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Why does Ginger eat Ants?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My Ginger sits with paws in ants nest in grass, he licks the ones that run up his paws but also puts his nose in amongst them and eats until they get to far up his face, these he brushes of. Has anyone seen this sort of behaviour before and does anyone know why he does it?
I know ants give of formic acid is this what he is looking for and why?
post #2 of 17
well I haven't heard of that before, its funny that your cat is doing this.

Is he licking them to get them off , because he doesn't like the sensation of them on his fur ??

If are you trying to get rid of the ants, some of the ant control stuff is dangerous for pets, I am sure you have thought of this just a reminder.
post #3 of 17
In my experience, many cats like to eat all sorts of insects... flies, spiders, whatever they can catch. It's all prey to them.
post #4 of 17
I've seen Radar eat flies (after he's chased, tortured, and squished them!) so I would imagine he'd go nuts for an ants nest. Just look at it as extra protein
post #5 of 17
Yup, they're a protein source, and it's a cat's instinct to hunt, even small creatures like insects. My cat will occasionally a catch flying bug and eat it. He's well-fed, but I'm sure he does it out of instinct and maybe a desire to entertain himself.
post #6 of 17
Mmmmm, protein.

Maybe he is part anteater?
post #7 of 17
Because the ants deserve it.
post #8 of 17
I had an ant in my house once, and my two kids sat there playing with it for an hour! One would pick it up in her mouth and then spit it out, and then it was the other ones turn!
post #9 of 17
There's nothing Hemmy loves more than crickets. He doesn't even kill them all the way before he eats them. Doesn't bother playing with them either. Just pops them in his mouth as soon as he sees them. It's vile. Maybe your kitty just likes the taste? Heck, some people eat them with chocolate.
post #10 of 17
I wish Alan would eat ants. We have a few coming in the house at the mo and I see him sitting there watching them and following them but he shows no intrest in eating or squashing them. I have sat down with him trying to encourage him to do it. Pretending my hand is a paw and batting around where the ant is but he just gives me an odd look
post #11 of 17
Wow...I've never heard of a cat eating ants. That is strange....
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
hi it is ants in the garden he sits with paws in nest, I think he just likes them!! mad cat.
post #13 of 17
Our two cats have been doing the same thing with the ants in our backyard. They react to the ants (and anything that has been in contact with the ants) like it's catnip...eating them, rolling around on them. I found this after a quick search that seems to explain the odd behavior:

"A final note: plants are not alone in containing these cat attracting substances. A number of ants and other insects have been found to contain nepetalactone (found in catnip) and actinidine (found in Valerian and Silver Vine) as well as some of the other chemicals that provoke the catnip response. It has been hypothesized that these chemicals protect both the plants and the insects against harmful insects, whether herbivorous or insectivorous!"
post #14 of 17
Mine have always ignored ants. Other bugs they will torture unmercifully - but not ants.
post #15 of 17
My cats also ignore ants...maybe it is like how some cats don't react to catnip? Who knows? They love to catch flies though...
post #16 of 17
Because he can, they move and heck, people eat 'em. Think of it as an environmentally safe method of pest control. I had a cat whose mother taught her how to hunt for big juicy bugs, much to my disgust!
post #17 of 17
Last night Bindi caught and ate a moth. It's fine they are hunters.
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