young opossums, which aren't much different in size or appearance than a rat! Of course cats kill opossums.
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However, if you're dealing with an adult opossum, if it is threatened and needs to defend itself, it may injure a cat. But to be honest, it's more likely to just stand still while displaying its teeth, or even play dead! All in all, opossums generally stick to themselves. They are scavengers, and they don't actively hunt any large animals to kill and eat.
However, as you can see in the above photograph, if an opossum is forced into a difficult situation, it can be aggressive and attack.
After you read the below information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does opossum removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of opossums - my main opossum removal info guide.
Example opossum trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Opossum job blog - learn from great examples of opossum jobs I've done.
When you have household pets, you want to make sure that they are well protected, and this very much goes in the cases of your cat versus a wild animal, such as the possum. One of the most frequently asked questions about possums, and to be more specific, when they invade your home or yard, is whether or not they have the “minerals” to be able to kill a cat. In short, the answer is a resounding yes, but perhaps not in the way that you would have thought!
The possum is around the same size as a cat, with around 50 razor sharp teeth, and some rather serious claws, both of which could theoretically rip shreds out of your cat in a standoff. However, cats are equipped with even sharper claws and a fiercer demeanor - the fact is that the possum is more likely to run away from the cat, rather than stand and fight, or alternatively play dead; something that the possum is renowned for.
The thing with possums is that they can very often carry disease, which is probably what is going to kill your cat before a good old scrap will. Toxoplasmosis, for example, is a disease that is often carried by cats, and can easily be transferred from the possum to your pet in the form of urine, contaminated water, or soil. When you combine this with the fact that possums carry fleas, ticks and mites, and these can also carry disease and parasites, you can understand the seriousness of the situation. Although the chance of a full on confrontation may be slight, you do still have to worry about the threat of disease of your family cat, and although the possum rarely carries rabies, there are still a number of other diseases that it could be spreading.
AAAnimalControl.com is written by me, David. I am a professional nuisance wildlife control operator. It is my goal to provide education about safe, responsible & effective solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. I provide a lot of "how-to" info, but in many cases, wildlife removal is complex, dangerous, and subject to local laws. Sometimes I recommend hiring a professional. I have spent over 10 years now training and investigating companies all over the United States, serving over 650 USA cities and towns. I believe my hand-picked list is far better than what you'll find on a standard web search by yourself. For my recommendation of a local critter trapper in your area, click here for my nationwide list of 100's of professional wildlife control experts.