The possum is an animal that many of us are familiar with. These little critters are well known because their primary defense mechanism is to play dead. When confronted by a predator or some other animal that they feel is a danger to them, their response is to lay down on the ground and remained as still as possible, pretending to be dead. To add to the effect, these animals release a rather noxious odor that ensures that most other animals would think they had passed on. Because they smell so bad and are lying still, the other animal will leave it alone, allowing the possum to continue on its journey.
This is not a very aggressive animal. They are animals that are built to avoid and to shy away from confrontation. So, what is going on when one of these animals actually attacks your cat or dog?
This may seem quite unusual to people, the fact of the matter is that possums will attack on a few different occasions. This will mean that they will go after your dog or cat and are willing to bite and scratch at it. So why would a possum attack cats, dogs, or other pets?
The first of these is if the animal is not fooled by their dead act. If your dog or cat continually pokes or prods at the possum, it will respond by lashing out. It is still trying to defend itself and it realizes that its primary means of doing so has failed, so it’s only real option is to use its sharp claws and sharp teeth to try to attack your animal to get away. This is really its last line of defense.
You may also find that it will attack your pet if your animal has approached where its babies are at. Like any other animal, the possum must protect its young for survival. If your cat or dog has come close to where the babies are at, the mother will lash out to defend them.
These are the more rare instances where you may have an issue with your dog or cat thing attacked by a possum. The one that you should be most concerned about is if this animal is sick. Possums carry a large number of illnesses, some of which are very dangerous to human beings.
If a possum is sick, it’s normal instincts to keep away from people and to only come out at night may be hampered. Its brain could suffer a severe injury or it could simply be out of its mind, which is when you need to be quite concerned.
When these animals are sick and ignoring their normal impulses, they will become quite aggressive and can harm your animal quite easily. They will bite and claw, not only causing injury to your cat or dog, but also infecting them with whatever illness they are suffering from. This is why if you see a possum out in the daytime your first instinct should be to get away from it.
Read more: Opossum Control
, How to Get Rid of Opossums
, Opossum Feces