Cat attacking a possum

Do Cats Attack Possums?

Have you ever wondered if cats attack possums? This is a common question among cat owners and wildlife enthusiasts alike. In this discussion, we’ll explore the interactions between cats and possums, their natural instincts, and factors that might lead to conflicts.

Cats Are Natural Predators

Cats, being natural predators, have a strong hunting instinct. They’re known for their ability to catch small prey like mice, birds, and insects. Possums, on the other hand, are nocturnal marsupials and generally prefer staying away from potential danger. So, what happens when these two creatures cross paths?

While it’s not unheard of for a cat to attack a possum, it’s relatively rare. Cats usually prefer smaller, more manageable prey, and a possum, especially an adult one, can be quite a challenge for them. Possums have sharp claws and teeth, and in a defensive situation, they can inflict serious injury on a cat.

Young or inexperienced cats might be more likely to attack a possum out of curiosity or a misjudgment of their own abilities. However, adult cats are generally cautious around possums and would think twice before engaging in a fight. Additionally, possums are known to emit a foul-smelling substance when threatened, which may deter a cat from attacking.

Factors That Increase the Likelihood of a Confrontation Between a Cat and Possum

Certain factors might increase the likelihood of a confrontation between a cat and a possum. If a cat feels threatened by a possum invading their territory or if they compete for food resources, a conflict may ensue. Domestic cats that are fed outdoors might attract possums searching for an easy meal, leading to a possible altercation.

To minimize the risk of conflicts between your cat and possums, there are a few steps you can take. First, avoid feeding your cat outdoors, as this can attract possums and other wildlife. Instead, establish a routine of feeding your cat indoors and ensure they have a safe and comfortable environment to retreat to.

Another effective measure is to keep your cat indoors, particularly during the evening and nighttime hours, when possums are most active. Keeping your cat inside not only minimizes the risk of encounters with possums but also protects them from other potential dangers, such as traffic or conflicts with other animals.

Lastly, promoting a healthy and balanced ecosystem in your backyard can help maintain harmony among various species. Providing safe nesting sites and natural food sources for wildlife will attract a diverse range of animals, with each fulfilling a specific role in the ecosystem. This, in turn, can help minimize conflicts between individual species, such as cats and possums.


While it’s not common for cats to attack possums, certain circumstances might lead to a confrontation. By taking the necessary precautions, such as feeding cats indoors and keeping them inside during nighttime hours, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a conflict between your cat and a possum, ensuring the safety and well-being of both animals.

Cat Smacking an Opossum (aka Possum) (Video)

"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
-- Terry Pratchett

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