Cats are natural-born hunters, so it's not a huge surprise to see one stalking a spider or another small bug across the floor of your home or even outdoors. However, if your cat makes a regular habit of hunting these down and munching on them, you might want to think twice about letting them do it. Here's the problem with cats chowing down on bugs.
As you probably know, not all bugs are completely harmless. While some are simply annoying, like stinging mosquitos, some are downright poisonous and can kill just by biting. If a bug is full of a toxin that can do damage like that, you can imagine how eating it could be dangerous.
Of course, there are plenty of bugs — including spiders — that are harmless and not poisonous. But unless you plan to do a great deal of studying poisonous bugs so you can detect and remove any that your cat comes across, it's better to just keep them from hunting them in the first place.
Exposure to Poisons
Unfortunately, the natural poisons that certain bugs produce don't encompass all of the poisons your cat could encounter if they eat a bug.
If a bug is down on the ground and isn't making much of an effort to get away from the cat, or it's slow and clumsy, that could be a very bad sign. All insects tend to avoid coming in contact with animals unless they need them for something, like fleas or ticks biting for blood. If a bug can be reached by your cat, this may indicate that it's already injured by or dying from bug-killing poison.
Bug poisons are extremely toxic to cats and should never be used around them. Unfortunately, even if you do your best to keep the actual poison away from your cats, if they meet a bug that's walked through bug poison or is actively sickened by it and eat it, they'll get sick too.
Cats typically show a few common symptoms when they're sick with poison, like vomiting, drooling, and lethargy. If you ever see your cat showing these signs after they've eaten a bug, you need to get them to a vet as soon as possible.
Veterinarians at pet hospitals are equipped to handle poison cases with cats. With IV fluids or activated charcoal and, if necessary, by pumping the stomach, they can rid your cat of the poison before it does permanent damage to organs or even triggers death.
Bugs might seem like a tiny nuisance that your cat is happy to take care of for you, but they can be dangerous for your kitty. Avoid using bug sprays in your home and take away any bug you see your cat playing with before they can eat it.