Can Cats Eat Insects and Bugs? Are they Poisonous?

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I was in the pet store the other day, and some of my friends were buying mealworms for their pet lizards. I started to wonder, can my cat also have a bite. So I came back home and checked the web for answers. So, do cats eat mealworms? Here is what I found out!

Do cats eat mealworms

Can cats eat mealworms? Cats can eat mealworms. The danger from these worms is quite low, so there is no harm in providing some good protein-rich food to your cat.[1] However, some cats may not like mealworms due to their taste. But, mostly, it depends on the cat’s personal choices rather than an inherent distinction.

That was the short answer. Do you know cats can get ill eating some worms? Keep reading to know more!

Are mealworms bad for cats?

Absolutely not! Cats are predatory animals[2], and they love to eat other small prey like insects and worms. These are also a pretty good source of protein for them.

Mealworms contain around 15 to 20 percent protein.[3] Cats are also widely known to eat insects and worms.

Based on new studies, experts in the UK are urging pet owners to provide insect protein-rich diets to their cats and dogs. They are claiming that insects based diets are even better than steaks for your pets[4]

So, you can provide your cat with some dry mealworms from a reputable store or from online but make sure they are fed properly.

Sometimes, when you source pet food from anywhere, it could contain contaminated elements and, therefore, could cause stomach problems and even worms. So, be careful.

These are sold as food for the lizards and other small animals, but if they are of good quality, they can also be given to cats.

So, Can Cats Eat Insects? Which Ones?

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Cats can eat a lot of insects. They love to chase and hunt these small creatures, as it is their natural behavior to do so. Mostly, these insects are not dangerous to your cats.

What insects can cats eat?

Cats can eat these insects safely:

  • House spiders
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Butterflies
  • Caterpillars

Can cats eat spiders? Tarantulas? Black widows?

can cats eat spiders

Cats should have no issues eating normal house spiders. But, if your cat encounters big poisonous spiders like the Black widow or tarantula, the kitty is in for big trouble this time.

These spiders can bite your kitty, and she can get her body parts swollen due to bites of the spider. If that happens, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can my cat eat wasps and bees?

Can my cat eat wasps and bees?

Cats can eat bees and wasps. But, your kitty can get stung by these creatures easily, and if that happens, you should give her antihistamine medications as soon as possible.

Can cats eat butterflies, caterpillars, and moths?

Can cats eat butterflies

Most of these are non-toxic, and kittens usually love to chase after them. There is absolutely no problem in letting your cat eat butterflies, moths or caterpillars. Only very rare and giant caterpillars can do some damage to your kitty else they should be fine.

And by the way, if you are using mothballs to avoid moths, understand that they are very toxic to cats. Do avoid them in the vicinity of your kitten.

What about centipedes? Can cats eat them?

cats eat centipedes

Cats should avoid eating centipedes. Centipedes are known for their poison, which they used to catch prey. However, there is a vast disparity between the bodies of the centipede’s prey and your cat; it is unlikely that there will be a big reaction in the cat’s body if she gets stung. So don’t worry much about them.

Unless you are on a foreign trip, and your cat encounters a huge wild centipede. Those guys can be nasty. Be aware!

What about scorpions? Can they be cat food?

cats eat scorpions

Cats should not eat and stay far away from scorpions as they are poison-filled stinger missiles.

They can really cause allergies and reactions in your cat’s body. It could also lead to vomiting in dire situations. If that happens, contact your vet immediately.

Can my cat eat ants?

cat eat ants

Cats can eat house ants safely. But, red ants can bite your cat in several areas if they feel threatened. Also, fire ants can be quite allergic and nasty. Keep your cat away from these ants.

Can cats eat roaches? Grasshoppers? Crickets?

Can cats eat roaches

Cats can eat roaches but sometimes it could lead to gas problems and even allergic reactions in your cat’s body. Roaches and crickets can also carry several parasites. These parasites can get transferred easily, and your kitty can suffer for long. So discretion is advised.

Fleas and ticks? Are they cat food?

ticks are cat food?

Cats should not eat fleas and ticks. Not only are they dangerous but they can also make home on your cat’s body. They are full of parasites and can cause anemia, tapeworm, and several allergic reactions.

Make sure to clean your cat often to avoid such creatures from taking hold and making space in her body. If they have already taken hold, taking your pet to the veterinarian will be a good idea.

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Can Mosquitoes harm cats?

cats eat mosquitos

Cats should avoid eating mosquitos at all costs. Mosquitoes are dangerous as they can carry several diseases, including those hazardous for cats.

