Crickets are interesting insects. How would you explain that they chirp by rubbing their wings together, or that their ears are located on the legs? Wait, did you even know that they have more than 50 teeth? So many interesting facts. It’s no wonder the cats find them interesting and love hunting them down. But, can the cats eat them?
Cats can eat crickets and many other insects without problems. They get proteins and a chance to practice their hunting skills from the crickets. If they eat the crickets and exhibit symptoms of sickness such as vomiting and lethargy, seek the advice of a qualified veterinary practitioner.
First, you need to understand that the cats come from hyper carnivorous backgrounds meaning that most of their diet consists of meat. This means that the cat will be on a hunting spree from time to time, which is acceptable. Are crickets among cats preferred delicacies? Let’s find out.
Do Cats Eat Insects?
Cats eat a large number of insects. In fact, cats love it when they hunt them down. Rats also eat insects but less than their nemesis the cats.
Have you ever observed how thrilled the felines are when they chase those buzzing bugs down?
Here are some insects considered harmless to cats:
For spiders, you need to be cautious as some types are harmful while others aren’t. When taking care of pet tarantulas, for example, your cat might eat them. You also need to ensure that your cat doesn’t get excited and overindulge.
Roaches, such as the Florida types, can be eaten by cats and so can domesticated ones such as dubia roaches.
The stinging insects should also not worry you as it’s hard for the cat to be stung as they ingest. However, cats like celebrating their catch. Thus, they first play around before consuming them. The cat can be stung during this time, causing it lots of pain.
Do cats eat crickets?
Cats love eating up crickets and will hunt them down. Domesticated ones may chase the crickets down for fun and the hunting thrill, given that they are well fed. Wild cats, however, will hunt down the crickets for food.
Crickets have a high nutritional value that is beneficial for cats. So, next time you see your furry friend feasting on one, just let her be.
What to Look Out for After Your Cat Eats Crickets
At times, the cat will feast on a live cricket, while other times, the cat will kill the cricket first. However, you should not worry whether it ingests it live or otherwise. What should concern you is whether the cricket could be carrying harmful insecticides.
After consuming a cricket, you may sometimes observe the feline throwing up. The only explanation for this is the cricket consumed could be having poison from insecticides.
Your cat may appear lethargic, and it may twitch and lack interest in other activities. Take her to the vet immediately when you spot any of these signs.
The cricket, having an exoskeleton, may cause problems in the cat’s mouth after ingesting. That crunchiness could lead to the cat’s mouth becoming sore, bleeding, and even having bad breath. Feed the cat with soft feeds for a while as it heals.
Like humans, some cats have sensitive stomachs. They may be irritated by the crickets, making them writhe in pain. Get a vet if any of these signs progress for a long time.
These are rare occurrences. Ideally, your cat won’t be harmed by consuming crickets. In fact, their nutritional value is recommendable.
Crickets nutritional value
In a 100g serving, here’s the breakdown of the components your cat will be benefitting from.
Crickets have a high amount of proteins which is beneficial to the cat as it boosts its strength by building the muscles. The cats benefit from the unadulterated amino acids present in the crickets in all their varieties.
The fats found in the crickets are valuable to the cats as they aid in the proper absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins. They also boost skin texture, energy levels and come in handy in reproduction.
You don’t want your cat wobbling as they walk due to weak bones that can’t support the body structure. The calcium in the crickets boosts bone formation and strength and is also key in strengthening the cats’ dental formula.
Just as humans need zinc in controlled amounts, so do cats. The cats need controlled zinc levels to help metabolism function and boost their immune systems. Zinc also comes in handy in helping the cat smell and feel better. It also increases the cats’ alertness.
The iron in crickets is key in boosting the growth and development of the cat. It’s also needed for the proper flow of blood in the cats’ bodies.
That should let you allow your feline to hunt down and consume the crickets. You should even consider feeding crickets to the cats as explained below.
How to feed crickets to cats
Free feeding is the best option for feeding the crickets to your cats. You simply provide dry foodstuffs to the cats at various times and leave the cat to eat at her pleasure.
The advantage of this method is that you will know when the cat has had her fill the moment they ignore the feeds. You will also learn if the crickets have a side effect on the cats from how they behave after feeding.
Fill the crickets on a tray and watch how the cat behaves. Skip a few days before you can provide the cat with the crickets again. It will allow the cats to react and give the right feedback.
Cats mostly prefer hunting down the crickets for the thrill of it. They love conquering and playing around with them before they can feast on them.
So, they would love it if you can access live crickets and allow them to hunt them down. We did this when young, and our furry friend loved it.
What other insects do cats eat?
Don’t get scared when you spot your cat feeding on bugs, flies, moths, butterflies, and ants. Some cats will also eat caterpillars, bees, cockroaches, and wasps.
Domesticated cats may show disinterest in hunting down the insects and feeding on them except when they are being playful and want to conquer the insects and satisfy their instincts.
No matter how well-fed your cat may be, you will spot it hunting the bugs and crickets down to satisfy their natural curiosity and showcase its prowess in conquering the bugs.
Just let the cutie be. Allow some freedom unless the vet has discouraged you or the cat has predisposed conditions that endanger it.
Insects Not Suitable for Cats
Some insects should not even be allowed near the cats as they can harm them. These insects include:
These should be eliminated on sight as they can easily kill your pet or lead to other complications such as:
- Gastrointestinal complications
- Difficulty breathing
- Prolonged vomiting.
Other insects can stick to the cat and make it very uncomfortable and affect its appetite. They include:
Have these treated and eliminated as soon as possible to allow the cat to thrive and remain jolly.
Cats eat crickets. In fact, they enjoy the entire hunting, conquering, and playing around with their prey. It has nothing to do with hunger, it’s because they are obligate carnivorous and love to satisfy their curiosity and instincts.
As such, let your furry friend loose. Let her chase and eat the crickets. The same joy you feel when you pursue and achieve your goals in life can be equated to what the feline feels when they conquer the crickets.
The crickets are also beneficial to your cat as they offer high nutritional value vital for its growth and development.
Cornell University. Gastrointestinal Parasites of Cats.
Smithsonian Music. Insects As Pets.
Arizona Cooperative Extension. Managing Crickets.