The cat is a great hunter , and having a constantly full food bowl does not seem to quell this desire. Therefore, it is not surprising that from time to time you are drawn to hunting insects that are excellent prey.
In fact, a fly, a spider, an ant or another type of insect move fast and therefore make any feline want to chase them. While some cats simply kill them, others eat them too. If this is the case with your cat, I imagine you want to know if this habit will not harm its health.
First, I will tell you the possible reasons for this behavior, and then in which cases it is dangerous.
- Hunger or vitamin deficiency
- Hunting instinct
- Most insects are not poisonous
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Poisonous insects
- What if my cat eats a spider?
- Can Cats Eat Flies?
- How can I stop my cat from eating insects?
Hunger or vitamin deficiency
It is rare, but some cats eat insects out of hunger , although the small size of the insects are low in protein.
As a result, your cat won’t get much satisfaction from eating insects. However, this won’t stop you from trying if you haven’t eaten and the alternate prey isn’t available.
The most likely explanation is instinct . Insects jump or fly, which can be an irresistible temptation for cats. They are a more exciting hunt than toys because they provide a moving target.
Indoor cats that rarely encounter rodents have a higher chance of hunting insects in the home.
Cats are curious creatures by nature, especially when they are young. When felines come across something they are unfamiliar with, like insects, they wonder what it is and try to hunt it down.
In some cases, your pet may suffer from a disease known as Pica.
Pica or malacia is an anomalous behavior in which the cat bites, chews and tries to ingest plastics, textiles or other inedible objects, apparently out of compulsion. Eating insects is not reason enough to be suspicious of Pica . If your cat also eats plastic bags , clothing, or other inedible items, see your vet.
As you will see, when cats eat insects it is a natural behavior . But is it safe and healthy behavior?
Most insects are not poisonous
In most cases, eating insects is completely natural behavior and is not dangerous for your cat. In fact, most of the insects that we find in our homes or gardens are not toxic to it.
Eating insects is a natural behavior for cats that in most cases is not a cause for alarm.
However, it is n e Cesario to have caution. In fact, worms, bees, and spiders can contain parasites that are harmful to your cat. Including intestinal worms .
Also, it’s best to check your cat’s reaction for hours after ingestion. For example, if he suddenly has shortness of breath, abnormal salivation, is vomiting, or you notice any other unusual symptoms , urgently inform the vet.
If a cat eats a lot of insects at one time , or a certain type of insects, it could cause an upset stomach.
Insects with hard exoskeletons , such as beetles, are highly irritating to the cat’s digestive tract. This usually doesn’t end well, as the cat vomits a lot of bugs. Then you probably have an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Also, a piece of the insect could get stuck in your throat and cause suffocation.
Some insects, such as bed bugs, are not poisonous, but their secretions can cause excessive drooling or vomiting and can also irritate the cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
Other insects, such as fireflies, are poisonous to your cat and can cause serious intestinal problems.
If a cat tries to eat or is bitten by a black widow spider, it can cause a long list of serious health problems and even death.
In the case of bees , wasps, bumblebees or hornets , if one of these insects bites your cat in the mouth, it could be particularly dangerous for him, especially if he is allergic.
What if my cat eats a spider?
Fortunately, most of the time, it won’t hurt. Spiders are small predators that live in our homes and are mostly harmless.
Cats often eat spiders, and in most cases, spiders don’t hurt cats .
Can Cats Eat Flies?
Flies are irresistible to cats. They are loud, they are ubiquitous, and they are difficult to catch. This means that a cat will spend hours stalking and trying to catch a fly.
Flies are not toxic to cats . Although they can cause vomiting in a cat. The wings of a fly can irritate your cat’s throat. Also, do not forget that the flies are not clean. They have probably spent time in animal feces.
Some flies lay eggs on the body of a cat. These will hatch as larvae and worms. A professional will have to treat your cat.
If you use insect repellent to kill them, you should know that these sprays are often toxic to cats. Before using this product, make sure your cat is out of the room. Spray with insecticide, and close the door. After about an hour, your pet will be safe to re-enter the room.
How can I stop my cat from eating insects?
It is difficult to prevent your cat from eating insects. It is instinctive.
If this behavior bothers you, all you can do is try to distract him . If you see your cat hunting an insect, make a noise to change its focus. If he starts chewing and you want him to stop, shoot him with a squirt gun (this is not very advisable).
Naturally, keeping your cat indoors will minimize its chances of eating insects . A cat that wanders outside will constantly interact with insects, including potentially dangerous ones.
Remember that cats will always be cats. Eating insects is part of thousands of years of instinct, what must be avoided is that it causes health problems.
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