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11 Wildlife Dangers to Cats

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Skunks
Night Photo of Skunk

Photo of Skunk at Night

Image © Franny Syufy

Most often we are concerned about skunks when a cat comes inside after having been sprayed by a skunk. The odor is almost unbearable, and must be dealt with immediately. De-skunking a cat is no fun for either you or the cat, but it is necessary to do without delay, to keep the odor from permeating your entire home.

Misunderstood and Maligned Skunks

Skunks can be found in almost all parts of North America, and they are gentle little omnivores who forage at night, seeking out plants, insects, eggs, reptiles, fruits, vegetables, or fish.

As they are so small and comparatively physically weak, skunks are one of the favorite prey of several of the carnivores on this list, including owls, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Because they are small (about the size of a house cat), their only defense is that powerful anal sac spray, and they have several kinds of body action which accompanies the spray, such as stomping their feet. Few predators continue to the kill once liberally sprayed by a skunk.

The Dangers of Skunks to Cats

Besides the wound itself, the most significant dangers of a skunk bite to a cat are rabies and/or distemper.

Resources:

Dragoo Institute for the Betterment of Skunks and Skunk Reputations
National Geographic Online

A Final Note:

As I remarked in the preface, all these creatures of the wild were here first. We humans have intruded into their habitat, to the extent that some of these animals are in danger of becoming extinct. Instead of taking an adversarial role with our wildlife, how much better their world would be if we could recognize how blessed we are that they are still around, and appreciate that they are still wild animals.
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