What animals eat Cactus? 12 Animals that Feed on Cacti

What animals eat Cactus? Have you ever thought of growing cactus in your yard? Or have you seen them in the desserts? If yes, then you might have noticed that some animals tend to eat them. Yes, numerous animals are drawn toward eating the cacti. But why so?  It is because they fulfill their hunger by eating the cactus plants. 

Quick takeaways:

  • Cacti are spikey as they have spines and even some animals have the potential to eat those spines.
  • The Cactus is considered both a vegetable and even a vegetable. There are many types of cacti that you can grow in your garden like Dancing Bones Cactus, Fishbone Cactus, Cereus Peruvianus, etc.
  • Its fruit stands out individually whereas the pad makes its vegetable part.

Being a tricky plant, you need to report and cut them so that the plant grows at its best.

Are you worried about saving your cactus plants? If yes, then you will come to know about the animals who will eat cacti so you try to keep them away from your garden area. So you have to stay connected with this guide then. Animals manage to eat the whole plant even with its spikes. So, you need to save your plants from them. So let us learn about the top animals that feed on cacti. 

What Animals Eat Cactus? 

As you know cacti are mostly found in the deserts where there is a lack of water or underwatering the cactus and even food, animals living there get attracted to the cactus as they don’t find any other source of eating. They just grab the plant and satisfy their stomach by eating it and even the picky cactus. Don’t you think they are hurting themselves by eating this? Of course, they are.

One of the animals that tend to eat the cactus is a camel. They eat the cactus in the desert. They protect themselves with their spines by eating them from their flexible lips, palate, and even multi-chambered stomach. Yes, it is true. Various other animals are drawn toward eating the cactus. They are: 

  • Javelinas
  • Iguanas
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Desert Tortoises
  • Squirrels
  • Deers
  • Rabbits
  • Hares
  • Gophers
  • Coyote
  • Bobcat
  • Armadillo
  • Key deer
  • Desert dormouse rat 
  • Pronghorn 

There are even more animals that eat cacti. But first, you have to protect your cactus from the above-mentioned animals. There are even other animals about whom you will come to know soon. 

12 Animals that Feed on Cacti

As promised, you will understand more about those animals that tend to eat the cacti. Do you want to know about them? If yes, then let us get started. 

Ground squirrels 

They are one of the animals that love to eat the cactus. Being a succulent plant, they will eat them as they’re one of the excellent sources of nutrition. If you have planted cacti in your home garden, then you have to save your plant from the ground squirrels. Because of the sweet nectar of the cacti plants, ground squirrels are drawn to them. 


Another animal that tends to eat the cacti is camel. They are the famous animals that will eat the cacti plants. Even they fall for the spines and pads for cacti. Though they avoid their spines so that they get their best taste. The lips of camels are delicate and even flexible which helps them eat the cacti plants.  

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, 9 Animals that eat Tomatoes (& Tips on keeping them away from your Garden) 


Have you ever heard of the pack rats before? Packrats are even known by other names such as woodrats, traders, etc. It is so as they look like rats, the shape of the ears, tail, and eyes are comparatively large. They tend to eat the flesh of the cacti and will avoid the spines of the cacti while eating them. 


Mice are a common animal that disturbs everyone. There are various types of mice such as Merriam’s kangaroo rats, Nelson’s kangaroo rats, etc that eat the other fruits from your garden and even the cacti. 


Another animal that eats the cacti is Chipmunks. They tend to have fluffy tails. Even there are stripes on their faces. They have cheek pouches in which they save their food. They will eat even many fruit plants if they find them. 

Eastern Cottontail

Eastern cottontails might not be present in everyone’s area but where they find cactus plants, they will come to eat them as they love eating them. They will eat its succulent base. It has no thorns even. These cottontails help in spreading the seeds of the plants when they eat them. 


Bats are common animals that are found everywhere. They feed themselves with the fruits that are ripened from cacti so that they fulfill their watering needs.

Collared Peccary

It is even known as the musk hog that eats various varieties of cactus if they find them in their areas. You can see their reach in most places. They prefer to eat the pear cactus first.  


This is another variant that loves to eat the cactus plants. They will feed the cacti so that they satisfy their hunger. The pocket gopher is one of the animals that will eat the cactus. 


Rabbits are herbivores that eat various plants just as yucca, cacti, etc. If you have rabbits in your yard, try to remove their spines and feed your rabbits, other rabbits will get hurt. Rabbits are crazy for succulents. 


This is the other variant that has the potential to eat the cacti. They are one of medium-sized animals that look like pigs. Yes, even they eat a lot of food and they prefer to eat a plant-based diet. Being omnivore animals, they eat every foodstuff. 


Last, but not the least, tortoises are the ones that are involved in eating the cactus plants. Yes, it turns out they tend to eat it fully and especially pads most of the time. They won’t even leave their spines. 

Concluding lines

In this guide, you come to know that there are animals who get attracted to the cactus as they don’t find any other source of eating. They just grab the plant and satisfy their stomach by eating it and even the spiky cactus. One of the animals that tend to eat the cactus is a camel. They eat the cactus in the desert. They protect themselves with their spines by eating them from their flexible lips, palate, and even multi-chambered stomach. Read the whole guide to know more about those animals. 


Do prairie dogs eat cactus?

Yes, prairie dogs eat the cactus by using their pads for their hand support. They will eat the worthy part from within that. At first, they will start to eat the base of it and chew it fully.  

What animals eat cactus plants?

Various animals eat the cactus plants such as woodrats, iguanas, beetles, camels, and many more. They will eat the whole plant including its spines. 

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, BonjourGreen.com aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including:   Homesandgardens.com Yahoo.com Urbansplatter.com Inkl.com Foliagefriend.com Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading BonjourGreen.com, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of BonjourGreen.com   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched BonjourGreen.com in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At BonjourGreen.com, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission   BonjourGreen.com is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore BonjourGreen.com and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at BonjourGreen.com, where gardening dreams bloom!

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