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Judy Hedding

Cats and Scorpions

By November 4, 2008

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Sandra wrote to me about an article I had written about what I believe to be a local urban legend, the premise of which is that cats are immune to scorpion venom.
Hi Judy, your article about cats and scorpions was great, but I disagree that cats reducing the scorp population is a myth. I donít know what I would do without my three cats, who alert me to scorpions in my home so that I can then kill them. My experience is that the cats are very helpful in reducing the scorpion population!

I hope you give your cats a few extra treats for being such good hunters. It sounds like you live in an area where scorpions are common, and I'll bet those felines give you some peace of mind. I have heard from families with both cats and dogs who say that their pets are just like yours, with dogs more likely to simply point (or whimper and run away!) and cats -- being the alpha creature in most households -- hunting, toying and playing with scorpions. To the contrary, I have also heard from people who tell me that as much as they'd love some advance notice from their pets, their cats and dogs would probably snooze right through any scorpion experience. I know my cat would have been in that category.

Of course, the article to which you refer deals mostly with the issue of immunity to scorpion venom. While I'm happy that your cats help you to find and kill scorpions at your home, I still don't recommend that people get a cat for that purpose. It just doesn't always work. People should get cats if they want cats as pets, and make the necessary commitment to those pets. If they happen to help you with scorpions, crickets, mice or silverfish, so much the better.

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