If you have ever seen a cat playing with a bug, you might wonder if it will eat it. Cats are hunters by nature and this instinct comes out when they play with their toys or other animals, or when they see a bug in the house. The answer is that cats do eat bugs from time to time but not as a meal. They do it because it is part of the hunting instinct. Continue reading to learn all about why cats eat bugs.
Why Do Cats Eat Bugs?
Bugs bring out the hunting instinct in cats. Even though cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, they have never lost their instinct to hunt. You can keep your cat indoors and feed it well but it will still have this instinct. Bugs are the perfect prey for cats because they move quickly across the floor. They hunt for the sake of hunting and they catch, kill, and eat their prey. It’s just something that cats do.
You may wonder if this is bad for your cat. Cats will hunt any kind of bug, including roaches, spiders, bees, and flies. Most of the time, it won’t harm your cat at all, especially if it is an indoor cat. Even if your cat eats a spider, its stomach acid is made to neutralize any poison the spider has inside of it.
The bottom line is that cats have a keen sense of hearing and vision that allows them to detect motion. It doesn’t take much to trigger a cat’s hunting instinct; a bug cautiously moving out in the open and scurrying across the floor is certain to awaken the hunter inside of your cat.
Is it Dangerous for Your Cat to Eat Spiders?
Small house spiders are not dangerous to your cat and if your cat eats a spider, it has stomach acids that will normally neutralize any poisons that the spider may have in its body. However, there are some spiders that can hurt your cat. In particular, any spider that can harm you can also harm your cat because it is much smaller than you.
The primary danger for your cat is getting bitten by the spider. Spiders such as the black widow, the brown recluse, or the hobo spider are poisonous and they can cause illness or death in cats. For example, the black widow can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, paralysis, and other horrible reactions. If your cat is bitten by a poisonous spider, you should take it to the vet right away.
Is it Dangerous for Your Cat to Eat Bees and Insects That Sting?
Cats are drawn to flying insects because they make a noise and they dart around. Cats enjoy the challenge of swatting them out of the air. They don’t normally get stung by bees but it is still a possibility. The sting can be painful and some cats may have an allergic reaction.
If you take your cat to the vet for a bee sting, your vet may recommend giving an antihistamine to counteract the sting. Under most circumstances, your cat will be okay but you might want to discourage it from chasing after bees and other stinging insects.
Will Centipedes Harm Your Cat?
If you have an indoor cat that is chasing small house centipedes, you won’t have any problems because they are usually harmless to cats. But larger centipedes do have venom and can bite. These larger centipedes might be able to bite your cat and you will need to make sure that your cat is okay. Your cat’s reaction can range from a localized reaction to fever and illness. Keep an eye on your cat and go to the vet if you notice your cat showing any symptoms from the bite. Most dangerous centipedes are found outdoors and an indoor cat is unlikely to have a problem with them; however, if you have an outdoor cat, you need to be careful. Centipedes will bring out the hunting instinct in your cat and you don’t want your cat bitten by them.
What About Hard-Bodied Insects?
Hard-bodied insects include grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and roaches. Your cat will definitely be interested in these critters. They are not toxic to your cat, and your cat will enjoy chasing them and catching them. If your cat should eat these bugs, it might have an upset stomach because of the exoskeletons but they are not poisonous. Most cats will play with this type of bug but some cats will eat it.
Do Cats Eat Flies?
Just as with other insects and bugs, cats do eat flies. Flies make a buzzing noise and they fly around. Cats often find them hard to resist. Flies are dirty creatures that are exposed to all kinds of waste, bacteria, parasites, and more. They can actually carry pathogens, fungi, and parasites. If your cat is exposed to a fly or two, it is unlikely that your cat will suffer any problems. However, if you notice your cat acting sick, vomiting, or seeming lethargic, you should consider taking it to the vet to make sure that it is okay.
One of the dangers of flies comes if your cat has an open wound. Flies are known to lay eggs in wounds. This can lead to a terrible infection. You should always make sure that you treat any wounds on your cat and they should be cleaned regularly to prevent infection. Flies are a problem if they lay eggs in open wounds or on dirty fur.
How to Stop Your Cat From Eating Bugs
Most people want to get their cats to stop eating bugs. Even though it is fine for your cat to eat most bugs, it’s understandable that you want to prevent it. If you have an indoor cat, you will encounter this problem less frequently. You might have an occasional bug running through the house but your cat won’t come into contact with a lot of bugs.
The first thing that you should do is try to minimize the bugs in your house. Making sure that you vacuum and clean regularly helps to keep the bugs away. You should also spend time playing with your cat each day. Cats are wired to spend around three hours a day hunting so if you have plenty of toys and spend time with your cat, it will help. Your cat is probably well fed but that won’t eliminate the hunting instinct. It’s built in as a part of being a cat.
The truth is that cats do eat bugs but most of the time, it won’t harm them. It is important to know your cat so that you will recognize symptoms if your cat is bitten by a spider or another insect and has a reaction. If your cat is outdoors, there are a lot of different bugs for it to chase and eat. In addition, your cat will probably hunt small mammals and birds.
Even a well-fed cat will catch and eat bugs because hunting is an instinct common to all felines. If your cat sees a bug crawling across the floor, it will likely get its attention. Your cat will stalk and catch the bug, and it might eat it. The best way to prevent your cat from eating bugs is to vacuum and clean regularly.