Do Cats Eat Cockroaches? Benefits, Risks & Prevention

Anyone with a cat has probably seen their cat chase and devour a lot of bugs. Bugs appear to be a crunchy, delicious snack. Cats are recognized as excellent human pest controllers, but it can be a little frightening when your cat is hunting a giant spider that could be toxic or eating a cockroach. Yuck.

Cockroaches are a good source of proteins for cats as they are made of 35% protein. However, cats would need to eat lots of them to get the right amount of protein. Their hard exoskeleton is a problem for cats since it can cause mouth and stomach problems. Cats also help control roach infestation.

Cockroaches are dirty insects that carry parasitic worms and germs that make cats sick, even though they contain protein and vitamin B12. In addition, because their tough exoskeletons can cause oral irritation and gastrointestinal disturbance, a cat can become unwell if it consumes a poisoned cockroach.

Do cats eat cockroaches?

Cockroaches are invertebrates that are abundant in protein. Therefore, many other animals, including felines, find them valuable sources of nutrients. However, they are not a cat’s favorite food.

A cat that has killed a cockroach may devour it. It’s also possible that it won’t. A ravenous cat may consume its victim. A well-fed cat with a constant food source, on the other hand, may only regard a cockroach as a toy. Young or curious cats may nibble on and devour a cockroach for no other reason than curiosity.

Do cats keep cockroaches away?

Felines have a history of being used to manage pests. In fact, many cat species are bred expressly for their hunting abilities. Cockroaches perceive most larger species as a threat that should be avoided. They would be deterred from returning if there was a persistent cat, and their population would be reduced.

This isn’t a sure thing, and it’s not as effective as other insect control options. Cockroaches may become wary in the presence of a cat. They might lurk in the dark or hide in places where cats can’t find them.

Why does my cat play with cockroaches?

It’s possible that your parents told you not to play with your food. Cats, on the other hand, have no such qualms. Playing with live, dying, and dead cockroaches is a natural pastime for cats. A cat can bat it around, bang at it with its paws, or randomly flick it up.

This is, in some ways, hunting behavior. Cats utilize a tactic to tire out their prey by playing with it to reduce the danger of injury. A fatigued prey animal is less likely to strike out. Alternatively, its blow will be less likely to inflict harm.

A domestic cat does not need to eat its prey after dying, so it can continue playing with it. The bug may be broken up into many fragments due to this. When this is dispersed around your home, it not only causes a mess. It can potentially spread any parasites or bacteria found on the cockroach.

Are cockroaches safe for my cat?

Cockroaches may be a good protein source. These nutrients, however, are not without risk. Cockroaches might be dangerous to your cat. Cockroaches’ strong exoskeleton, which is their natural protection, can be hazardous. 

Roaches are also known to carry parasites. That doesn’t even take into consideration pesticides or germs.

It’s hard to tell where the pest has gone or what it’s been exposed to. In addition, the bug is tricky for the cat to digest, which heightens the danger. Below are several reasons why your cat shouldn’t eat roaches:

1. Choking hazard 

The exoskeleton of a roach is a choking hazard for cats. Shards of this shell can become caught in the cat’s throat when eaten. This is not only painful for the cat but it can also choke it.These shards have the potential to injure or lacerate a cat’s throat.

The shell can also irritate the mouth. Cockroaches are typically found crawling through drains and garbage and might be covered in bacteria. It only takes a little cut for your cat to develop an oral infection a few days later.

2. Indigestible

A cockroach’s shell is primarily indigestible, aside from being a choking hazard. However, the digestive juices of the cat may try to break down the shell. Larger chunks, on the other hand, will be mostly undamaged. 

This is why your cat can vomit up pieces of the bug it just ate. Its litter box may also contain shell fragments.

Cats, unlike other animals, cannot grind their food down and will mainly pass through their system whole.

