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Smashed ant smell?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
When the occasional ant walks across the kitchen floor,(should have never brought those peonies in) and I cruely smash it onto the floor with my index finger (I am brutal), Fang goes to the smashed ant smear and rolls around on it, and rubs his chin on it, just like it is catnip. Does anyone know anything about this? He loves smashed ants.
post #2 of 8
That's so strange haha. My cats tend to eat dead bugs, but never roll around on them first I guess your cat just really enjoys the dead bug smell??

Nimbus hates ants---that's the one bug he won't eat.

p.s. your kitties have gorgeous eyes.
post #3 of 8
Whenever you kill ants they put off an odd scent - I'm not quite sure how to describe it, sour maybe? It's formic acid.
Many birds do what is called "anting" - where the formic acid is believed to be used to help kill mites (it can also kill fungi and bacteria). Part of this odd behavior is how strangely they act during it. Squirrels do the same, as do cats. Whether mammals are actually anting, too, I don't know - it's assumed they are. That would explain the rolling.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Interesting. So when you say birds are "anting" what is that? Is that taking a dust bath that I've seen them do?
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
Interesting. So when you say birds are "anting" what is that? Is that taking a dust bath that I've seen them do?
No, it's where they collect up ants with their beaks and run them through their feathers or rub/brush over the ants to make them spray the formic acid. This is not the best quality video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5fnhUmT5fY but it does show it to some degree.
I've seen blue jays around here do this, and they're really get into it.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
That is so interesting. I have been birdwatching, and backyard birdfeeding, and nesting for years, you'd think I would have heard of this before. Learn something new everyday.
thanks!
post #7 of 8
I have always wondered this too. Our new house has little ants that get inside. The cats go nuts over them rolling around on top of any squished ones

Now I know why!
post #8 of 8
Anteater in a past life, obviously.
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