General Cat Information

Should I Let My Cat Eat Bugs?

Having cats means that you will start to wonder about things you would never have thought of. Things like: “Will this sofa hold up to my cat’s claws?” “Why does my cat act like a crackhead?” and “Is it really okay for my cat to eat bugs?” These may seem like strange questions to a non-cat owner however they are very normal questions to anyone who owns a cat.

white cat outside on log

Is it okay for my cat to eat bugs?

As a general rule, your cat is fine eating bugs, however, you will want to watch for signs of illness in case your cat has eaten a bug that is poisonous.

Signs of poisoning in cats:

  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Twitching and fitting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shock or collapse
  • Inflammation or swelling of the skin
  • Depression or coma
  • Changes in drinking, urinating and appetite

Though it is mostly okay for a cat to eat bugs if it’s something that you are worried about you may want to learn more about why cats eat bugs and other hunting habits they have if you are new to cat ownership. As we continue, I will go over why cats chase bugs, some bugs that are harmful to cats, and how to keep your cat from chasing bugs.

Why do cats chase bugs in the first place?

Cats are hunters, in the wild, they have to hunt to survive. In the wild, they would probably not hunt bugs since they would not have enough protein, but in your home, they don’t have much they can hunt so a bug would be something interesting that they would want to check out.

For most cats, this is really about playing, not hunting to eat or kill so you may notice your cat “hunting” a bug but they will then play with it for a bit and let it go, still alive. If you really want your cat to not play with bugs you will want to spend time playing with your cat one-on-one so that they don’t feel the need to chase after the bugs they find. This does not always work, as cats will be cats, but some people have found this helpful.

What bugs are harmful to cats?

The following table shows a list of bugs that can be harmful to cats.

Bug NameStinging BugVenomous/Toxic BugsParasitesMay be Harmful if ingested (non-parisite)Carry deseases or bacteria that are harmful to cats

This, of course, is not a complete list of bugs your cat may come across but it does include many of the common bugs and why they are harmful to your cat. If you do notice your cat acting strangely after playing with a bug you will want to give your vet a call and schedule an appointment.

Should you let your cat eat bugs?

In the end, most of the time it is perfectly fine for your cat to eat bugs. It doesn’t happen as often as you would think and most of the time does not cause any problems with your cat. Just keep an eye on them if you have noticed they have eaten a bug.