Do Cats Keep Armadillos Away? The Truth About Feline Predators and Armadillo Control

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Cats are well-known for their hunting abilities, and many believe they can keep unwanted pests away from their homes.

One such pest that some people may encounter is the armadillo, a small, armored mammal native to the Americas.

But can cats keep armadillos away?

While there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that cats may be able to deter armadillos, there is little scientific research to support this claim.

Armadillos are primarily nocturnal animals that spend most of their time foraging for food, and the presence of cats or other predators does not typically deter them.

Some cats may even be afraid of armadillos and avoid them altogether.


Cats as Deterrents


Cats are known for their hunting instincts; many believe they can help keep armadillos away. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, there are several reasons why cats may be effective deterrents.

Firstly, cats are natural predators and are likely to chase and attack small animals like armadillos. This can make armadillos feel unsafe and encourage them to stay away from the area.

Additionally, cats have a strong sense of smell and may be able to detect the scent of armadillos, which can help to keep them away.

Another reason why cats may be effective deterrents is that they are territorial animals. They mark their territory with their scent, and this can be enough to discourage other animals from entering the area.

If a cat has established its territory where armadillos are present, it may be enough to keep them away.

It’s important to note that while cats may be effective at deterring armadillos, they are not a foolproof solution.

Armadillos are resilient animals and may still find a way to enter an area even if there is a cat present. Additionally, cats may not be effective in all situations and may not be suitable for use in areas with other predators.

While cats may be effective at deterring armadillos, using them as part of a larger strategy for armadillo control is essential.

This may include other deterrents like fencing or repellents and regular maintenance and monitoring of the area.


Effectiveness of Cats Against Armadillos

Cats Predatory Instincts


Cats are natural predators, and they have a strong hunting instinct. They are known to prey on small mammals, birds, and even reptiles.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that cats would effectively keep armadillos away from a property.

However, armadillos are not typical prey for cats, and they may not view them as a threat. Additionally, armadillos are nocturnal, and cats are more active during the day.

Therefore, it is possible that cats may not encounter armadillos often enough to be an effective deterrent.


Cats Territory Marking


Cats are also known for marking their territory. They use their urine to leave a scent that other animals can detect.

This scent can warn other animals to stay away from the area.

A cat marking its territory regularly may deter armadillos from entering the area. However, armadillos have a poor sense of smell and may not be deterred by the scent of a cat’s urine.

In conclusion, while cats have predatory instincts and can mark their territory, it is unclear whether they effectively keep armadillos away. It may depend on the individual cat’s behavior and the frequency of armadillo sightings in the area.


Alternative Methods to Keep Armadillos Away


While cats may be effective at keeping rodents away, they may not be the best solution for deterring armadillos. Here are some alternative methods to consider:

1. Fencing

Fencing can be an effective way to keep armadillos out of your yard. Armadillos are known for their ability to dig, so the fence should be buried at least 1-2 feet deep to prevent them from burrowing underneath.

The fence should also be 4 feet high to prevent them from jumping over.

2. Repellents

There are a variety of repellents on the market that claim to keep armadillos away. Some use natural ingredients like garlic or castor oil, while others use chemical compounds like ammonium soap or naphthalene.

It’s essential to read the label carefully and follow the instructions to ensure the repellent is safe for pets and children.

3. Habitat Modification

Armadillos are attracted to areas with plenty of insects and grubs to eat. Reducing the number of insects in your yard can make it less appealing to armadillos.

This can be done by removing standing water, keeping your lawn mowed, and picking up fallen fruit from trees.

4. Trapping and Removal

If all else fails, trapping and removal may be necessary. You must check your local laws and regulations before attempting to trap armadillos, as they may be protected in some areas.

Traps should be checked frequently to ensure the armadillo is not left in the trap for an extended time. Once caught, the armadillo should be released in a suitable habitat away from residential areas.

Overall, there are a variety of methods that can be used to keep armadillos away from your yard.

Finding the best method for you may take some trial and error, but with patience and persistence, you can create a less appealing yard for these curious creatures.


Cat Behavior and Armadillos


Cats are known for their hunting instincts and ability to catch small prey like mice and birds. However, their behavior may vary when it comes to larger animals like armadillos.

Some cats may be intimidated by armadillos and avoid them altogether, while others may be curious and attempt to approach them.

In some cases, cats may even try to play or hunt armadillos, but this is not always successful due to the armadillo’s tough armor.

It is important to note that not all cats will react the same way to armadillos. Factors such as the cat’s age, breed, and previous experiences with wildlife can all affect how they behave around armadillos.

Additionally, it is essential to consider the potential risks of allowing cats to interact with armadillos. Armadillos can carry diseases such as leprosy and salmonella, which can be transmitted to cats and humans.

While some cats may exhibit behavior towards armadillos, it is not a guaranteed method for keeping them away.

Other methods, such as fencing and habitat modification, may be more effective in preventing armadillo damage.


Natural Deterrents for Armadillos


There are several natural deterrents that can help keep armadillos away from your property. These methods are safe for the environment and do not harm the armadillos.


Natural Repellents


Some natural repellents that can be used to deter armadillos include:

  • Castor oil: Armadillos do not like the smell of castor oil and will avoid areas where it has been applied. Mix one part castor oil with two parts water and spray it around your property.
  • Garlic: Crush several cloves of garlic and mix them with water. Spray the mixture around your property to keep armadillos away.
  • Predator urine: Armadillos are afraid of predators such as coyotes and foxes. You can purchase predator urine from a hunting store and spray it around your property to deter armadillos.

Physical Barriers


Physical barriers can also be used to keep armadillos away. Some effective barriers include:

  • Fencing: Install a fence around your property to keep armadillos out. The fence should be buried at least 1-2 feet underground to prevent armadillos from digging underneath it.
  • Netting: Place netting over plants and gardens to prevent armadillos from digging up the roots.
  • Gravel: Cover areas where armadillos are likely to dig with gravel. Armadillos do not like the feeling of gravel on their feet and will avoid these areas.

By using natural deterrents and physical barriers, you can effectively keep armadillos away from your property without harming them.




In conclusion, while some people believe cats can keep armadillos away, no scientific evidence supports this claim. While it is true that cats are natural predators and may tend to hunt small animals, there is no guarantee that they will target armadillos specifically.

Furthermore, armadillos are not typically a primary food source for cats, so even if a cat encounters an armadillo, it might not necessarily try to attack or chase it away. Some cats may even be afraid of armadillos or ignore them altogether.

Overall, it is essential to recognize that there is no foolproof method for keeping armadillos away from your property. While some people may swear by certain ways, such as using predator urine or installing fencing, these strategies may not be effective in all situations.

Ultimately, the best approach is to take a comprehensive approach to armadillo control, which may include a combination of strategies such as habitat modification, exclusion, and repellents. By taking a proactive approach and addressing the root causes of armadillo activity, property owners can minimize the potential for damage and maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem.

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