can cats eat bugs

Cats love to chase and when they see something moving, chances are, it always catches their attention. And this includes bugs, such as flies, bees, and even cockroaches.

You see them chasing after these bugs, playing with them, and sometimes, even eating them. When this happens, should you worry? Should you bring your cat to the vet?

Well, the good news is, bugs aren’t toxic to cats. However, there are other dangers when it comes to cats chasing and ingesting this creepy crawlies.

Do Cats Eat Bugs For Protein?

Cats are obligate carnivores and need protein to survive. When they chase bugs, butterflies, or cockroaches, it’s not because they’re hungry, but it’s because it’s their instinct to do so.

Evolution has provided cats with acute hearing and vision that are hardwired for movement. This means that the slightest motion of a fly, mosquito, or even a small spider can cause your pet kitty to go into hunter mode.

In terms of instincts, there’s not much difference between a wild cat and a domesticated cat. They are made to hunt in the wild and it’s natural for them to chase anything that moves.

They won’t necessarily eat the bug, but because they’re naturally curious about these tiny, moving creatures, some cats will tend to ingest them.

Are Bugs Dangerous for Cats – poisonous bugs?

The good news is that bugs are not toxic to cats. So if your cat has ingested a ladybug or fly, you don’t have to worry.

In terms of insects with hard bodies such as cockroaches, beetles, or crickets, their exoskeletons may cause gastrointestinal upset. These can include diarrhea or vomiting but usually disappear on their own in about 2 days. If symptoms persist, then it’s time you bring your cat to the vet.

If your cat vomits, it can be a sign that she has ingested something that her stomach cannot digest. It can be a good thing as the act of vomiting is eliminating something that can be harmful to your cat. However, you must bring your cat to the vet when she continues to vomit.

ask a veterinarian

The Dangers of Cats Chasing Bugs

Though eating bugs won’t cause severe side effects in cats, there are some dangers that pet owners need to consider.

When you have bugs in your home, the tendency is to use insecticides or pesticides and spray the areas where the bugs are found. Though dying bugs have very low amounts of toxins, and are unlikely to cause side effects, ingesting insecticide residue can be dangerous. When you choose to buy an insecticide for your home, make sure it doesn’t contain Pyrethroids, which can cause seizures, tremors, and elevated temperatures in cats.

Crickets, as mentioned, can cause gastrointestinal upset due to their exoskeleton but they can also cause other problems. Crickets eat fleas and fleas can be carriers of tapeworms, which can cause anemia, digestive blockage, and can even be fatal in cats.

Recommended – Safe food for cats:

Cats and the Dangers of Bug Bites

While bugs are not toxic when cats ingest them, another problem can be more dangerous, which is a bug bite. Cats can suffer from a bee sting or a spider bite that has venom.

While the common house spider is not dangerous to cats, there are some spiders found in homes that can cause problems when your cat is bitten. Poisonous spiders such as the Black Widow spider, the Brown Recluse, and the Hobo Spider can cause problems in cats because they are venomous.

If your cat has been bitten by a venomous spider, symptoms to watch out for include muscle rigidity, a painful abdomen, and even trouble to breathe. Take your cat to the vet immediately when you see these symptoms, especially if you see a blister on her body.


Bugs are not toxic to cats when ingested but they do pose certain risks. Hard-bodied bugs can cause gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea and vomiting, while poisonous spiders can bite your cat and cause severe health issues.

Though the act of eating bugs is not dangerous for cats, the other dangers of chasing bugs can cause risks for other dangerous effects.

If you notice your cat has eaten a cockroach, fly, or ordinary bug, then you don’t need to worry. If you notice, however, that they have a usual blister and they were chasing or playing with house spiders, then you need to watch out for the symptoms of spider bite poisoning and head to the vet when you notice unusual behavior in your pet kitty.

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