As a cat owner, we’ve often wondered if eating bugs is safe for your cat. You’ve probably seen your cat either chase bugs, eat them or leave them for you as gifts. First off, this is perfectly normal cat behavior. However I don’t recommend letting them kiss you afterwards, blegh. Cats are natural predators in the wild who feed on prey. It can be anything that they can catch ranging from rodents, insects, birds, and more. It’s in their blood and is instinctual behavior for them. It should also be noted that most household bugs are not harmful or deadly to your cats. However, depending on the bug ingested may cause the cats to have upset stomachs or cause them to vomit.
If your cat is suffering from an upset stomach, you can always give them a liquid that helps with an upset digestive tract such as HomeoPets Feline Digestive Upset. It’s a fast acting liquid that is safe for kittens, pregnant cats, adult and senior cats.
What kind of bugs are safe for my cat to eat
For the most part, any insect such as flies, grasshoppers, moths, ants, spiders, crickets, june bugs, and more aren’t harmful for your cat to eat. However, if they are eating a lot of bugs in one sitting, it may lead to an upset digestive tract or vomiting.
There are a few exceptions when it comes to toxic or poisonous insects though. They can cause problems and can even harm your pet. Especially if the bug was sprayed or has eaten poison and then gets eaten by your cat. If you use baited traps in your house to catch bugs, make sure they are pet friendly or are designed in a way so that your cat can’t eat whatever is caught or the poison in the traps.
What are some of the problems that can occur if my pet eats the wrong type of bug
- Depending on if the cat eats the insect whole or chews it can lead to choking or coughing as parts of the insect can get stock in the cats throat. If this happens, let the cat try and cough them out. You’ll find that the cat can handle taking care of it’s self. However, if the cat becomes unconscious due to choking, you can compress it’s diaphragm, just like a Heimlich maneuver (you have to be very gentle as you can severely hurt the cat). You can also call your vet and see what they suggest if your cat is choking as well. They will be able to give better instructions or recommendations over the phone.
- Beetles have a harder exoskeleton and if eaten, may prove to be hard on your cats digestive tract. This may lead to your cat vomiting up bits and pieces of insect either in one spot or around the house. Never get mad at an animal because they are throwing up. Just like a human, it’s a defense mechanism to help alleviate any foreign materials from their bodies in a natural manner. You just can’t control it.
- Some cats may also experience severe gastrointestinal problems after swallowing a bug or may have problems from the bug biting them. If you are around when the cat is playing with the bug or the bug is still distinguishable after being thrown back up, it might be a good idea to catch or collect it. You can then do some research online, contact an exterminator, or reach out to your vet to identify it. Then you can be sure that the insect they found is harmful or not for your cat.
- Some insects carry parasites, diseases, or are poisonous and can be harmful to your cats. The toxins in these types of bugs may make your pet feel nauseated or lethargic. Bugs such as butterflies, caterpillars, fireflies, Asian lady beetles, bees, and cockroaches are common insects that can be harmful for your cat. Some of these bugs aren’t poisonous but can cause your cat to produce extra saliva secretions that cause drooling or vomiting. If a cat gets bitten when trying to eat some insects such like spiders or black widow, this can cause a long list of serious health issues or even death. If you find that your cat has eaten or been bitten by a poisonous insect such as a black widow, it’s best to take it into your vet for the best prognosis. For the most part, cats instinctively know which bugs they can eat or avoid.
Other things to avoid and keep in mind
As we mentioned earlier, insect or bait traps may be deadly to your cats. The poisons in them are not meant for consumption by living things. That is why you use them to get rid of pests. These traps can attract insects such as cockroaches or other types of large bugs. Once an insect crawls inside, it will typically take a bite out of the poison. If it’s a trap where the insect is free to leave, it can then roam around the house and even spread it to other insects before it dies. If that is the case, your cat is likely to catch it and it it. If you use an open insect bait trap, the cat may decide to eat the insect and potentially the glue or poison in them. Also, insect sprays, bug foggers, pesticides and alternative insect repellents can also be devastating and rekt havoc on your cats body. They can lead to death or be extremely harmful to your cats.
If you like, you can always reach out to your veterinarian for suggestions on cat-friendly bug products. You can also reach out to your local exterminator and ask for products that aren’t harmful to your cats. For the most part, bug bait traps are deadly for cats so using a trap and release method can be a healthier alternative. Since your cat can eat bugs after they have eaten insect poison, it may also be beneficial to find a pet-friendly alternative.