Categories: working cats

In Indonesia domestic cats are snake catchers

Harking back to the very beginnings of the domestic cat around 9,500 years ago when wild cats were domesticated because they caught snakes and killed rodents, in Indonesia domestic cats still protect families from poisonous snakes as is evidenced by the story of a cat called ‘The White’.

Indonesian domestic cat attacks snake; a baby viper we are told. She killed the snake. Photo: in public domain.

A family in Mojokerto have a cute What types of tabby cats are there? who has protected them from three cobra babies who entered their compound from an adjacent farm.

The White killed two of the snakes. It is reported in DetikNews and News24xx that a third went under the terrace.

Mr Widarthi, a resident of the home, said:

Initially, I raised cats because the kids loved it. Alhamdulillah, there are benefits. Snakes cannot enter the house because there are cats…

Comment: it is nice to note that in some countries the domestic cat serves its original purpose: to kill snakes and rodent pests. They are more than animal companions. They are working cats. They perform a function in the same way as dogs. Historically dogs were and are the working companion animals which is why they are more popular in developing countries today.

However, dogs can’t catch and kill poisonous snakes. Cute domestic cats can.

All small wild cat species can catch snakes. It is about speed of reaction. The small sand cat, for example, is a great snake catcher. This capable wild cat species considers snakes prey items in their desert habitat.

The North African wildcat – the domestic cat’s wild ancestor – also preys on snakes to survive. That ability is part of the domestic cat’s character and as strong as ever.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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