Usually, cats do not like to eat cockroaches unless they are very hungry or got temped.
You may have seen that cat’s in wild catches small mammals like rat, hamster, gerbils or birds like pigeon, parrot or sparrow.
You will often notice that your cat is playing with small insects like cockroach, cricket or even ant.
So, the chances are that your cat found it interesting and eat it.
But if you were asking, can cats eat cockroaches? then the answer is little different.
In short, yes, cats cat eat cockroaches safely, and they aren’t toxic for them, but that doesn’t mean you should encourage them to eat it.
While cockroaches are not toxic, they can cause several health issues like vomiting, constipation and stomach ache in common cases.
Let’s go deeper and learn about what else can happen if your cat ate cockroaches and what you can do about it.
Can Cats Eat Cockroaches? (Long Answer)
Cockroaches aren’t toxic and relatively not going to harm your feline friend if he/she ingested a few while playing.
You shouldn’t encourage this; domestic cockroaches often eat worms and other junks (e.g., poop, dead skin cells, garbage) and carry parasites that can get transmitted to your cat, which will cause several health issues.
If your house is recently pesticides to terminate or remove insects, you should pay close attention to your kitties as roaches may carry pesticides. If your cat eats them while playing, then he/she will surely get health problems.
However, a wild cat may not get that much affected as its digestive system is far stronger than an indoor one.
So, if your cat is more likely an indoor one, then you should keep your feline friend away and not let them eat cockroaches or any other insects; otherwise, you may have to rush to your vet if your cat ingested something like that.
Why Do Cats Eat Cockroaches?
Well, cats are natural hunter and its part of their DNA to hunt down their prey.
If you notice, you will see that your cat most likely poke, jab, and have fun with little mammals like Rat, Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea pigs and mice.
Thus they do the same with cockroaches as it seems to be a little bigger than other insects, and the cat gets confused with a mammal.
And sometimes, when the prey dies, your feline friend may end up eating it.
Although cockroaches aren’t toxic, this means if your cat has eaten a few roaches, it will be very less likely to harm your cat.
However, if your cat is often hunting and eating roaches and not having its regular food, you should consult a professional veterinarian and take advice.
Is Cockroaches Edible?
Yes, and cockroaches aren’t toxic themselves, which means if your cat is hunting down and eating a few roaches occasionally, your feline friend won’t face any problems.
But that doesn’t mean you should encourage hunting and eating down insects like cockroaches.
Cockroaches are highly edible, and some species of roaches are highly nutritious as they are high in protein.
Creepy, but in some countries, roaches are now farmed and supplied to restaurants, bakeries and superstore as they are an extremely cheap source of high-quality protein.
So, should I leave my cat while he/she is hunting and eating cockroaches?
Well, it depends on the situation, like if it’s a house or wild cat and how often your feline friend is doing it.
And if your cat is having no digestion issues like vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, then your cat should be fine.
Is It Even Safe?
Yes and No!
Confused right? Let me explain.
Some species of cockroaches are absolutely safe to consume in certain circumstances.
The roaches should be hatched, farmed and fed a clean diet.
A cockroach which roams around your house isn’t absolutely safe for your feline friend, and they often have parasites that can make your cat sick.
So, if your cat is sometimes hunting cockroaches, you shouldn’t worry until your cat faces any stomach or digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or stomach ache.
Thus, if your cat happens to eat cockroaches and fell ill, you should wait for about 12 hours and see if your cat is self recovering or not otherwise;, you should consult with your vet for expert advice.
Should I Let My Cat Eat Cockroaches?
I don’t recommend it!
Insects like cockroaches, crickets, and beetles are usually non-toxic, but their body is cover with a hard cell called exoskeletons, and if your cat ingests them, then it can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite.
Besides, cockroaches often carry parasites which can again cause digestive issues in cats. So, it’s best to keep your cat away from cockroaches.
And why would you let your cat eat cockroaches when you have high-quality cat food available in your house?
Are Cats Allergic To Cockroach?
Not particular to cockroaches, but your cat may be allergic to other insects as well. There are two types of allergies, e.g. food and skin, but mostly, you will see symptoms of food allergy in your cat.
Here are some of the common sign of food allergies:
- Stomach Ache
So, if you see any of the above sign in your cat after your kitty has eaten roaches, then your cat is allergic to particular insects.
However, these symptoms are not lethal and usually self-treated, but if your cat isn’t getting well within 12 to 24 hours, then you should see your vet and have a proper checkup of your feline friend.
Can Cats Get Worms From Eating Cockroaches?
Yes, there are possibilities!
Usually, female worms pass eggs to a cockroach, cricket or other intermediate host and then it gets developed into the intermediate host. Whenever your cat ingests a cockroach, the parasite causes infection to your feline friend.
These parasites usually cause temporary GI symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weakness.
So, if you see the above signs in your cat after he/she has played with cockroaches, you must consult with your vet as it requires medical attention.
Weird But, Cockroaches Are Actually Healthy For Cats
You might lose your appetite just by hearing the name of cockroach, but they are actually edible and highly nutritious.
Cockroaches are high in protein, vitamins and minerals, like B12.
It helps lower the chances of getting anemia, heart and nerve disease as it keeps the blood and nerve cells healthy and promotes the production of healthy DNA.
Besides, B12 is important for repairing damaged skin, growth of nails, hair and healthy skin.
But there are chances that your cat might get sick as some cockroaches have parasites, and it gets transmitted when your cat consume them.
So, if you see your cat is excessively playing with roaches, the best solution is to take your cat away from them.
Can Cockroaches Choke My Cats?
Yes, it can choke cats.
You might have noticed a crunch whenever a cockroach gets crushed by your feet or something, and it’s called the exoskeleton. It’s thick and hard cartilage covering their body.
So, when your cat is eating a cockroach, they find it hard to chew the exoskeleton as they are hard in texture, and the high chances are that this exoskeleton will get stuck in the throat of your feline friend.
It can lead to vomiting, breathing, and even choking your cat, which can take your cat’s life if not immediately acted.
Thus, if your feline friend faces any issues after eating cockroaches, you should immediately contact your vet and get your cat examined.
Should I Stop My Cat?
Well, it depends!
Cats are obligate carnivores which mean they can process meat easily in their stomach, and cockroaches aren’t usually toxic.
And in some countries, they are consumed as it’s a high protein source.
However, a wild cat shouldn’t have any issues digesting cockroach, but an indoor cat might find it hard, so if you have an indoor cat, then you probably shouldn’t let your cat eat cockroaches roaming around your house.
Instead, opt for high-quality cat food with all essential nutrients which are best for their stomach, hair, skin and bones.
If your cat is habituated to eating a clean diet and suddenly consumed a dead cockroach, he/she might get minor health issues like vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache and constipation.
I highly recommend you talk to your vet if your cat is showing high interest in cockroaches or other domestic insects than their regular meal.
Cockroaches aren’t self toxic, but they often have a parasite that gets transmitted to your cat when he/she ingested a cockroach.
Which is harmful to your feline friend’s health, and it can cause several health issues such as digesting problem, vomiting, and diarrhea.
And, if your cat is an indoor one, then you should probably stop your cat whenever you see them in action.
Indoor cats have a more sensitive digestive system; thus, you should encourage them to eat only high quality canned or homely prepared food and not any random insects.