Mongooses are carnivorous and normally eat small vertebrates, such as snakes, rats and birds. They also like crabs, insects, lizards, rodents, millipedes, beetles and earthworms.
Although mongooses prefer to hunt small animals, they are known for stealing bird and reptile eggs, and feed on fallen fruit. The Indian gray mongooses are popular for their extraordinary ability to kill venomous snakes, especially cobras. Their thick coats, agility and acetylcholine receptors makes them resistant to snake venom. Although they like to kill cobras, they do not like eating them. People also keep mongooses as pets since they are very helpful in controlling vermin.