Lowest price guarantee - We will beat any price!
Free worldwide shipping for orders over $50
855 908 4010

Is It Safe for Your Cat to Eat Bugs?

 by james on 02 Dec 2022 |
No Comment
Is it okay for your cat to eat bugs?

The indicators of the differences between these two species are all around us, so you don't need to be an expert on cats or dogs to recognize them. While dogs are regarded as "man's best friend" and are domesticated, there are some murky areas in the relationship between people and cats. It seems as though the cats took our offer of food and a comfortable place to sleep into consideration and said, "Ok, we'll take care of the rodents, but as for the rest of that stuff—you're on your own."

Photos of cats frequently appear to depict a wild predator lying just beneath the surface, in contrast to images of dogs, which we may perceive as the embodiment of domesticity. The cat has been successfully removed from the jungle (or desert, to be more specific) in our contemporary environment, but we haven't been as successful in doing the same for our cats. Even the sweetest moggy is a little bit wild at heart, whether your cat is continually hiding in a corner waiting to pounce on your feet as you pass by or brings the spoils of an outdoor hunt to your welcome mats and carpets (or to your bed!).

Cats are avid hunters. They enjoy pursuing, catching, and stalking. And having a food dish that is always full doesn't seem to lessen this craving in the least. When there is little wild wildlife available to them indoors, many cats will turn to insects as their next best option.

Why Do Cats Chase Bugs?

Chasing bugs is much more enjoyable than chasing a feather on a stick or a bell-filled ball. Such cat toys don't appeal to your cat's "inner panther" the way a living thing fighting for its life does, therefore it's not surprising that cats just naturally like catching insects. But is a cat's health harmed by this practice?

Hunting frequently has nothing to do with hunger, according to Dr. Meghan Herron, a veterinarian and clinical assistant professor of behavioral health at Ohio State University.

Because cats are "obligate carnivores," a small number of insects do not offer a significant supply of protein, 

A real carnivore, also known as an obligatory carnivore, is an animal that relies exclusively on animal sources of nutrition for survival. Minks, tarsiers, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and walruses are a few more land and marine animals that are obligate carnivores. Numerous snakes and amphibians, as well as salmon, rainbow trout, hawks, eagles, and crocodiles, are examples of non-mammal obligate carnivores.

Cats need a lot of protein to thrive, and they largely obtain their sugar needs through gluconeogenesis, a process that turns protein, not carbohydrates, into glucose. Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado, claims that cats in the wild obtain their protein by hunting other creatures including "mice, rats, birds, rabbits, and even the occasional snake." "As long as you are giving your cats an acceptable amount of a high-quality, low-carb cat food, they should be getting all the protein they require," says the expert.

This bug hunting phenomenon so appears to have a behavioral rather than biological origin.

According to Dr. Herron, "I believe that chasing and eating bugs is primarily both enjoyable and intuitive, as bugs are swiftly moving little objects that cats' brains are programmed to chase." "This instinctive impulse to hunt and practice predatory behavior through play is still extremely strong in domestic cats since they are not quite as fully domesticated as their canine relatives."

But can your cat become sick from eating bugs?

Internal Parasites in Bugs

According to Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM, "internal parasites are not a [major] problem with consumption of insects." "Eating insects carries virtually little risk,"

There are several insect species that can transmit parasites that can infect cats, such as Physaloptera, or stomach worms, however these instances are quite rare.

The digestive tract of cats may also become irritated by bugs. Diarrhea and/or vomiting are frequently the outcome. Contact your veterinarian if it is severe or doesn't go away on its own in a day or two.

But according to Dr. Coates, some insect species that invade or reside on a cat's coat can undoubtedly cause problems. "While ticks aren't technically insects, they can spread a number of diseases to people and animals, including tick-borne disorders like tapeworms and anemia in cats. Dr. Grzyb continues, "bee stings and spider bites undoubtedly can create an allergic reaction, localized or anaphylactic, which often needs to be treated by a veterinarian. In other words, there may be more to worry about when the creature that is biting."

Do Pesticides Make Bugs Poison to Cats?

We try our best to keep insects out of the house, but when they do get in, many of us use insecticides to get rid of them. Pet owners might be worried about what would happen if their animals ate a poisoned insect because these toxins can be discovered on and inside the bodies of insects while they are still living. It turns out that majority of the time there is no need for concern.

According to Dr. Grzyb, the dying bugs contain such a small amount of toxin that it is quite unlikely that a pet owner will notice any adverse consequences.

However, when a cat comes into close touch with a pesticide, the situation may be completely different. A little research is always your best chance when pet owners are going to use any type of chemicals around the home, whether they be pesticides or other chemicals. Read the label, in other words.

Dr. Grzyb advises owners to carefully study insecticide labels to make sure pyrethroids are not present because they can induce seizures, severe tremors, and high body temperatures in some felines.

The use of roach bait, on the other hand, "I have seen several cases of, almost never creates any negative effects in cats; perhaps mild gastrointestinal indications, but that is it."

Dr. Grzyb advises owners to call their local veterinarian or a Poison Control Hotline, such as the ASPCA, if they believe their pet has consumed a pesticide. When contacting these sources, it is beneficial for the owners to have as much information about the product as possible, such as the bottle in hand to list the active ingredients.

Do Cats Miss Hunting?

Do our cats miss the daily quest for game and only happen to find that bugs fill this instinct in a useful way? Or do our cats simply exhibit persistently kittenlike behavior?

"Yes, I do think cats use insects as a hunting alternative. Since kittens are typically more lively, they may appear to "hunt" more frequently, but it is really just playtime, according to Dr. Grzyb.

"If you observe cats, they frequently won't even digest the insect; they will hunt, swat at them, and sometimes even catch them in their teeth. Therefore, although we may never be certain, domestic cats appear to hunt to pass the time.

Despite the fact that your cat's bug-hunting may be terrible news for the insects in your home, it all comes down to cats being cats and continuing to be wild-at-heart while having fun.


Join the Conversation

* Please enter your name.
Email address will not be published
Please enter a valid email address.
* Please enter your comment.
Image Verification
'Please enter security code.
14979 testimonials ...and counting 4.97