Can Cats Keep Snakes Away from Your House?

Cats are natural predators and will go out of their way to catch their prey. Even domesticated, indoor cats tend to catch small, furry animals such as mice and rats.

So, do cats keep snakes away? Yes, but not necessarily always. Snakes consider cats to be predators and are scared of them. However, it doesn't guarantee that having cats around will keep snakes from coming near. The snake may detect other things in the area—such as mice or birds—that it likes to eat.

Cats and Snakes: Who's Afraid of Who?

According to scientists, the phrase the cat's got the rat is rooted in fact. Domestic cats that coexist with other animals in the house—including dogs—will usually prefer to catch rodents over any other creature.

A domestic cat's mind is wired to see a rat as the most important prey it can catch, unlike a snake. Cats are natural predators, so it's natural to chase things, catch them and kill them.

The fact that cats are predators and snakes are natural prey means that cats will be much more likely to chase, catch and kill a snake than the other way around. Snakes don't look like prey and will try to escape them if they can.

Cats and Snakes: Which Animal Runs the House?

The fact that snakes don't like cats means that if the snake is in the same place as the cat, the cat will usually get to the snake first. Snakes are usually hidden within their habitat, and they are often very good at hiding.

However, the fact that cats are predators and snakes are prey doesn't mean that a snake won't try to chase a cat away. If a snake is in its habitat and a cat comes into the area, it will usually hide.

Where Snakes Interact with Cats

Unfortunately, cats often look for rats in a snake's habitat. Unfamiliar cats will go into the habitat and try to catch rats. This is where the phrase the cat's got the rat comes from.

A snake in a cat's habitat will be scared of the cat and think that the cat is trying to catch a rat, not the snake itself. So if the snake can escape, it will. If it can't, it may bite the cat.

If the cat and the snake are in different habitats, they won't interact. If the snake sees a cat outside its habitat, it will usually run away. The snake will only stick around if there's something in its habitat it needs to protect.

Is It Dangerous to Have Cats and Snakes in the Same Area?

Cats and snakes are different species with places to hide and eat. They don't share an area, and they also don't really need to be around each other. Having a cat and a snake in the same area isn't dangerous since the cat and the snake are unlikely to contact each other in the first place. There does not seem to be a significant chance of a snake biting a cat.


Overall, cats and snakes do not get along because they are very different species. They usually prefer different habitats and aren't in the same area. When they are in the same area, they usually run away. If a cat sees a snake, it's unlikely to try to kill the snake. It will usually run away, just like the snake will if it can. If a snake feels threatened, it will usually try to escape. If it can't escape, it will bite the cat.

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