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My cat eats bugs - ewww!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have two cats, an 11 year old boy and a kitten who both go outside with me on a harness. I don't walk them, they just hang out in the back yard while I do my gardening. They are very good (at least the adult is excellent - the kitten is learning) about where they are allowed to go, and not go, so I am not as diligent about watching them every second.

I ramble. Sorry.

The question is about my kitten. She brings EVERYTHING into the house and carries it in her mouth ALIVE. I have pulled slugs (ewwww - I've been sliiimmmmed!!!!!!!) from her mouth and beetles, and once, when I forced her mouth open a fly flew out! What is it that she should NOT be allowed to eat/catch? The slug made me want to vomit, and she was desparate to bring it inside. Would she have eaten it or just played with it? Is it safe for her to eat anything she finds outside? This is MY yard and it is kept clean, so I'm not talking about poison. I'm talking about whatever she catches. I know that if she were a real outside cat, she would eat everything, mice, bugs, etc., and have the stomach for it. Plus I wouldn't know about it. But all my cat eats is food I give her - can her tummy handle a slug or beetle? Is it safe? Will the beetle bite her insder her mouth? WHAT ABOUT A BEE???Does she yet know not to eat a bee? I can't bear the thought of a live bee inside her mouth I got her as a very tiny baby (no mother was around) so I'm not sure if she was taught anything by her mom.

I do love to see her frolic in the grass chasing all of the bugs - real or imaginary. And she'd love to catch that bird or squirrel that torments her. But alas, she is too slow (from being an inside kitty and the harness doesn't help either). Both cats are very patient about the harness. they know that harness = outside and outside = fun! The suffer the indignities of having a harness on them just to be let outside once a day....

And my other cats have absolutely no desire to go outside.

I digress yet again.

So, what critters are my cats allowed to eat outide? Beetles, worms, slugs, flies? What about mosquitos? Do they bite cats? Can she catch/eat them?

I don't want to run to the vet with a half eaten slug in her mouth and have him say to me "What do you THINK they eat?????" i would be mortified.

It's late - after 11 PM here -- I'm very tired --I hope i didn't misspell anything or talk too much. You get the idea of my question, right? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

DonnaMarieNJ

PS - I don't want to kiss my kitty after she had a slug in her mouth - YUCK!!!!
post #2 of 23
I highly doubt she will go after something as small as a mosquito. My cat has brought me moles, mice, bugs, birds. She usually eats them too. I am sure there are tons of bugs they eat that I don't know about. They like spiders, but I try to get them safely outside (I love spiders!)

I would worry about what kind of parasites she may be picking up. Well, I wouldn't panic worry, I just mean to keep that in mind and have a fecal done yearly to see if she needs to be dewormed. Keep her on flea treatment too. If you put her on Revolution, that will keep her flea, tick, worm and lice free (and a few other things!)
post #3 of 23
I worry all the time myself. My cat loves lizards which can be very dangerous to cats. She doesn't eat them usually, just brings them in and gives the poor things to me. I have nursed a few back to health lol. Make sure she stays current on all of her vaccines and hope she doesn't put them in your bed for a nice surprise.
post #4 of 23
My cats would chase a mosquito or even a gnat as if it were the greatest dinner on earth. To a well-fed cat, it's not the catch, it's the chase that counts!
post #5 of 23
Bugs and mice are among cats' natural foods, so no cause for worry. They're just doing what comes naturally. I believe their knowledge of what they should and shouldn't eat is more primal than learned, so the fact that your cat wasn't taught by the mother shouldn't be a problem.

After I got my cat, the spiders and silverfish (yuck) in my house suspiciously disappeared. Gross to humans, tasty to cats.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
After I got my cat, the spiders and silverfish (yuck) in my house suspiciously disappeared. Gross to humans, tasty to cats.
Could your cat talk to my cats? Mine'll just sit there and watch as a bug crosses the room....
post #7 of 23
Heh. It's certainly helpful.

He also tried to get the one rare mouse I had, but I didn't know it was there and so wouldn't let him into the cupboard in question. The mouse had been nesting in or eating his catnip, so it was an actual live catnip mouse... you can imagine how desperate he was to get at it.
post #8 of 23
Oliver is known as "Cat the Buggie Hunter" (Think "Dog the Bounty Hunter" hahaha) he also goes out on a harness and tie out in the backyard, but he usually just eats grass and watches the birds... inside though, he finds the bugs! He's horrible though, he likes to hunt and torture them (ie: rip off a leg or two) and watch them suffer and then eat them! It's usually just spiders and house flies, sometimes other things... if they're the crunchy bugs (you know, the kind you HAVE to flush cuz they don't die ugh) he won't eat them cuz he can't kill them, but he'll stalk them until we find them and get them from him

My apartment at school used to have a lot of bugs (built in the 70s, not awesome seal-age) and I'd often find him with spider legs hanging out of his mouth
post #9 of 23
My indoor cats are serious 'hunters' and we have no bugs inside! I'm very grateful to them 'cause I hate bugs. A cat probably wouldn't eat something that was bad for it naturally, but beware of poisons or nasty bugs that could have infested it.
post #10 of 23
Oh, if only Jynx would catch a bug!

