Crazy Cat Chow: Do Cats Eat Bugs? How Can We Stop Them?

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 24, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Nov 11, 2021
The cat sniffs the creeping May bug.

It is true that cats do sometimes eat insects and bugs.

Some are natural and harmless, whereas there are some that could affect a cat’s health or even cause them sicknesses such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

This is not because cats eat bugs for healthy nutrients, it is only because of their natural instinct to hunt whatever comes in their way.

Yes, lazy and sassiest cats do love to hunt down these bugs! When it comes to the part on ‘how to keep them away from poisonous or dangerous bugs’, don’t worry, we do have solutions to take care of.

Spider bites from poisonous spiders like black widow spiders or brown recluse spiders can lead to a serious allergic reaction on the skin or gastrointestinal infection in the stomach of your pet.

If it gets worse, the best option is to take your cat to the vet and get treated right away. You may also spray pesticides to get rid of insects that sting and fly like fleas or fly.

After understanding if it is okay for your cats and dogs to eat insects that sting or have venom, read how high can a cat jump and cat scratching ears.

Do cats kill bugs in the house?

As surprising as this could sound, yes, cats do like chasing and killing bugs that these pets notice in the house, such as brown recluse spiders. As cats have their typically natural instincts of chasing down prey, it's either they kill or eat them.

As per their natural reaction, cats have the characteristics of being natural hunters of bug species.

Cats are able to stalk their prey and with their typically sharp claws and teeth, they pounce on their prey. Even though we see them as lazy creatures, cats have their natural characteristics just like any other animal.

Even if they are seen or taken care of as domestic pets, cats always have their natural tendencies calling them or making them do certain actions to satisfy their natural needs.

Needs such as to hunt, clear sight, hearing, and detecting abilities is what drives them and make them alert even during the nights or when their prey are around them. Because of their sharp abilities to sense changes in the atmosphere and also detect other lying beings such as bugs, these pets can trace and kill parasites.

But as a domestic cat stays inside the house most of the time, the inside environment could make it slightly difficult.

But, once a cat senses there are some bugs or parasites in your house, it will be the first one to detect before you do. As they sense bugs, typically their inner hunting desire gets activated.

Anything that gets on their way, they would just simply get rid of them.

Why do cats eat bugs?

As mentioned earlier, bugs aren’t exactly cat's prey. As part of their natural-born instincts, it’s in the nature of cats to hunt them down and either kill them or eat them.

Not all bugs are their favorite or harmless to consume. It depends on the cat. Some bugs are just chewable, so the cat bites on them and then spit them out, the other bugs they swallow.

As part of nature, cats do eat normal bugs that are known for their bites, around them. For example, if they spot a housefly entering your house, they will be the first one to sense and notice, hunt down and eat them.

As part of their feline nature, it's always something they have to do regularly. As for bugs, these bugs seem to be the perfect creatures to catch a cat’s attention, hunt, and just eat them.

There is another interesting factor to understand why cats eat bugs. Bugs are usually small, move around randomly, and this usually attracts a cat’s attention.

Also for some cats, this is a fun hunting game. As per some studies conducted, they say even if cats are fed good home food, because of their natural feline instinct to hunt, hunting and eating bugs do satisfy their hunting desires.

Hunting is not their ultimate goal, but just their part of natural instinct, to satisfy their basic needs. And sometimes they do it for fun!

What bugs do cats kill?

There are a good amount of bugs that are harmless such as small bugs and insects such as house flies, moths, butterflies, roaches, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers. Killing these isn't harmful to cats. But eating some bugs like beetles, crickets, grasshoppers could lead to digestion problems.

Most of the bugs that attract a cat’s attention are prey, some of them are nutrient providers like roaches. These are normal and essential for them.

Some of the common bugs your cat kills are house flies, moths, roaches, beetles. These bugs and insects are also shown in studies that they are potential nutrients.

