Our adorable, affectionate cats and cockroaches? The repulsive, creepy bugs that are fixated on dirt? These two things don’t seem to match. However, it’s common for everyone to have a roach or two in their home from time to time, and when that happens, there’s a good chance that your cat will find it and consider it as prey. But can they actually consume them? Do cats devour cockroaches?
Cats love munching on cockroaches, which helps them fulfill their natural hunting instincts. Although eating a single roach is usually harmless for your cat, there are other things to consider, like digestive problems and the risk of consuming pesticides, that could potentially affect your furry friend.
In this article, we will explore why cats are so interested in eating cockroaches, what motivates them to do so, whether or not these bugs can be dangerous to your cat’s health, and how you can remove roaches from your home without causing harm to your furry friend.
Why do cats eat cockroaches
Cats often munch on cockroaches, those tough and stubborn bugs that humans really don’t like, either when they’re hunting or just having fun. House cats have a strong instinct to hunt, which they inherited from their wild relatives who used to roam the jungle.
Cats have an advantage when it comes to spotting and capturing cockroaches because of their larger size compared to other insects. They can easily detect the distinct hard shell of the roach, making it easier for them to catch and eliminate it. Cats typically engage in playful behavior with their prey, batting it around, sniffing it, and biting or licking it. In the process, they may accidentally ingest the roach while exploring it with their taste buds.
Cats sometimes eat cockroaches intentionally, especially when they are anemic or have a condition called PICA. When a cat is anemic, it means they are lacking certain nutrients in their diet, so they may try to compensate by eating insects and other unusual things.
If cats are eating non-food items like cockroaches because of PICA, it could be because they are bored or have a psychological compulsion. If you’re worried about this behavior, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.
Cats often eat cockroaches, regardless of the reason. While it may be unpleasant to us, it’s simply a result of their natural curiosity.
Can cats get sick from eating cockroaches
Cats can eat cockroaches without any harm, but it’s not a good idea to let your cat be your roach exterminator.
Cockroaches have hard outer shells, which produce a disturbing “crunch” sound when you squash them. This implies that if a cat swallows a cockroach without properly chewing it, the fragments could get stuck in their throat and suffocate them. These fragments can also irritate the cat’s digestive system and lead to vomiting. If a cat regularly consumes cockroaches or other insects with hard shells, it can be detrimental to their teeth, as their teeth are not designed to chew on such textured objects.
People who don’t know much about bugs might confuse a different, more harmful bug for a cockroach. If your cat eats this bug, it could be toxic. There are also different types of cockroaches with unique characteristics that could be dangerous.
The cats that are at the highest risk of danger from cockroaches are those that live in environments where pesticides have been used. This is especially true for cats in apartment buildings located in densely populated cities, as these buildings often undergo regular pest control treatments. If a cat manages to catch a roach that has pesticide residue on it but does not die from it, the cat will also ingest the pesticides, which can make them extremely sick and potentially lead to a fatal outcome.
Although cats may be interested in playing with, hunting, and consuming cockroaches, it is advisable to prevent them from doing so. This advice applies to most insects. While they may not be toxic in theory, there are potential risks such as misidentification, the possibility of choking or digestive problems, and the presence of pesticides or chemicals that can be harmful or even fatal to your cat. If your cat frequently encounters cockroaches, it is important to address the issue and ensure the safety of your cat.
Are roaches attracted to cat litter
The type of litter you use in your cat’s litter box determines whether cats will be attracted to it. Cockroaches are drawn to anything that could be a food source for them. Clay, sand, or silica-based litters do not interest cockroaches because they are not edible. However, biodegradable cat litters that contain pine or recycled foods like wheat, beets, or corn can become a haven for cockroaches. If you have a roach problem or are concerned about attracting these pests in the future, it’s best to use cat litters that will not entice them.
What should I do if my cat eats a cockroach
If your cat consumes a cockroach, it’s important to monitor them closely. While your cat will probably be okay, there could be some negative effects from the cockroach’s hard outer shell or any pesticides it may have ingested. If you observe your cat coughing or vomiting, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian or poison control and inform them about your cat’s recent cockroach meal.
You should also avoid letting your cat eat a lot of roaches or other insects. This could upset their digestive system. If there are many insects around, it means there is an infestation that could harm you and your pet. Take care of the infestation yourself and don’t rely on your cat to help!
How can I keep cockroaches away without hurting my cat
Researchers have discovered that catnip, the enchanting substance that brings joy to cats, effectively repels cockroaches at a rate nearly 100 times stronger than regular pesticide sprays. Therefore, instead of using toxic roach sprays that can harm cats, you can keep cockroaches away and make your cat happy by using catnip. Simply ensure that your home is clean, sprinkle catnip in areas where cockroaches are commonly found, and watch as these pesky insects quickly retreat. Your cat will be more than willing to assist with this household task!
You can find various natural ways to get rid of cockroaches, such as homemade mixtures and using garden herbs, on the internet. However, it’s important to note that these remedies, although they are natural and don’t contain chemicals, can still be dangerous for cats. Before trying any natural method to repel and eliminate insects, make sure to do your research.
If you want to use a spray, make sure to read the label and ensure that it won’t harm your pets. You can find many non-toxic sprays in stores or online. To be extra cautious, remove food bowls or clean them when treating your home.
Keeping a roach-free environment for your cat
Cats have plenty of choices when it comes to hunting and playing, so cockroaches shouldn’t really be a part of their regular hunting routine. They might catch one every now and then, but intentionally allowing it to happen poses too many risks. If you have cockroaches in your home, it’s likely a sign of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. The best solution is to eliminate them at the source, while ensuring the safety of your adventurous cat. Encourage your cat to focus on hunting their toys instead.