Vet qa parent

Is eating mice and rabbits healthy for my cat?

Is eating mice and rabbits healthy for my cat?

Our question this week was:

I have a cat question for your vet. My cat is almost 16 indoor/outdoor. He seems to be in great health despite his age. For years he has been catching mice, rabbits, etc. He actually eats them. I know it's part of their nature but is this a healthy thing for their diet to do?

Janet Moore

Answer

Hi - thanks for your email Janet. You ask a good question. Is eating a "natural" diet healthy? You could probably get different answers to this question. Let me give you some pros and cons.

Pros: Cats in nature eat other animals. If there is something they need, it does help diversity their diet. However, if a cat is eating a good quality food he doesn't need any "supplements".

Cons: There is a risk of cats getting sick from eating a diseased or sick rodent. Diseases such as tapeworms can be transmitted. They can also be injured when hunting (I recently saw a cat run across the street and get hit by a car when chasing a rodent).

So if your cat seems healthy and this is something she has been doing, I guess you can't argue with success. On the other hand, this is not probably something your cat "needs".

An article that might be helpful to you is Nutrition in Cats.

Best of luck!

Doctor

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Doctor Questions and Answers!