Can Squirrels Eat Cat Food? Discover the Surprising Truth!

Squirrels can eat cat food as it provides them with a high-protein and energy-rich diet. Squirrels are known for their diverse diet, as they opportunistically scavenge for food in various environments.

Their ability to consume a wide range of food sources often leads to the question of whether squirrels can eat cat food. Cat food typically contains a high percentage of protein due to the carnivorous nature of cats. This protein-rich content makes cat food an attractive option for many animals, including squirrels.

However, it’s important to understand the potential effects of feeding cat food to squirrels, as it may not provide a completely balanced nutrition for them. We will explore whether squirrels can safely consume cat food, the potential benefits and drawbacks, and offer some alternative food options that provide a more suitable diet for these furry creatures.

Why Do Squirrels Eat Cat Food?

Squirrels may eat cat food for various nutritional reasons. Cat food contains proteins and fats that are beneficial for squirrels’ diet. Additionally, it is easily accessible to them as they often scavenge for food in outdoor areas where cats are present.

Squirrels, being opportunistic eaters, adapt to their surroundings and take advantage of available food sources. However, it’s important to note that while squirrels can consume cat food, it should not be their primary diet. They still require a diverse range of foods to fulfill their nutritional needs.

Feeding squirrels cat food in moderation can provide them with supplementary nutrients, but their main diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. So, if you spot squirrels munching on cat food, it’s likely due to a combination of nutritional reasons and accessibility.

Is Cat Food Safe For Squirrels?

Cat food may not be the ideal choice for squirrels to consume. While it may not immediately harm them, there are potential health risks to consider. Certain cat food ingredients can pose a threat to the well-being of squirrels. For instance, preservatives and additives commonly found in cat food may have adverse effects on their digestive system.

Additionally, the high protein content in cat food may not be suitable for squirrels’ dietary needs. It is important to be aware of the ingredients in cat food that can be harmful to squirrels and to avoid feeding them with it.

Instead, provide them with a diet that closely resembles their natural food sources such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables. This will ensure the overall health and safety of the squirrels in your area.

What Happens When Squirrels Eat Cat Food?

Squirrels consuming cat food may have various effects on their digestion and nutrient absorption. The high protein content of cat food may be beneficial for squirrels, providing them with essential amino acids. However, the high fat content might pose a challenge for their digestive systems.

Squirrels are naturally herbivores, so their bodies may not be equipped to efficiently break down and process the fats present in cat food. This can lead to gastrointestinal distress and potential nutrient imbalances. Moreover, the consumption of cat food may impact squirrel behavior.

The attractants in cat food could cause squirrels to become dependent or even aggressive in their search for this type of food. It is important to note that cat food should not be a staple diet for squirrels, as it may not provide them with all the necessary nutrients for their overall health and well-being.

Can Squirrels Eat Cat Food? Discover the Surprising Truth!


How To Prevent Squirrels From Eating Cat Food?

Squirrels are known to be attracted to cat food, but there are ways to prevent this. First, secure feeding areas by using squirrel-proof feeders or elevated platforms. This will make it difficult for squirrels to access the food. Another option is to offer alternative feeding options such as squirrel feeders with peanuts or corn.

By providing a separate food source for the squirrels, they may be less inclined to go after the cat food. Additionally, it’s important to clean up any spilled cat food promptly to avoid attracting squirrels. Taking these precautions will help ensure that your cat’s food is not being consumed by squirrels.


While it is true that squirrels can eat cat food, it is not the most nutritious option for them. Cat food is formulated to meet the specific dietary needs of cats, which are different from those of squirrels. Although squirrels may find cat food tasty and convenient, it can lead to health issues if it becomes a regular part of their diet.

Squirrels require a varied diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These provide the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial for their wellbeing. Feeding squirrels an imbalanced diet, such as cat food, may lead to deficiencies and potential health problems in the long term.

If you come across a situation where squirrels are eating cat food, it is advisable to discourage this behavior and provide them with more appropriate food options. By ensuring that squirrels have access to a natural and varied diet, we can contribute to their overall health and support their natural behavior in the wild.

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Dr Harunur Rashid (Harun) is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has five years of experience in large pet animal medicine. He worked as a livestock officer for two years in an NGO, and since then he has been practicing pet animals medicine privately. He holds an MS in Pharmacology from Bangladesh Agricultural University and a DVM from the same institution.