If you have a cat you know that they like to chase things, whether real or imaginary! Flying bugs and insects are just one of the many things that both indoor and outdoor felines fancy chasing.
But is it safe for them to eat their flying prey? The answer is that it depends! “Internal parasites are not a [big] concern with ingestion of insects,” says Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM. “The danger from ingesting insects is very small.”
In other words, cats are unlikely to develop worms or an infection simply by ingesting bugs. But, insects can irritate your cat’s stomach, and diarrhea and vomiting are likely side effects if your cat resides outdoors and adores chomping on bugs.
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These side effects are usually transitory, but be sure to seek help for your pet if the symptoms linger. Not all cats are allowed to roam, so what about the bugs that cats play with indoors? Should an owner worry if their pet ingests a creepy crawly?
The good news is that the risk of illness from eating indoor bugs is small, even with bugs that have ingested insecticide or bug spray. Your cat would have to eat an unusually large amount of poisoned bugs for the toxins to have any ill effects. That’s good news!
However, due diligence is still required whenever you use substances strong enough to kills bugs and insects. You want to avoid any products that contain pyrethroids or pyrethrins as these chemicals have been known to cause seizures and tremors in cats.
Keep in mind that just because your cat loves chasing bugs and stalking insects, there’s no guarantee that it’s a tempting snack! Kittens especially are wired to hunt and running after bugs is one way to satisfy this instinct.
The next time your cat catches a bug he’s just as likely to decide that you should be the lucky recipient of his “gift!”
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