Studies have shown how these bugs and insects are rich in protein, eco-friendly, and also hypoallergenic to cats. It's also possible that your cat will enjoy the rare bug treat that has found its way into their territory, primarily for the protein and taurine, which are both essential components of a cat's diet.

Can eating a bug kill a cat?

Not all bugs are dangerous or harmful to a cat. But there are some bugs that are dangerous and poisonous that could lead from mild to serious health problems for cats.

Even the bugs that are safe to consume, sometimes because of their hard skeleton, could lead to gastrointestinal trouble or cause irritation. If not taken care of, this could kill the cat.

Eating dangerous or the ones having poisonous venomous creatures like spiders or fireflies, flies and ticks could lead to problems such as allergies or sickness. If not observed well, or taken care of initially when you spot unwell signs, or not taken to vet on time, these could probably kill your cat.

Taking care of your care, giving necessary food, bath, are important. Observe your cat's behavior and understand its basic needs.

This way, you can avoid any danger. Keep them away from insects that look harmful, such as poisonous spider bites from black widow spiders or brown recluse spiders that could lead to trouble breathing or an allergic reaction on the skin due to the venom.

Is it safe for your cat to eat bugs?

Even though eating bugs is part of their natural instincts to hunt and eat, not all bugs are safe to eat. Some bugs could be eaten but could later face small sicknesses such as vomiting and diarrhea. Some other bugs are considered to be dangerous and poisonous, which could bring severe sickness to your cat.

Some bugs and insects are good if they do provide healthy nutrients such as proteins. One example is cockroaches.

Studies have shown that cockroaches are potential proteins to cats. They are also harmless in terms of consuming and also, one of the cats attracted prey. Bugs and insects are totally safe to consume.

Whereas bugs and insects, such as spiders and centipedes, and bees are harmful or dangerous. Bees are not friendly beings, and if your cat gets stung by a bee, check out for wounds and treat them immediately to avoid the spread of deep wounds or inflammation.

When it comes to spiders, they aren’t really safe because most of spiders have poisonous venom that could threaten the good health of your cat or lead to a serious sickness.

Hence, try to keep them away from poisonous spiders. Keep checking for allergic reactions too.

How to stop a cat from eating bugs?

Keeping these animals away from bugs as much as we can is the best way to stop a cat eating bugs, especially bugs that would be harmful and poisonous. Other best ways are to use bug baits, and the most simple one is just to keep them indoors.

Bug baits are a simple solution that requires some study on your part. Try homemade alternatives prepared with materials that are safe for your cat before paying a firm or buying pesticide baits.

Mosquito nettings on your windows may also help to reduce the number of pests that enter your home.

If hiring a professional is your only option, make sure to request pet-friendly procedures and pesticides, or have your cat stay with someone else while you deal with the problem. Keeping your house clean and looking out for dead bugs will help keep your cat from eating them or falling sick.

Signs Your Cat Is Sick After Eating A Bug

These are some signs you could look for if cats act weird and unusual. When they behave in the most unusual ways, look out for these signs and symptoms, and based on these you can see if it could be taken care of with home care or if it’s serious.

Understanding and becoming aware of these signs could help you in emergency times. This could also help you to know when you should consider taking your cat to the vet and getting them treated.

Just like our human body, which has the ability to fight back against unhealthy threats or anything that’s odd, which is the immune system, the same way cats have their body's internal functions that do the work.

Let’s say, for instance, your cat just ate a bug that isn’t dangerous or poisonous, but just like how we can determine when we don’t feel good after eating some food, the same way through their bowel movement could determine the signs. If they have diarrhea and if that’s irregular, then that’s one of the signs.

The other signs are drooling over, paralysis, muscle tremors, and even vomiting.

If your cat keeps vomiting or losing muscle movements, then these signs indicate it's important to get treated by a vet. Keeping a close observation on how your cat is doing.

The cat's behavior, eating, and its usually behavioral habits, are also the best way to look out for any signs that indicate sickness.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do cats eat bugs then why not take a look at black cat personality, or Australian mist cat facts.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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