My cat eats insects : is it dangerous ?

This post is also available in : French German Italian

After the snow shower of last Tuesday, we had a magnificent sunny end of the week. The temperatures are more and more mild : it smells like spring !

Insects go out as soon as the sun shines, and we have so much fun to hunt them. Here are our advice for little kittens :

Is it dangerous for a cat to eat insects ?

flycockroachgrasshopperdragonflyladybugbugearwigcaterpillar Flies and cockroaches
It’s a delight, but attention : it’s essential to deworm your cat regularly, because flies and cockroaches can pass on parasites or parasites’ eggs (intestinal worms).

Grasshoppers and dragonflies
You get a little crunch, and they are very funny to hunt and to pull apart to scatter the pieces almost everywhere.

Butterflies and spiders
Yummy !

The lively color of the ladybirds indicates clearly to their usual predators (birds) that they are toxic. However, a ladybird swallowed here or there is not dangerous for a cat.

We strongly disadvise you to play with them, and even more to crunch them : these tiny creatures stink to defend themselves. That smells very bad, and if you have it in the mouth, it’s horrible!

Earwigs and small black ants
Why not ?

Red ants
Caution : they bite!

Danger !
The processionary caterpillars have urticant and allergenic hairs ; the slightest contact causes a violent pain. The inflammation of the tongue and the mouth is almost immediate, and the tongue can even partially necrotize in the following days if nothing is done. The contact with the skin causes an oedema, nettle rash, and important itches. These urticant hairs can also damage an eye until the loss of sight, and cause grave respiratory issues. The nests of caterpillars, abandoned or not, are also dangerous.
The slightest contact with processionary caterpillars is an emergency : go immediately to the vet !

Wasps, bees, and other hymenopterans
Danger !
Never play with this family of insects, kittens ! Their sting aches and can be dangerous ! We explain it to you in this article.

Who says insect, says insecticidal
Cats are often poisoned by insecticides used by humans, either by direct contact, or by ingestion of a poisoned insect (more rarely).
These products are applied to textiles, plants, or grounds of the house. They appear in spray or powder, and most of them contain permethrin, which is highly toxic for cats.
Some anti-slugs products are also dangerous.

We live in Switzerland, and we are safe from some insects which live in other continents : what are the toxic or dangerous insects we can find near you ?

Pictures source : Pixabay

29 thoughts on “My cat eats insects : is it dangerous ?

  1. Mickey's Musings

    Since we do not go outdoors, we do not see a lot of bugs and insects.
    We mostly play with the ones we do see.Mum wishes we liked spiders as she does not.
    They scare her a bit, but we ignore them . heehee
    Good information though !
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  2. Athena

    Athena is an indoor cat but that doesn’t stop the bugs. I always try to stop her if I see her playing with one. We get a lot of spiders and ladybirds (ladybugs).

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  3. Caren Gittleman

    Thanks for this post! Cody only tries to eat an occasional fly when he kills them, I stop him if I am around because I heard that it isn’t good for kitties to eat them. Thanks for this info!

  4. Cathy Keisha

    Inneresting (and tasty) post. All I ever get here are spiders and a few moths. It good to know about the toxic ones. TW is always afraid a bug will have poison on it or in it.

  5. Sammy and Teddy

    Angel Sammy enjoyed moths, grasshoppers and that’s about it for the bug-snacks. Teddy hasn’t seen any bugs yet here at our house but what he may have been exposed to before we adopted him – who knows?!?!

    Hugs, Pam

  6. Sherri-Ellen TD.

    EEEWWW earwiggiess!!! Mee deespisess them…***shuddersss***
    Fankss fur a grate post about innsectss Pixie an Zorro. Mee will bee BERRY carefull an not eat thee wrong buggiess….
    An mee just likess to chase butterfliess; they are too purrty to eat, mew mew mew…..
    Siddhartha Henry =^,.^=
    Pee S: Last year mee eated a moth…LadyMum all most lost her sup-purr; shee was gaggin as mee crunched away….. 😉

  7. mommakatandherbearcat

    I had no idea caterpillars could cause problems! Bear loves playing with spiders and centipedes and pulling out their legs. I don’t let him because it seems cruel … but occasionally, he’ll get one that I don’t see. Centipedes are venomous though most can’t bite bigger animals (like cats and humans). We have brown recluse spiders around here (most people would argue their bites are worse than a black widow … you often don’t realize you’ve been bitten until the surrounding tissue starts dying and turning black) … and that’s another reason I don’t let Bear play with spiders. Most are harmless … but he can’t tell the difference! Looking very handsome, Zorro!

    1. The Swiss Cats Post author

      Oh, centipedes, we forgot them ! The small ones we have here are not dangerous, but they are not tasty at all… Black widows sound scary ! Purrs

  8. da tabbies o trout townw

    eye noe this commint haz nothin ta due with this post
    but eye wanted ta say thanx 777 bazillion timez for
    yur kindnezz two me & me familee last week
    sorree for de copee N paste type for mat…….lovez all wayz
    boomer ♥

  9. Mariodacat

    This was a very informative and interesting post. I knew about a couple of bugs not being good for cats to eat, but a couple others I did not know about. Usually I take bugs away from Mario before he has a chance to eat them, but then he doesn’;t catch very many other than the pesty household fly!

  10. Colehaus Cats

    This is very timely information with spring soon on the horizon. We know spring is here when Mom sees the first bumblebee (NO BEES! Our Mom insists), the first ladybird (we call them ladybugs), and our house gets it’s first spider. Spiders are bad, our Mom says, but she doesn’t kill them. She scoops them up and puts them back outside, she says, where they belong. MOL! We bet we’ve been seeing the very same spider every spring for the past eight years!

    1. The Swiss Cats Post author

      You should ask her*, MOL ! Purrs
      * her = the spider : it’s a “she” in French, we don’t know if it’s a “she” or a “he” in English

  11. The Florida Furkids

    A tasty and informative review of bugs. We don’t usually bother with bugs much but we DO like Lizards. Mom is always afraid they will have poison on them and takes them away from us.

    The Florida Furkids

  12. M. K. Clinton

    The dogs don’t eat any bugs but Bentley will try to catch a bee. Unfortunately, he has succeeded a couple of times and we had to deal with major face swelling.

  13. Nellie

    Mes a inside cat that used to goes outside. After a sting from a wasp, Mes has left almost all bugs alone!
    It was a painful experience and one mes not wanted repeated!
    One of my favorite things to chase when mes was younger was snakes! Mommy always worried about mes and rattlesnakes (as they live where we lived) but those mes avoided and only went after the garden snakes.

    1. The Swiss Cats Post author

      OMC, stung by a wasp ! How painful ! We understand that your mom worried about you when you were chasing rattlesnakes, Biscotte (Claire’s cat when she was a kid) did it with vipers. Purrs

  14. Raven

    I’m indoors unless Mom takes me out for a few minutes, so I don’t encounter many buts. Sometimes I catch a little spider or a moth. Mom & Dad keep an eye out for black widow spiders in our garage so I don’t find them when I’m out there exploring.

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