Humans have domesticated cats and dogs, but despite the fact that both species are well-fed by their owners, few dogs will drop dead birds and rodents on their owners' doorsteps as precious "gifts" like cats do.
In the wild, the wolf, red fox, dingo, jackal, culpeo, dhole, and African wild dog are all carnivorous creatures who hunt for survival. But domesticated dogs do not have the same hunting instincts as their wild ancestors. In contrast, cats still have a strong instinct to follow, trap and capture prey, even if they are fully domesticated and well-fed.
Why do cats eat bugs?
Cats are curious creatures; they tend to chase whatever moves. If they are in the rural setting, they can be amused all day long by birds, spiders, mice, and other rodents. In the city, their source of amusement may be more limited to bugs. Either way, cats don't discriminate. If it moves, it's far more interesting than chasing a feather at the end of a cat toy. Slow and fast bugs are moving targets and the cat's brain is wired to chase.
But the question is, is eating bugs dangerous for a cat's health?
Here are some facts about cats eating bugs:
- Cats will often kill a bug, but won't actually eat it,
- Ingesting parasites from bugs is not a big concern,
- Some insects can transfer stomach worm, but it's very rare,
- Bugs can irritate a cat's stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhea (if it doesn't subside after a day or two, take your cat to a veterinarian), and
- Bee stings and spider bites are greater concerns as they can cause a dangerous allergic reaction and need to be treated by a veterinarian.
If you intend to use insecticides around the home, you want to read the label first because some products can cause seizures, fever, and severe tremors in felines. If you think your cat has ingested insecticide, contact your local veterinarian for help.