Cats love to catch those flying small objects like flies and mosquitoes but do not allow them to do so. They are known to create heartworm disease in cats—this disease is untreatable.

My cat ate a fly! Should I be worried?

My cat ate a fly

Can cats get worms from eating flies? Nope! Eating them is fine for your cat. They can sometimes bite in your cat’s ears. At that point, you can use fly repellent cream in those areas to relieve your lovely feline.

What about other bugs? Can cats eat them?

Bugs are quite safe to eat for cats, and you can let your kitty enjoy a nice buggy meal without any restrictions.

Can pesticides harm your feline?

Pesticides can be a problem, but since felines are quite big compared to small mosquitoes, the intended target of the pesticides, should not harm your kitty as much.

You can also make use of natural pesticides to get rid of worms rather than using chemicals. The point to note here is that in large quantities, pesticides can harm your cat as well. So make sure your cat is nowhere near such locations. But, what if you think she has already eaten something?

Signs of poisoning in cats (toxicity in cats)

Signs of poisoning in cats

Of course, we all are worried about our pets, but sometimes it’s too crazy not to be worried. So we are giving you some tell-tale signs of cat poisoning: –

  • Your cat could suffer from vomiting and, in some cases, diarrhea as well.
  • She could show signs of twitching and flitting.
  • Your kitty can have breathing problems as well.
  • There could be inflammation in some areas of her body.
  • Although this is not common, some cats could suffer from depression after poisoning.
  • Also, changes in urination can also point to poisoning.
  • The kitty might also have changes in her drinking behavior.

So, what she must have eaten something nasty, right? Let’s talk about substances poisonous to cats.

List of things poisonous to cats


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We have prepared a small list for you so that you can save your kitty from these substances and prevent a hazardous event from coming into fruition. Make sure not to allow your cat ever near these things so she cannot eat them or swallow them in any case.

  • Rat poison or any other rodent bait can be poisonous to cats. Do not allow your cats to visit the same area where rat poison is placed.
  • Weed poison can also sometimes be poisonous to cats.
  • Insect sprays can also be harmful.
  • Antifreeze substances and polishes used to keep your radiators warm in winter can be poisonous to cats.
  • Even some plants like day lily and Easter lily are poisonous to cats.
  • Do not give chocolate to your kitty because it contains the substance theobromine, which is poisonous to cats.
  • Also, there could be some other consequences rather than direct poisoning. Dry food such as raisins can create renal failure among cats.
  • Your cat could suffer allium poisoning from onions and garlic. Do not provide her that these vegetables ever.
  • I think you already know that providing alcohol to your cats is not a good idea.

Now, these are the situations where the cat has not already swallow the poison, what if she has? What can you do now? Let us give you a step-by-step guide.

What to do when the cat has taken the poison

What to do if cat is poisoned

Cat ate bug poison?

Here are the simple steps you need to follow in case your cat has poisoned herself.

Step 1: Take stock of the situation and see if your cat is showing signs of poisoning mentioned before in this article. If she is showing the symptoms, visit your nearby vet immediately.

Step 2: your vet is going to ask you several questions so before visiting him assess how much poison your cat has taken. It will be a good idea if you know the exact problematic substance. Go to the places of which she has visited before falling sick. Look for things out of place, and things spread on the ground.

Step 3: if she has gone comatose or she in a coma, wrap her in a blanket. If you are smelling poison from her body, you should remove the poison as she might lick her body when she wakes up. Use a mild soap to wash her skin thoroughly.

Step 4: do not pressurize the cat to vomit unless your vet asks you to do so. In that case, provide her with a dose of 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%) every 10 to 15 minutes. If he is not vomiting even when you have provided the recommended dosage and 30 minutes have passed by, immediately transport her to a nearby vet facility.

Step 5: Call Poison Hotline (1-800-222-1222). They will charge you a fee for their services, but they will coordinate with your vet to help your cat has best as they can.



Cats can eat a lot of insects and bugs, but be careful that all bugs and insects are not the same. Read before allowing your kitty to eat everything that is small and walks. If you see some problematic signs or abnormal behavior, do immediately contact your nearby vet. In case you are sure that these are signs of poisoning, call the poison hotline as well.


An appeal: We all are kitty lovers, and such situations can come in anybody’s life. Do share this post with your friends and family who own a cat and are worried about her eating habits. Your 5 seconds can save a life.

If you have any other questions, do write to us using our contact us page. Good luck!

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