Can Cats Eat Moths – A Surprising Discovery!


Cats have a natural instinct to hunt, which is why you often see your furry friend chasing after various insects. But cat owners are concerned about whether their pets can eat the bugs they catch, such as butterflies or moths. So, is it safe for cats to eat moths?

Cats can eat most kinds of moths without any negative effects. However, they should avoid eating the Garden Tiger Moth because it is poisonous.

If you want to prevent your cat from eating moths or understand why cats are attracted to bugs, we have all the information you need. Stay with us as we discuss everything about a cat’s fascination with moths.

What Are Moths And Why Do Cats Like Them So Much

Moths and butterflies are part of the Lepidoptera group in the animal kingdom. These insects fly at night and have small scales on their wings, which give them their attractive colors and patterns. There are more than 160,000 species of moths globally, with over 11,000 of them found in North America.

Now, let’s talk about why cats are so fond of these bugs. The thing is, when your cat chases after a moth, it’s simply acting on its natural hunting instinct. Back in the day, before cats became domesticated, they had to rely on their excellent hunting abilities to stay alive.

Even if your cat is well-fed, it still has natural instincts as a predator. So, when it sees an insect moving on the ground or flying in the air, its hunting instincts become very strong.

Do Cats Like Eating Moths

It can be a bit concerning to witness your cat hunting and devouring a bug. Firstly, there’s the instinctive ‘EWW’ response to handle. Then, there’s the concern that consuming insects might somehow be detrimental to your furry friend. However, if you believe that your cat is pursuing moths because they are a special treat for felines, think again.

Cats don’t munch on moths because they enjoy the flavor or because they need the protein. Instead, cats occasionally hunt and devour insects, such as moths, as it’s a natural part of their hunting instincts.

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Just like your cat can’t resist chasing after bugs, it’s only natural for them to eat their catch. And if that happens to be a gross moth, well, that’s just how it goes.

Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Moths

One of the main concerns for pet owners is when their cat accidentally eats something that could be harmful. If you’re worried about your cat eating moths for this reason, there’s no need to be anxious.

In general, it’s okay for cats to munch on moths since they aren’t harmful to your furry friend. However, be cautious of the Garden Tiger Moth as it can be poisonous and might cause an upset stomach for your cat.

If a cat eats a Tiger Moth, it can experience unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and drooling. Although consuming a Garden Tiger Moth may not pose a serious danger to your pet’s life, it is advisable to take your cat to the vet for examination if you suspect it has eaten one.

Another thing to worry about when your cat eats moths is that the moths might have insecticide on them. This can be harmful to your cat if they eat it. That’s why it’s important to try to stop your cat from eating moths as much as possible.

How To Stop Your Cat From Eating Moths

Whether you believe it or not, moths have a significant job in keeping our ecosystem healthy. They assist in pollinating flowers and aiding in seed production, which ultimately supports the growth of wild plants, food crops, and other types of vegetation.

Therefore, we advise against launching a full-scale attack on the species in order to safeguard your cat.

There isn’t a lot that cat owners can do to stop their cats from chasing bugs or eating them. However, if you’re fast enough, you can catch the moth with a butterfly net and let it go outside.

If your cat goes outside, it can be difficult to prevent it from encountering moths. However, since moths are most active in warm weather and mostly come out at night, keeping your cat inside during summer nights can also be helpful.

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One suggestion is to use a spray with a vinegar smell in places where moths are likely to be found. This will make your cat stay away from those areas, even if there is a moth present that it might want to eat.

Are Mothballs Safe To Use Around Felines

Lots of people use mothballs to keep moths away from their homes. But if you have a cat, you shouldn’t use mothballs because they’re really poisonous for cats.

Mothballs usually contain chemicals like para-dichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which can be harmful to both humans and cats. This means that it is not recommended to use them at all, as they can pose a significant risk, especially around children and cats.

If your cat sniffs mothballs, it can experience nausea, respiratory irritation, or vomiting, and if it eats them, it can suffer from severe poisoning. Instead, you can make your own natural moth repellent by combining thyme, cloves, lavender, bay leaves, and dried rosemary in a cloth bag and keeping it in your closets.

If your cat consumes mothballs, it might encounter the following adverse effects:

Gastrointestinal problems – Cats don’t enjoy this condition because it affects their stomach and bowel movements. Eating moths can lead to symptoms such as feeling sick and throwing up. It can also cause diarrhea, bloating, and intense stomach pain.

If this happens, your cat will definitely be meowing in pain. Lack of interest in food is also a big worry where you’ll notice your cat losing weight and essential nutrients because it’s not eating.

Dehydration is a big problem when cats eat moths. Cats will drink more water, but if there isn’t enough, they may get diarrhea and vomit.

Anemia – If a cat ingests a mothball, they may experience symptoms of anemia, which can be quite concerning. These symptoms may include bleeding, lethargy, or an increased heart rate. Additionally, the cat may also develop a fever and experience difficulty breathing.

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Neurological problems – This is where you’ll notice things like feeling dizzy, tripping, and being clumsy.

When cats eat mothballs, it can cause harm to their kidneys due to dehydration. This can result in cats drinking less water and urinating more frequently. Additionally, cats may also develop bad breath.

If a cat eats moths, it can cause liver damage, which can be identified by noticeable changes in the color of the stool and urine.

So, in summary, it’s not a good idea to use mothballs to eliminate moths if you don’t keep an eye on your cat. There are more effective methods to prevent them from coming into contact with each other.

Things To Consider

We’ve talked a lot about cats eating moths and stuff. But what about other bugs that cats like to chase? If you’re worried about your cat’s bug-chasing habit, here are some insects you should make sure your cat stays away from.

Hard-bodied Insects

Usually, bugs with hard outer shells such as crickets, beetles, and roaches are not poisonous to cats but can lead to discomfort (in the mouth and throat) and digestive issues.

Additionally, cockroaches may have parasites that can enter your cat’s body if they are eaten. This is why it is important for cat owners to make sure their cats are regularly given deworming medication.

Flying Insects

Cats, just like humans, can have an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis if they get stung by a bee or wasp, which are flying insects that can sting and pose a risk.

If you think your cat got stung, it’s a good idea to take your kitty to the vet right away for the right treatment before it has any bad reactions.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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