Do Badgers Eat Cats? Know The Facts

It is highly unlikely that a badger would eat a cat.

Cats and badgers are generally tolerant of each other.

Although badgers will eat almost anything, from fruit to carrion, they don’t prey on cats.

Anecdotal evidence of badgers eating cats is likely to be due to people having seen badgers eating roadkill.

a badger

That doesn’t mean to say that a badger couldn’t kill a cat.

They have very strong claws for digging and a grip when biting that is almost impossible to dislodge.

Fortunately, they are on the whole placid creatures and will even share their burrows with other animals.

That said, there are always exceptions to the rule.

What Should You Do To Keep Your Cat Safe From Badgers?

  1. Don’t worry unless there is a badger sett near your property
  2. Keep your cat in at night
  3. Don’t leave fallen fruit or pet food out
  4. Use a badger deterrent
General Facts About Badgers:
– Scientific name: Meles meles
– Lifespan: up to 15 years
– Size: around the size of a small dog
– Weight: up to 37lbs
– Diet: omnivorous
– Habitat: mixed woodland, pasturelands, scrublands

Statistics about Badgers In The UK

  • There are an estimated 300,000 badgers in the UK.
  • During the 1980-1990s period there was a 77% increase in their population.
  • Badgers mate and breed between January and May
  • Each female gives birth to 1-6 cubs.
  • Organised culls haven’t had any great effect on their numbers.

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Anecdotal Evidence Of Badger Attacks On Cats

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that points to the fact that badgers kill and eat cats.

They may well eat cats, but those are probably already dead. Stories circulating of badgers eating cats are usually because they have been seen eating roadkill.

Many missing cats end up as roadkill and badgers take advantage of an easy meal. Badgers are omnivorous and will just about anything they come across.

Although they are predators of some small mammals such as rabbits or hedgehogs, cats don’t seem to figure in their diet.

Badgers are known carriers of rabies and TB. Close contact with badgers can put cats at risk of infection. That is why there are frequent calls for culls from the farming community.

two badgers at night

Badgers are very adaptable to new environments. They are happy to live alongside humans. Many have become urban and suburban dwellers. As they are basically scavengers, this presents them with easy sources of food.

Badgers are more casually destructive than wild, vicious animals. They may enter your garden, not to hunt, but to forage for food, digging up vegetable plots for bulbs or ripping up your lawn for grubs and such.

Keeping a badger as a pet or offering one for sale is an offence in the United Kingdom under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act.

Wikipedia

Cats vs Badgers

Despite their placid nature a cat would probably come off worst in a contest between the two.

Cats are nimble and fast, they can jump and spin effortlessly, and they have sharp claws and teeth.

All of which are good defences, but a fight means close quarter contact and there a cat could become undone. A badger’s fur is very thick and dense, which makes it very difficult to wound.

badger on the prowl

Its claws are thick and much larger than a cat’s, but its bite is its major weapon. Badgers bite and hang on, much like a bulldog.

They are ferocious fighters when cornered or defending their young. Once caught in a badger’s jaws it is unlikely that a cat would escape.

Many badgers in Europe were gassed during the 1960s and 1970s to control rabies.

badger.org.uk

Cats at Risk

Nosey, curious, or aggressive cats are probably the most at risk.

As badgers aren’t a natural predator of cats, even the old and infirm are probably safe around them, although, maybe not so safe if they are in a contest for food with a hungry badger.

As badgers can prey on small mammals, a stray kitten may seem an easy and appetising meal.

Eurasian Badger is abundant across much of its range.

iucnrrd.org/species

How to Keep Badgers Away

  • Use fencing that is embedded deep into the ground
  • Use electrified fences
  • Keep rubbish bins secured or locked away
  • Spread wire mesh over your lawns in springtime
  • Place rags soaked in paraffin or ammonia around your property

Adult European badgers have few natural predators.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Other Pets at Risk From Badgers

Badgers aren’t great predators, but they do seem to have a taste for some particular meat dishes.

They are a prime predator of hedgehogs. If you have a pet hedgehog, don’t let it out in the garden alone if there are badgers nearby. Badgers are also partial to rabbits.

do badgers eat cats

They will excavate into rabbit warrens to get at them. They like chickens too.

Take-away

It is unlikely that you will have problems between your cat and the local badgers.

There are always conflicts between domestic and wild animals for a variety of different reasons, but badgers don’t fall into the category of vicious predators actively seeking to kill and eat your cat.

Your main problem with badgers is their destructive nature when searching for food.


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