Do cats eat chipmunks? (Best Guide)

Yes, cats do eat chipmunks. These feral animals are opportunist hunters. Thus, they take whatever they find edible. While they are famous mousers, cats can also eat chipmunks and hunt them upon sight.

Do all cats eat chipmunks? And why do they hunt chipmunks? What makes chipmunks suitable prey?

A cat does not only eat chipmunks. There are a lot more things than that.

Let’s get on with it.

Cats as Predator Animals to Chipmunks

Cats as predators are born hunters and opportunists. Whenever they sense movement around them, they tend to pounce.

Most cats prey upon land animals and reptiles. Though, some of them are famous for hunting birds as well.

According to studies, rural cats can eat 14 different types of animals.

On the other side, urban cats eat only cat food and a grasshopper.

Preys also vary on a larger scale, especially in the type of cat. It is where the chipmunks are in danger.

North American Cats are the cats famous for eating chipmunks.

Chipmunks as prey

Chipmunks are not prey animals. This type of rodent can become predators themselves. Even so, in the eyes of a cat, they’re nothing more than a game to hunt.

Being born in a family of rodents, chipmunks have their pros and cons.While they quick to run and smart to hide well, they are still easy targets for predators.

Thus, any cat and any other animal that is fast enough can and will hunt them down upon sight.

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Do cats kill chipmunks?

The simple answer to this is yes. Cats do kill chipmunks. While not every cat can eat a chipmunk, it does not mean that they won’t kill one.

Cats of all kinds are born hunters. Thus any sight of potential prey entices them to pounce and run. Even for house cats, they come from a long line of hunters in the wild.

Thus, even if they are full and won’t eat, they won’t stop catching a chipmunk near them.

House cats will kill a wide variety of animals. The first ones on the list are chipmunks. Among the rest are lizards, voles, birds, frogs, and small snakes. This cat fact excludes the hunting work done by feral cats.

House cats tend to hunt animals only on instinct. Their wild counterparts, hunt not only due to ability but also to feed and survive.

With no owners to feed them and serve them food, feral cats learned to hunt. They do it not out of fun and instinct, but out of necessity and survival.

Thus, they tend to go with more intent and skill than house cats, which are doing a “cat play.”

Can a cat get sick from eating a chipmunk?

It may sound odd, but cats who eat infected rodents can catch a disease. If their prey is an infected chipmunk, cats may get sick as well.

Cats consuming a sick chipmunk, or any other ill animal for that matter, will likely get the bacteria. These furry pets can even spread those bacteria by biting or by getting their blood in you.

Bacteria and diseases are often treatable by antibiotics, both for you and our cat. Even so, severe cases may end up with the death of pets and infected animals.

Cats and Chipmunks: Which is faster?

When it comes to speed, both cats and chipmunks can get a pretty good race and chase.

An average chipmunk speed can come up to 21 mph, while their predator cats can bolt at a rate of 30 mph.

Thus, cats can outrun a chipmunk with ease and catch those far from their hiding places.

Where do chipmunks live?

For homes, cats and chipmunks differ. Even so, their locations are usually similar, making them easy to see each other often.

Chipmunks build places that are safe and hard to access by predators. They usually survive through various environments, from alpine forests to shrubby deserts.

Some chipmunks dig burrows and make it their own. These burrows are complete with tunnels and various chambers. For others, they make their homes in nests, bushes, or even fallen logs.

With the same environments to live, it is usual for cats to sense a chipmunk moving around. For this reason, a chase here and there would be pretty much a usual scene to witness.

Prevent your cats from hunting too much with these 4 steps

If you see your cat hunting a chipmunk or any other animal, it’s not something for you to worry about too much.

If you have other pets and your cat likes to hunt it down, that’s a different story.

Further, if you don’t want your cat to harass a chipmunk or other animals in your area, you can restrain it.