Any indigestible item that goes through an animal’s digestive tract can cause a blockage. This causes various health issues, some of which can be life-threatening if not addressed. Surgery or medical treatment may be required.

3. Poison

Cockroaches aren’t poisonous. They have a somewhat abrasive bite that can cause swelling and irritation. Despite this, venom isn’t an issue, which will come as a relief to many.

However, on the other hand, they’re considered an invasive pest in many homes and are handled as such. Most people use chemical deterrents and poisons to get rid of them. 

A cat can become ill after eating a cockroach that has been contaminated. Exposure to a toxic solution may necessitate a visit to the veterinarian if the cat is young, old, or already ill.

4. Bacteria and parasites

The primary threat to the average household is the bacteria they carry. As a result, many people believe that cockroaches are filthy or disease-ridden. They can be to some extent. Cockroaches are not naturally dirty and clean themselves.

On the other hand, these pests will scurry through rotten food, compost, waste bins, feces, and other unpleasant items. They will be covered in bacteria, and eating such an insect exposes your cat to more than just the bug. 

In addition, the cat is eating traces of the insect’s previous locations. At the very least, this will upset the cat’s stomach.

Why does my cat bring me dead cockroaches?

Your cat isn’t telling you there’s a pest problem if it delivers you dead or nearly dead cockroaches. It’s a decent hint, but it isn’t the primary point. Instead, your cat is attempting to educate you on becoming a better hunter.

By delivering weakened prey to her kittens, a mother cat teaches how to hunt. Your cat believes you’re a lousy hunter and is attempting to assist you. Cats also pull their prey back to a safe location to consume it. It’s possible that your cat, if it’s an outside cat, isn’t capturing them on your land.

This isn’t a habit you can break if you want your cat to stop. Instead, it would help if you restricted its availability to cockroaches. However, this may necessitate using other pest-control measures for indoor cats. In addition, it may entail confining them indoors for outdoor cats so they cannot hunt in the wild.

How can I keep cockroaches away from cats?

Always ensure your cat’s food dishes are free of leftover food to avoid attracting cockroaches. Consider giving your cat smaller servings in the morning and night and not keep dry food out during the day. This ensures your cat consumes all of the food in a short period. It won’t give bugs leftovers by accident.

Similarly, ensure the cat’s food is kept in the proper containers. This also helps keep the food fresh for a longer time by preventing pests from accessing it. When it comes to the litter, try using crystal litter that is inedible to cockroaches or clean more frequently.

What do I do when my cat eats a cockroach?

You should keep an eye on your cat if it consumes a cockroach. Your cat will probably be fine, but the exoskeleton or possible pesticides may create problems. 

If you find your cat coughing or vomiting, contact your veterinarian or poison control center and inform them that your cat recently ate a cockroach.

It would also help if you did not allow your cat to consume large quantities of roaches or other insects. This could upset their digestive system. In addition, many insects suggest an infestation that risks you and your pet. Treat the infestation yourself, and don’t expect your cat to help.

How to keep cockroaches away from the house

Below are some of the most critical steps when it comes to keeping roaches out of your home:

  1. Food sources should be eliminated.
  2. Clean food scraps.
  3. No dirty dishes should be left overnight in the sink.
  4. Be sure to wipe down the counters every night.
  5. Food should be stored in sealed containers.
  6. Fill in fissures, cracks, and holes.
  7. Get rid of any old cardboard boxes you may have.
  8. All bins should be covered appropriately.

These are tips which all sum up to cleanliness. With a clean house, roaches won’t have food to eat and breed further.


Cockroaches will flee and hide if they perceive a threat. This applies to most things bigger than them. Your cat may scare away other cockroaches if it vigorously hunts and kills any it encounters. However, if there is a reliable food source, roaches will be more challenging to kill and eradicate.

Pest control mainly entails depriving pests of their home and food. Although cats are great at killing cockroaches, there are more effective and safer ways of controlling cockroach populations.

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