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Do Bears Eat Cats? (No, but Beware!)

do bears eat cats

Bears don’t attack or eat cats, and that’s mainly because cats and bears don’t inhabit the same space. In the event that a bear finds its way to a densely populated area, it’s likely going to have bigger troubles on its mind than cats.

Bears are somewhat fearful of cats. It might be because they link the domesticated species to the wild counterparts in the mountains or that cats are pretty aggressive in their curiosity.

This article will explore bear and cat relations and whether cats (pets or otherwise) are in any danger from the bear species.

Do Bears Eat Cats?

bears growling

There’s not a very high chance of bears and cats running into each other. For instance, they don’t share the same habitat in the way that bears and wolves would.

The most common time bears and cats see each other is when bears can be lured to human settlements due to the smell of food or garbage.

In these instances, they can run into street cats or pet cats with outdoor access. However, an encounter between a bear and a cat will not put the cat on the bear’s menu.

Bears Are Nervous Of Cats

People have a hard time believing an animal as powerful as a bear could be anxious of cats. To humans, cats are adorable creatures with cuddly tendencies and weird quirks.

But all it takes is to see a few Youtube videos of cats charging at bears to believe that cats can put the fear of God in animals much bigger than them! Check this great one out:

The bear’s nervousness around cats might have something to do with the likeness cats share with their bigger cousins – mountain lions, tigers, panthers, etc.

Big cats often attack and eat bear cubs in the wild, which is probably why bears prefer to dodge felines of all sizes. Additionally, in the animal world, threatening body language and poses can have a significant effect.

When cats charge at bears, one imagines they feel the same terror humans experience when they see a wasp headed straight for them. There’s a moment of pure panic, and it causes the bear to take off in the other direction.

Related: Are Bears Felines?

Bears Would Find it Difficult to Catch a Cat

black bear

If a cat felt threatened by a bear, it would have the advantage of agility and speed to escape.

The average cat runs as fast as 48 miles per hour. Black bears (reputed to have the most run-in with humans) can hit a top speed of only 35 miles per hour.

Cats can also lunge about six to eight times their body size, approximately eight feet. Conversely, bears can pounce about six feet. In short, cats are better runners and jumpers than bears.

That alone will make it difficult for a bear to hunt a cat that’s intent on saving its life – not taking into account cats clamber up trees, hide in nooks and crevices, and disappear in no time flat when chased.

Related Article: Do Bears Eat Raccoons?

Do Bears Attack Cats?

There are no actual reports of bears attacking cats, and the scenario is pretty unlikely.

Bears are generally wary creatures and unlikely to attack unless they feel threatened. Even when they do feel in danger, bears vary in how they express aggression.

For example, Grizzly bears are much more aggressive than their black bear counterparts and likelier to charge at the source of danger. Black bears prefer to huff loudly and hit their paws on the ground as warning signs.

Since Black bears are generally more renowned for walking through campsites, communities, or towns searching for food, they’re the likeliest of all bear species to run into or attack cats.

Related: Do Bears Attack Camping Tents?

Of course, if a feline happens to come between a bear and its food or cubs, it might be in danger. But even then, the bear would have to be fast enough to land any blows.

Related: Are Bears Related to Cats?

Bears Prefer Easy Food Sources

black bear

The black, brown, and grizzly bears all primarily eat herbage and berries. They don’t eat nearly as much meat as most people think.

Furthermore, they’re scavengers, meaning they prefer to eat berries, roots, or carrion meat (already dead carcasses) rather than hunting themselves.

A bear will, however, sneak up on and eat young or injured ungulates who are easy prey, such as baby elk or deer.

Therefore, a bear is not likely to see a cat as potential food. The exception is if the bear is particularly hungry or needs to fatten up before its winter hibernation. In these cases, bears have been known to eat raccoons, because they’ll eat whatever they can get to fill their bellies!

Can Bears Kill Cats?

If a bear was fast or agile enough to hit a cat, then a single blow from a bear’s paw would probably prove fatal to a cat.

An adult Black bear can weigh anywhere between 350 to 600 pounds, while the average cat clocks in at 10 pounds only. The size disparity between the two species alone means that cats could not survive a full-forced blow of a bear.

It’s pointless to consider what damage a bear’s bite force could do to a cat because the strength of a paw hit alone could break bones and damage internal organs enough for a cat to die.

Conclusion

Bears and cats are not animal species that are in much contact with one another. Bears live in the wild, and cats seem to prefer living in or around human communities.

That doesn’t cancel out the possibility of these animals crossing paths, especially since bears can enter towns and campsites searching for food. But, there have been no reports or stories of bears eating cats to our knowledge.

Bears often avoid having anything to do with felines because they’re somewhat nervous of the tiny creatures. Even if a bear wanted to attack a cat, it would have a hard catching up to it.

Cats face more danger from animals like wolves, coyotes, hawks, owls, and cougars than they do from bears.

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