She used to.. When she was a kitten.. But for the better part of her life, she couldn't be bothered. Always an indoor cat, though.. If I were to kill a spider in front of her, or near her - Heaven Forbid! - she will sit there, looking at the spot, and SCREAM..

I've pretty much settled in just letting the poor bugs die naturally, or waiting until she's left the room rather than upsetting her so badly. She'll even go as far as running away from me after I've squashed it, if I try petting her right then.

Count yourself lucky for your hunters! Hehe. Maybe I'll show her this thread and she can remember that she's a cat!
post #11 of 23
DonnaMarie,
Don't worry about it too much. Cats probably won't eat anything terribly dangerous. My cats in the past have like to decapitate scorpions and they never had a problem from them. Also, the only thing that might be dangerous would be a toad because of the poison in their skin or maybe a snake. Most bugs won't hurt them at all and in the wild they would definitely see bugs as an appetizer.
post #12 of 23
My Zane eats bugs. In spite of the fact that he has no front claws--which was done to him before he came to me!--he has caught and killed mice and squirrels.
post #13 of 23
Do not let your cat eat bugs. Kittens that eat snails and slugs are at risk for lung worms. They become infected from eating snails or slugs or mice and birds that eat snails and slugs. Have been through it twice. I thought my old cat had hairballs because he was always coughing. He also had a rapid heart rate and respiratory rate as well as coarse lung sounds. Just had a kitten infected also.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
She's all grown up now. A big girl! And I now laugh at that post (the misspellings, too). She's brought in birds, mice, and other critters. She's the mighty huntress, she is! I now wish she was only bringing in bugs
post #15 of 23
i would have thought spiders and flies would be harmless for a kitten to catch?
post #16 of 23
One thing: Snails and Slugs are not insects. They are molluscs (and gastropods to be exact). Very very different from an insect and in their various forms molluscs do serve as host to various parasites. (which is why I can't understand why anyone would eat the nasty things, much less eat them raw)

In some areas, wild insects can carry parasites that cats can get. A type of stomach worm. They're more likely to be hosts to parasites that infect herps and birds, though.
(Which is why you don't feed wild insects to reptiles or amphibians kept inside - parasite load + stress = major illness or death. This is also why herp keepers better know the quality of the insects they source, some farms are nasty)

Some insects and arachnids can give nasty bites or stings. Some insects, like fireflies, are moderately toxic and will make your cat foam at the mouth and nauseous. Know what they are for your area and don't let your cats play with them. Also know if insects, like grasshoppers, carry stomach worms in your area.

Otherwise, insects are a normal part of a cats diet. Nothing bad will come from a cat munching on a moth or cricket. I breed some insects for my reptiles (see above comment about nasty insect farms to know why) and will share them with the cats sometimes.


BTW: If anyone ever has any insect or arachnid questions, ask. I'm pretty good at identifying just about anything (if the picture is clear enough and you tell me where you are) and can tell you how toxic or poisonous it is, if it is... and probably a dozen or so other useless facts.
post #17 of 23
My cat, Wessie, ate bugs when he was outside all the time. He loves moths (which I am terrified of BTW), spiders, beetles, almost anything! Once he ate a bird that he brought down. I believe once he even ate a bee! Try to keep your cat away from big spiders, like hobo spiders, as they can be extremely dangerous to cats. I don't believe there is anything to worry about, right now Wessie trying to eat a fly he found! ha ha
post #18 of 23
I just noticed that this post was from two years ago! Oh well...just trying to help!
post #19 of 23
A few years ago I witnessed my Lilly eat a live house spider..I almost puked on the spot!

And TODAY, I came home and picked up from the carpet a huge spider carcass, one of the 3 killed it (but chose not to eat it, thankfully
post #20 of 23
One of my cats will let an insect walk right by, unharmed.
The other seems to love playing with them and only sometimes eats them. He ate a grasshopper that got in the house recently and I heard it crunch! EWWWW!!
post #21 of 23
Skitter also eats kills and eat bugs. Spiders and house flies are the natural ones that end up inside for the most part. She also enjoys killing earwigs and eating them but at least the don't make it very far
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Some insects, like fireflies, are moderately toxic and will make your cat foam at the mouth and nauseous.
Good to know! When I lived in Briarwood, there were quite a few fireflies at night. I thought they were pretty seeing some for the first time in my life. The cats were curious about them, especially at first --but thankfully the fireflies never flew low enough for the cats to make a predatory jump. Actually, some did buzz rather low, but maybe the cats instinctively knew they were toxic because of the glow.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1atsite View Post
Good to know! When I lived in Briarwood, there were quite a few fireflies at night. I thought they were pretty seeing some for the first time in my life. The cats were curious about them, especially at first --but thankfully the fireflies never flew low enough for the cats to make a predatory jump. Actually, some did buzz rather low, but maybe the cats instinctively knew they were toxic because of the glow.
I don't think a cat would instinctively know that. They'd know to leave other nasty insects and arachnids alone if they could instinctively know that.
More likely, and I'm not sure if North American fireflies do or not, there is some defensive smell to them that is off putting. You don't want to eat something that smells bad. Many insects use this method to keep from being eaten, sometimes it works for them.
And fireflies are not that good of fliers. They will sometimes fall or even land on the ground and will land on tall grass. So cats can get to them if circumstances are right.
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