Do Cats Eat Bats?

I went down to the basement today to get the laundry and opened the door into the basement and there was a thing that looked kind of like a chunk of lint or a sock hanging on the edge of the door. I grabbed it and it was warm and furry and surprising. I dropped it and jumped back. It was a bat. It wasn’t moving. Did I stun it? Was it sick? It can’t have been dead. It was still warm and twitchy when I grabbed it and dropped it.

I opened the door and shoved it out gently into the cold. It didn’t move. Later I checked back and it was gone.

Flown away? Eaten?

11 thoughts on “Do Cats Eat Bats?”

  1. Oddly enough, I just a had very similar experience: Unfamiliar object on the stairs, upon scrutiny turned out to be a bat, which I thought was dead. I got a broom to dispose of it, but sort of woke him up — though he was very sluggish. I very quickly swept him down stairs and outdoors. He spread his wings during this process, but seemed in no shape to fly away. Frankly I was creeped out and figured he was dying and I’d deal with the body later. But when I checked back, he was gone, and we debated this same question, whether he felt better and left on his own, or if a cat carried him off or what.

    I guess this isn’t useful, but …


  2. My cat sees bats as toys and will stalk them until they’re dealt with. He would probably eat one if he was the sort to eat his kills. But the bats he’s caught, when cornered, tend to hunker down and squeak, so it wouldn’t surprise me if yours played ‘possum and then flew away.


  3. Our cat caught a bat one year while we were away on vacation and left it on our front door as a gift.

    So yes, they can and do catch bats sometimes.


  4. Yes, cats attack bats. This is one of the most common reasons for bats to come to a Wildlife rescue group.

    Also some bats hibernate, others go into torpor which is a deep sleep like state. This may be why the bat was lethargic.

    Finally, most bats can’t fly from the ground, so wear gloves or some type of protection and place the bat up high so it can drop to fly.


  5. From the Mass. Department of Public Health (link above):

    Between 1980 and 2002, 29 (91%) of the 32 cases of domestically acquired human rabies in the United States involved variants of rabies virus associated with bats. Many of these cases had a history of exposure to bats, however, only 3 cases reported an actual bat bite. This finding suggests that even limited contact with bats has the potential of transmission of rabies.

    The teeth and claws of bats are so small that a bite or scratch may leave only a very small mark and the wound may not bleed or hurt. Thus, a person may not realize that an exposure has occurred or may not take the exposure seriously enough to feel that it warrants attention, and they may fail to report the exposure.

    Please consult a physician. You are legally required to have health insurance nowadays, so why not use it?


  6. I wasn’t drunk or asleep, and it says “People cannot get rabies from having contact with bat guano (feces), blood, or urine, or from touching a bat on its fur” — so, I’m going to assume I’m fine.


  7. Pretty much the same thing happened to me (it was even in the laundry room coincidently) I never touched it and the bat flew towards the dryer vent and we couldn’t find him. I am assuming he got out somehow (I guess by squeezing his way like he came in) but I’m a little concerned because my cat happened to get a little bald patch and mark on his neck, which I’m thinking/hoping was caused by him getting into some old boards and nails we had lying around. I’m assuming a little bat bite wouldn’t make a dime sized bald spot on a cat.


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