Whatever your reason is, here are a few things you can do for that matter:

1. Keep your cat indoors

The best way to prevent your cats from killing chipmunks and any other animal is by keeping it inside. House cats can survive indoors, with toys and stimulation for them to play.

Though you limit your cat’s freedom, you save chipmunks and other animals from their claws and fangs.

2. Always feed your cat

Cats don’t stop hunting even if it’s full. Even so, a hungry cat is likely to kill more than a recently fed one.

If you feed your cat more often, it will lessen its hunting activity.

3. Place a bell on your cat’s collar.

Placing a bell on your cat’s collar will make a ringing sound upon when your cat moves.

This sound will help alarm chipmunks and all other animals your cat decides to hunt.

While your cat may learn how to remove it at some point, it will still be helpful to stop them from too much hunting.

4. Place a bright-colored collar on your cat

One of the cats’ hunting skills is by sneaking up on their prey by blending with their surroundings.

With a bright collar, any prey will immediately notice your cat and escape before your cat gets too close.

Do cats stop playing & hunting as they get older?

The age of cats doesn’t restrict their playing habits. The same goes for their hunting capacity. As long as it’s in their routine, cats will continue to play and hunt even if they age.

Older cats may play more compared to their young counterparts. Still, it won’t be enough to make them stop.

Can a chipmunk die of fright?

It is a proven fact that in the line of rodents, seizures happen most of the time due to noises.

A rodent’s heart rate is generally fast at its regular pace, which is why a shock or a panic can lead to death.

According to an individual who saw this incident, a chipmunk is pretty easy to shock and scare. He says:

Sometimes they freeze, and they can do this for quite some time they usually head to their nestbox house high up, and all poke their heads out to see if the danger has passed. I’ve never seen seizure activity, but one Chipmunk I had early on, apparently just died of fright, but he was extremely nervous he froze every time [I] went near the cage. One day, when he got particularly scared, he just sat and shivered and then not long after he had passed away. It would seem to me your Chipmunk’s seizure was due to fright, not a calcium issue since the baby was on Fox Valley and is getting a good diet.


Thus, a sight of nearing paws and fangs of a cat may lead a chipmunk to a shock. In worse cases, this little animal may pass out even before the cat gets a hold.

How do chipmunks protect themselves from cats?

Chipmunks are smaller than an adult squirrel, making them easy targets for cats. If a cat sees one, that chipmunk would use its swiftness and try to escape and run away.

A chipmunk’s primary form of protection against predators is through avoiding them. With its small size and being incapable of fighting, a chipmunk’s best chance would be to stay away from harm.

Chipmunks are natural swift animals, and they use this to escape danger. They would even warn their fellow beings of possible threats.

Aside from running, a chipmunk can stay in his burrow and change his activity if it sensed any danger.

What animals eat chipmunk?

Aside from cats, other animals are taking an interest in chipmunks.

Chipmunks serve as a vital food source for many predators. Among these are hawks, snakes, crows, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, rats, owls, and coyotes.


  • Cats do eat chipmunks. While not all of them eat one, they will nonetheless hunt chipmunks.
  • Cats are predator animals. Thus, they will hunt chipmunks every time they see one around.
  • While chipmunks can be predators themselves, they are still prey animals in the sight of any cat.
  • Cats kill chipmunks. They have that intent to kill and catch a chipmunk due to their innate hunting skill.
  • If a chipmunk is sick, then the cat that will eat it will also get infected.
  • When it comes to speed, cats are much faster than chipmunks.
  • Chipmunks differ with cats in terms of spaces. Even so, they live in the same areas that they often see each other.
  • If you want to stop your cat from too much hunting, there are a few steps you can do.
  • Cats may get older, but it won’t stop them from playing and hunting.
  • While a cat can kill a chipmunk with ease, there are times when it dies of shock or fright.
  • Chipmunks protect themselves by avoiding predators.
  • Aside from cats, other animals can prey on chipmunks.

And that’s finally all for this article. Then you may be interested in the related articles below:

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