Picture this, you decide to give your birds or fish a treat of their lifetime, so you get some mealworms on your way home. Unfortunately, your kitty friend spots them as you disembark and won’t keep calm. You are appalled since you never saw that coming. But will the feline eat them? Can she? Read on to find out if cats can actually eat mealworms.
Cats can safely eat insects like crickets and mealworms without getting sick. It doesn’t matter the number of insects eaten since small, medium, and large amounts of insects eaten don’t affect them. In fact, they have health benefits. If your cat develops sickly symptoms, seek the advice of a vet.
Do cats eat insects?
Yes, cats enjoy the thrill of chasing down insects, capturing, killing, and eating them. Even then, they are picky about the type of insects they choose. However, you should limit your cats’ interaction with these insects:
- Harmful spiders
They can harm the cat. Generally, insects with yellow stripes should be avoided by both cats and humans as most of them sting.
It’s not that the bees will sting the cats, given that they won’t consume them alive. But as the feline plays with them, the bees may get agitated and act defensively, stinging the cat.
However, for spiders, you should act hastily in getting in touch with the vet as some are venomous and could potentially kill the cat. Some of the most poisonous spiders include the hobo and the black widow.
If a spider has bitten the cat, you will notice the cat vomiting, writhing in pain, having diarrhea, and being weak. However, cats can eat most spiders without issues.
Don’t lock up the cat when you see them chasing down other friendly insects. Most of them have high nutritional value to the cat. Additionally, the cat belongs to the obligated carnivorous family. This means the cat will go down the hunting road once in a while.
Fleas and ticks are troublesome to the cat. Clean and groom the cat to eliminate them.
Do cats eat mealworms?
Yes, cats do eat mealworms, and that shouldn’t worry you. Mealworms are the larval stage of the mealworm beetle. They’re a common pet food with many other pets such as turtles eating them.
The cats enjoy having mealworm snacks. Wait until the feline spots the mealworm: they get over-excited, dropping everything else.
Cats consume their meals for two reasons. Either they enjoy the smell and taste of the meal, or they haven’t tasted the meal and, being the curious family, love to explore.
In the case of mealworms, cats eat them because they like them. If you have not spotted your cat eating one, try feeding it with one during snacking.
Mealworms nutritional value
The mealworms are highly nutritious and beneficial to the cat’s development. Here is the breakdown of the nutritional value that the cats get from mealworms:
The mealworms also contain a high moisture level before they are dried, vital for the cat. However, they lose the moisture content when dried but double down on the other nutrients.
Each of these nutrients is critical for the growth and development of the cat. So let’s explore the role of each.
Your furry friend requires a high amount of proteins for various reasons:
- To ensure a functional nervous system.
- Boost their immune system.
- Maintain healthy fur.
- Energy source.
Experts advise that any cat meal should comprise 30% protein. In fact, failure to feed your cat enough proteins can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Poor blood flow
- Weak body structure
- Poor immune systems
- Problematic digestive system
That makes the mealworms a great choice for the felines. They are a perfect choice because it’s an animal protein which is preferable to plant protein.
Fats are a critical part of your cats’ meals. They come in handy in boosting their energy levels. They also help increase the cats’ alertness as they work up the nerves and improve response time through speedy signal transmissions.
The fats in your cat meals are vital in acting as a guard for the internal organs. They allow the organs to perform optimally by forming a protective layer. They also aid in the movement of vital nutrients to the cells, which are imperative in ensuring the healthy development of the cat.
If you are looking to maintain a healthy weight for your pet, you should increase the fiber the cat consumes. The fiber helps the cat feel full, thus consuming less and consequently losing weight.
An overweight cat can easily develop health problems such as diabetes and the inability to move around.
The question now remains about feeding the mealworms to the cats.
How to feed mealworms to cats
You can get mealworms from a store near you or from online retailers. There are two approaches to feeding your cat.
- First is the free method. Under this method, you have to ensure that the mealworms are dried. Then on the feeding trough, place enough mealworms for the feline to feed as she pleases.
- The second method is feeding the mealworms as a snack to the cat in between meals. For example, say the cat had a dry meal earlier in the day in the afternoon, you can have the cat feed on the mealworms.
In this case, the mealworms do not need to be dried. Actually, you could allow the feline to have some fun by throwing some live mealworms around.
The cats will find it thrilling given that they are hyper carnivorous and would enjoy hunting them down.
Whatever method you choose in feeding the cat, ensure the amount is controlled to prevent the cat from overindulging. If it’s the first time feeding the cat, do it in a small portion to observe the reaction.
If the cat hunts the mealworms while playing outside, observe keenly how she reacts after feeding. If the cat has a sensitive stomach, the mealworm may cause her to writhe, have diarrhea, and appear restless. Get in touch with your vet for guidance on the right course of action.
If you have some birds or fish, you can consider raising your mealworms so they can share the lot with the cat. It’s easy and only takes 3 months at most before they are edible. So don’t let your cat miss out on nutritious mealworms.
What other insects do cats eat?
Cats enjoy having to chase down some insects and conquering them as prey. Some of their preferred insects include:
If you notice your feline friend pursuing the insects, allow them to do it as they do it to satisfy their natural hunting instincts.
Secondly, insects are highly nutritious, containing high levels of proteins, fats, fiber, and moisture. All of these are critical in the growth and development of the cat.
The proteins help the feline grow and build a strong immune system. In addition, the fats boost the cat’s muscle structure, while the fiber aids in the metabolism and retaining a healthy weight.
You should allow your cat to eat mealworms occasionally. Let them satisfy their obligate carnivorous instincts. However, don’t replace the felines’ main meal with the mealworms. You need to supplement other meals to meet the nutritional value balance, such as vitamins and minerals.
If you choose to buy the mealworms, go for approved high-quality brands and vendors to ensure the cat gains the most from the quality sources.
As a cat lover, it’s important to find out the insects that are friendly or harmful to the cat, so you know how to handle the situation the moment you spot the cat feeding on one.
Smithsonian. Insects as Pets.
Cornell University. Gastrointestinal Parasites of Cats.
Oregon State University. Offer robins what they need and they’ll stick around.