Do Lions Eat Cats? Would A Lion Eat A Cat?

As Lion is on the top of the food chain, it preys mostly on every other animal below it. But some people often ask or ponder over things like “Do lions eat cats? What happens if a cat meets a lion?” and so on. Let’s try to answer some of the common questions from that list.

Do Lions Eat Cats?

Animals are driven by hunger and survival and don’t care how we classify them. They are opportunists; if another lower animal comes too near, it’s a free lunch, usual prey or not. So, a lion will kill a cat (domestic cat) and may eat it if the lion sees the cat as prey.

If a lion can kill a cheetah, why won’t they do the same with a domestic cat? We heard that male lions will even kill cubs that aren’t theirs. Lions have been known to kill other cats, such as cheetahs and leopards.

According to some surveys in Serengeti, one of the biggest perils of cheetah cubs is lions. It was found that up to 73% of cheetah cubs are lost to predation, most of which are to lions. So, lions would eat domestic cats if they could catch them, but the chances of their encounter are very rare in the wild.

Also, they prefer larger & slower prey. However, if food scarcity and your pet cat is seen as competition, or worse, a food source, lions might hurt your cat.

Do Lions Kill Other Big Cats Like Tigers?

Yes. Lions have the ability to plan and attack mostly any animal. Lions are heavier than tigers, even though tigers are bigger. So, the grip of the lion is much better than the tiger. But still, many things depend on and vary here.

As a lion can kill a tiger, in the same way, a tiger can kill a lion sometimes too. Tiger has an advantage if the lion is smaller or the tigers are in a group with only one lion.

As lions are apex predators, it isn’t always uncommon to discover them preying on other predators like cheetahs and their cubs. The most interesting element is that lions rarely consume them after attacking and killing cheetahs and other cats.

As lions are incredibly territorial animals, so they regularly assault and kill different huge cats just to protect their territory instead of killing them for food.

bunch of lions hunting, pride of lions eating
Photo by Eelco Bohtlingk on Unsplash

Do Cats Get Along With Lions? What Happens if A Cat Meets A Lion?

Only a captive-bred lion might be able to be with a cat (if it is), but lions in the wild are not domesticated. Even at places like zoos and circuses where they are used to people, still, they don’t get along with the small cats as they are wild animals. Their instincts will kick in eventually, and those instincts will say that that thing is prey.

And animals don’t give a damn about how humans classify them. To give another example, we can see coyotes often killing domestic dogs, despite coyotes and dogs belonging to the genus Canis (making them even more closely related than domestic cats are to lions).

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Fruit?

Do Mountain Lions Eat Cats?

After Jaguars, mountain lions are the second largest cats in America. They have an estimated population of around 50,000. Hunting mountain lions is regulated in the US, not banned. So, the numbers are in decline, and they are now found mainly in western states.

Mountain lions are large predatory animals that will eat anything from small animals to people! Deers are their favorite food, but they can generally eat all kinds of animals further down the food chain, like insects. So, Yes. Mountain Lions eat cats.

Interesting Fact: Though Mountain lions can live up to 13 years, it is very rare in modern times for a mountain lion to reach this age, with many active threats around. Mountain lions are hunted for recreational purposes (it was worst in the 1900s), shot if they threaten local livestock, or when spotted, they are killed out of fear.

Mountain Lions VS Cats:

As the human population expanded ever outwards from the urban areas, people started invading the hunting grounds of the lions, which are extensive. A male mountain lion’s territory ranges anything from 10 square miles to well over 300.

Also, with the increase of pasture animals, like cattle and sheep, which mountain lions would seem like natural prey, the likelihood of these cats moving into areas of easy food sources is high, especially when their regular food sources are scarce. So chances of encountering a mountain lion and a cat are not impossible.

Interesting Fact: Mountain lions are very adaptive in their habitat. This is why you can see them even in snowy forests hiding behind frozen foliage, and also in the warm climate of Chile.

Moutain lion waiting for a hunt
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Mountain Lions will win in this hypothetical fight. Although they are both related in many traits, being the feline line and having the same attributes of stealth and agility, it would be no contest just because of sheer size and aggressiveness.

When faced with a much larger aggressor, most house cats will turn and flee. But unfortunately, that won’t help with a mountain lion as running triggers its chase and hunting instincts.

Note: Caution should be taken when walking or venturing into areas known to have mountain lions. They are stealthy; you may never hear them until they are upon you.

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Fish?

Can A Cat Kill A Lion?

Most of us may think that no animal can beat the lion, as it has the tag of “king of the jungle” and all. But it’s not true. However, a cat cannot kill a lion. But other cats, like tigers and jaguars, can give a tough fight to lions.
Jaguar’s style of attack and killing is so different from other big cats like lions. They have more powerful strings than others in the feline family. Even Hippopotamus/Hippos can hurt and kill a lion, but we are not talking about them as they are not from the cat family.

Final words:

Bigger cats like tigers and lions can kill and eat a domestic cat, but a bigger cat must catch it first. A domestic cat can escape from any bigger cat by climbing a high tree or sneaking into smaller places.

Most domestic cats live among human beings and don’t share the same habitat. So, encounters between a domestic cat and a bigger cat are improbable.

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