Any field or lawn close to a forest comes under groundhog habitat. So, if you live in such a home or estate and have a cat, an encounter between your cat and a groundhog is very likely.
But does that mean your cat is a risk? Also, who wins in a groundhog vs cat fight?
That’s what the post below will answer.
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Can a Groundhog Injure a Cat?
Groundhogs do hunt sometimes, but the chances of them attacking your cat are limited because:
- Apart from hunting for food, groundhogs attack only when they feel threatened.
- Search online, and you will find almost little to no reports of groundhogs harming cats.
- Usually, cats stay away from groundhogs because of their acute senses.
However, there is a possibility of a confrontation between a groundhog and a cat despite these facts because:
Groundhogs can eat kittens (yikes!), owls, and possums. With that being said, groundhogs don’t feed on full-grown cats. Still, the possibility does exist.
Also, groundhogs are omnivorous, so they often go for accessible food sources like daisies, red mulberry, clovers, hackberry leaves, black cherry, and dogwood trees. Therefore, the possibility of them hunting isn’t as high as that of carnivores.
2. Usually Avoid Confrontation
Above, we highlighted how cats usually stay away from groundhogs. But did you know groundhogs also try to stay away from adult cats?
Spraying cat litter in an area infested by groundhogs drives them away. If groundhogs run away at the smell of cat litter, they will unlikely harm or kill a cat.
The only exception to this is if a cat threatens them.
3. Proximity to Home or Babies
Groundhogs are territorial. They will exert their domination among their species to protect their territory and family.
Therefore, they are likely to be aggressive to cats, and a groundhog can be dangerous to cats who come close to their home or babies.
Till now, we have presented both sides of the argument, but what happens when a groundhog spots a cat or comes face to face with it? We will answer that below.
Who Would Win the Fight in Case of an Encounter?
Cats are considered to be groundhog predators. That’s why farmers use cat litter and urine to drive groundhogs away. It means when a groundhog spots a cat, it’s likely to run away.
The only scenario in which the groundhog attacks a cat is when it feels threatened by the cat, and there is no other alternative.
Due to their sharp claws, teeth, and fighting stance, they can harm or kill a cat, but it’s very unlikely. Their usual response would be to leave the area on spotting a cat or even when it smells cat litter or urine. Because of this, the cat has an upper hand in the fight.
Will a Cat Keep Groundhogs Away?
Yes, cats will drive away groundhogs. In fact, a groundhog repellent can be made using kitty litter.
Step 1: Grab a pile of kitty litter and soak it in cat urine.
Step 2: Place the kitty litter near the holes in the ground or in areas where you have seen groundhogs.
Step 3: Once the smell fades, repeat those steps.
Within a few weeks, groundhogs will be driven away from your property.
Protecting My Cat From Potential Groundhog Interactions
Apart from the above method, there are a few other ways to protect your cat from groundhogs.
1. Control access
Create indoor enclosures for your cat so that the cat spends less time outdoors. Examples include a screened-in porch, a cattery, or a cat bed. With such enclosures, the time a cat spends outdoors will be reduced, leading to less probability of confrontation with a groundhog.
2. Separate the food sources
The probability of confrontation between a groundhog and a cat arises if they rely on the same food sources. Provide your cat with enough food at a regular frequency, and it won’t have to rely on external food sources. With separate food sources, the chances of an altercation were reduced drastically.
Tips to Keep Groundhogs Away From My Garden
While you can usually keep the cat away from groundhogs, you can’t always keep it indoors. Therefore, try the tips below to eliminate groundhogs.
1. Invest in a fence
The best way is to obstruct their access to your property.
Chicken wire fences are a great way to protect your cat and crops from groundhogs.
Keep in mind that groundhogs tend to climb over or under fences. Therefore, the fences should be buried in the ground and 4′ in height.
Go with something like Miuwauer Chicken Wire Poultry Wire Netting Hexagonal Galvanized Mesh.
2. Use castor oil
Mix castor oil and water in a ratio of 1:3 and spray it around their burrows. That should drive them away.
3. Use your own hair
Groundhogs tend to avoid humans. Therefore, when you shave or clip your hair, put it in a mesh bag and place it around the burrows of groundhogs. The scent emanating from the hair will drive them away.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question, can a cat kill a groundhog, is yes, but on extremely rare occasions. So, if you are worried about a Groundhog vs cat showdown happening in your backyard, follow our guide above to avoid the confrontation altogether and keep your cat safe.
I pursued veterinary studies at the University of Kansas. After several years of practice, I established a veterinary clinic in Kansas. When Michael extended an invitation with a vision that went beyond emergency support – sharing of caregiving information for guardians to create the best living environment for cats, I didn’t hesitate to join the organization.
My role here involves verifying the information presented on the official website. With my experience, I believe the information provided is entirely accurate. If you have any concerns, please feel free to reach out to me