Cats do chase mice in nature, but eating wild animals comes with a variety of health risks.

Is Eating Mice and Rabbits Healthy for My Cat?

Our question this week was:

I have a cat question for your vet. My cat (indoor/outdoor) is almost 16 years old. 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 healthy for his diet?

Janet Moore


Hi – thanks for your email, Janet. That’s a good question. Is eating a “natural” diet healthy? You could probably get many 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’re lacking, it does help diversity their diet. However, if a cat is eating high-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 he has been doing, I guess you can’t argue with success. On the other hand, this is probably not something your cat “needs.”

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

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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