Can Cats Kill Snakes? (And Keep Them Away?)

People view cats as gentle animals. But what you might not hear of is that cats are natural hunters, and they can go after their prey. Let us talk more about the cats being a hunter.

So can cats kill snakes? In some cases, yes. Cats are also known to be hunters, and they can kill snakes. It is just that not all cats will prey and kill snakes.

Cats are even responsible for killing rats in our home. Cats take it very seriously. They think of it as their jobs and they are doing great. 

If you want your rats in your home to be gone, what comes next to your mind after buying some rat killers is getting a cat. A cat can do the job and kill your rats for you. 

On the other hand, if you want to keep snakes away from your home, is getting a cat helpful? Let us find out.

Can Cats Kill Venomous Snakes?

The answer to this is yes. Cats can kill snakes, even venomous ones. It would be best to get the picture that all snakes will want to hunt and kill snakes. 

There are billions of cats in the world, and each one of them is unique on its own. So yes, a cat can kill snakes, but we are not talking about all the cats. Some cats would love to play with people and be jolly and fun about it. 

Some cats are so sophisticated and posh that they want to be groomed and cared for by its owner. Some cats would love to sleep and would be lazy the whole day. Anyway, the point is that every cat is different from one another. 

And then there is this cat who loves to hunt snakes and kill them. If you have a problem with snakes, though, in your house, getting a cat can help you.

Can A Cat Keep Snakes Away?

A cat can keep a snake away. But the same with cats killing snakes; it does not happen with every cat. One cat might keep the snakes away, but another cat might not just do the same. 

If you get a cat, your cat might not automatically keep the snakes away. They can be one of those cats who are too lazy to do anything. You are lucky if the one cat you got is on the hunter side and will hunt down and kill snakes. 

You also need to know that snakes will not go away if they see a cat. It means that having a cat will not immediately ward off snakes. The snakes will know what they are getting if they are in an actual confrontation with the cat and if the cat can prove that he is the hunter type. 

But yes, a cat can keep a snake away, given that your snake is into the predator type and wants to fight.

Related: Can Cat Survive Snake Bite?

Can Cats Sense Snakes?

Cats can or cannot precisely sense snakes. Cats are known to have very keen senses. Cats have a more robust, healthy sense. 

They smell stronger than humans. Cats also hear better than humans, so cats can feel something first before humans do. So if there is a snake nearby, cats may feel them more than we do. 

Cats crawling in the ground or grass can create sounds so silent that humans may not hear them. But if the snake would create sound, the cats can surely hear them. Cats are also known to be curious about snakes. 

Snakes move in a certain way. They would suddenly slither and move in a different place, and cats are curious about that. 

These movements can trigger the cat’s hunting instincts, and the cats would suddenly shift to being a hunter. This is the reason why some cats would pursue snakes and kill them.

Are Snakes Afraid Of Cats?

Snakes are known to be scary animals. Many people are frightened of snakes because they are known for their predatory skills. Given this, it does not necessarily mean that snakes are not afraid of anything. 

When it terms animals, there are already many animals that would scare a snake away. A cat will also likely scare a cat away. With this, snakes will try to avoid cats. 

After all, snakes do not regularly encounter cats because snakes are in the wild, hiding in cold places. If a cat is in attacking mode, cats look very scary. They will show their pointed teeth and claw their enemies. 

This behavior can scare snakes away. If in an encounter, the snakes will try to escape from the cats as soon as they can. 

If the snakes cannot escape, they would use defensive behaviors, and they would hiss at the cats, and they would strike them. 

Cats can also move quickly. They can claw and move so fast. With this, snakes will be afraid of cats.

cat and snake

Are Cats Immune To Snake Venom?

There have been reports that cats are immune to the venom of snakes. But it was not proven clinically that cats are indeed immune to snake venoms. Another report is that cats are more likely to survive a venomous snake bite than dogs can. 

There was a study in Queensland, and these professors tried to test the effects of venom on dogs and cats. This is to compare and determine what precisely the cats can do and if they can try to absorb snake venom in their body. 

They suggest that the dog’s blood can clot faster than the cat’s blood. The clotting of blood is much faster in the dogs than in the cans. This is one of the theories why cats will more likely survive a snake bite with venom on it. 

They also theorized that dogs, when bitten, move a lot more than cats, which is not suitable for the venom because it will only spread the venom faster.

Can Cats Kill Rattlesnakes?

Some areas are rich in rattlesnakes. Many people will get the chance to encounter one, and so do the cats. Cats will probably meet one in a day. 

The encounters of cats with rattlesnakes are always different. Some encounters do not always turn into a fight. Some encounters would go smoothly, and they might part ways like friends. 

If the weather is warm, snakes will wander around and find a cool place to stay. With this wandering, they will get to meet cats and other animals along the way. It is widespread that cats can kill rattlesnakes if they have to. 

Cats are also territorial, just like dogs are. If they see a rattlesnake in their territories, they will attack and kill this intruder. 

They have a job to protect their place. So if needed, cats can kill rattlesnakes. It is just that the situation must ask for it. 

It also depends on the cat. As mentioned, every cat is different, and one might kill a snake, and one might not.

Are Cats Immune To Rattlesnake Venom?

There are reports that cats are immune to rattlesnake venom. This is because cats are less likely to die from a snake bite than any animal can, like dogs. The reason for this is unfortunately not yet been answered. 

There is research done, but the reason is still unclear. They do have some theories. They said that the blood clot is faster in dogs than in cats. 

They also report that there are behavior differences between cats and dogs. They said that dogs move so much after being bitten by a snake with venom, which can hasten the venom’s spread. 

But talking about the cat’s immunity to snake venom is less likely to happen because snakes can be scared of cats. Cats can be in predator mode, and they can kill snakes quickly. 

With this, cats might be saved from the rattlesnake bite because the snake might not have the chance of biting the cat.

Can A Cat Survive A Rattlesnake Bite?

Cats can keep rattlesnakes away. When your cat sees a snake, this can be because the snake is looking for a new habitat. Their old habitat might not be as cold as it is anymore, or they might also be looking for food. 

If this is the case, there can be a greater possibility of a fight between the cat and the snake because the snake is looking for survival food. Cats are also considered to have a strong tolerance for venom. 

This also came from the fact that cats can get bitten by a rattlesnake and survive the attack. If dogs get bitten by a snake, the dog will mostly die right away, but if cats get bitten by a snake, they would most likely survive it. 

The conclusion drawn here is that there is a high tolerance of venom in a cat’s body. However, the same with everything, it is not general to all snakes. Some snakes would also die from snake venom.


In summary, cats are territorial animals. They protect their territory, and they will kill any snake that would enter their territory. If threatened, cats can be in a predatory state. 

Cats can also look scary when threatened. This can make the snakes go away. Cats can also kill snakes if they need to. 

However, not all cats are into hunting and killing snakes. Some would sit around in the corner, while some are aggressive over it.


Image credits – Canva

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