Do Cats Eat Ants

Do Cats Eat Ants? 14 In-Depth Facts You Must Know

If your cat goes outside, you’ve probably seen him eat strange things. Most likely, ants are one of those things.

They might think the ants are something else to eat, whether they see them on the sidewalk or on their food. Is it okay for cats to eat ants, though?

If your cat eats ants, it usually doesn’t cause any problems, so don’t worry about it. But there are some situations in which it could be bad for your cat to eat ants.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about cats eating ants, including what to watch out for.

Why Do Cats Eat Ants?

The reason cats eat ants depends on what’s going on at the time. Does your cat go after ants and eat them, or do they just crawl on his food? In either case, it’s almost never because your cat is hungry and looking for something good to eat.

Even though cats are carnivores that need protein as their main source of nutrition and ants can give them that protein, they don’t have nearly enough protein to make your cat eat them.

If your cat chases and eats ants that are just walking on the ground, it’s probably because he has a natural instinct to hunt.

If your cat is chasing and eating ants that were just going about their business, it’s probably because they think they’re easy to catch. Cats like to catch ants and other bugs because it helps them get better at hunting and keeps their minds active.

If there are ants crawling on your cat’s food, that’s not why your cat is eating them. There’s only one reason for this: the ants are on his food, and he can’t move them, so he eats them along with his food.

Do Cats Eat Ants

Some cats won’t eat their food if there are ants in it, but others don’t care, especially if they are hungry. If the ants don’t bother or hurt your cat, he may not see why he can’t have them too.

Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Ants?

You don’t have to be concerned that ant chemicals will make your cat sick.Most ants don’t have any chemicals in their bodies that cats shouldn’t be around, so they are safe in that way. But there are some situations in which it could be bad for your cat to eat ants.

Fire Ants

Some ants, like fire ants, have a chemical called formic acid in them. Formic acid is mostly ant venom, which is used to make other insects sick or kill them.

Even though your cat probably won’t get sick from eating one fire ant, if he eats a lot of them, his mouth and throat may start to hurt.


Another thing to keep an eye out for with ants is if they have been treated with insecticides or not. For example, let’s say you or a pest control expert have used poison to kill several ant nests in your yard.

If your cat eats an ant from a bed of poisoned ants, some of the poison from the pesticide will probably get into its bloodstream. Again, your cat is not likely to get sick if it eats just one ant.

But if your cat eats a lot of ants (more than about 10), the amount of pesticide in its body will go up, which could make your cat sick.

The bigger problem is if your cat touches the insecticide directly. For instance, if your cat digs around in ant nests or you leave the insecticide out, he or she might eat some of it by accident.

This is more likely to hurt your cat than eating a single ant because he will be exposed to a lot more poison.

To be safe, call the ASPCA’s animal poison control hotline or another animal poison control centre if your cat gets into an insecticide.

Diseases and Parasites

Another reason to worry if your cat eats ants is that it could get diseases or parasites from the ants. Even though this is less likely than if your cat ate a mosquito or flea, some ants do carry diseases that could hurt your cat.

Infections caused by bacteria, such as salmonella, can be spread by ants. They can also carry tapeworms and other parasites. Both of these can hurt your cat’s health, as can other diseases that ants spread.

Again, this is less likely to happen than when fleas or other bugs are around.

But in many cases, it can be hard to figure out where the salmonella or tapeworms in your cat came from. This is something to think about if your cat eats a lot of ants.

What Kinds Of Ants Are Dangerous To Cats?

Do you know if your cat has ever played with a red ant? This isn’t a good idea.

When they feel threatened, these ants usually fight back. They come back in large numbers and attack anyone or anything that bothers them.

If you get bit by a red ant, it hurts. These bugs give their victims a poison called an alkaloid. As a result, it stings, swells, and can even cause an allergic reaction.

The worst thing that could happen is for your cat to have a severe allergic reaction. When dozens of red ants bite your cat, the results can be very bad. If you get bitten more than once, you could die.

If the cat catches the ant in its mouth, the bug will keep biting as long as it lives. If the cat’s neck or windpipe swells up, it can choke to death. This could happen out of the blue, and you might not know what’s wrong with your cat.

Can cats eat ants without getting sick? If they are red ants, no way.

Do Ants Make Cats High?

Cats can get upset when they’re around ants, but not because the ants are “big” in the way you might think.

You’ve probably seen a cat lick an ant, especially one that has squashed the ant. At first glance, it might look like ants are bad for your pet.

When you crush an ant, a chemical called oleic acid comes out. Cats are very sensitive to this chemical.

Oleic acid is a pheromone that is similar to what cats make when they rub their faces against things. This could explain why your cat acts “big” around ants and even tries to smash them.

Ants make oleic and folic acids when they are crushed, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed.

These smell like ant pheromones and have the same effect. Our cat can smell them. This smell makes cats calm down and makes them spread some of their own pheromones, which they do through their faces. So, I’ve been rubbing my hands over a few ants that were recently crushed.

So, the word “massive” is not the right word to describe this effect. Instead, it’s a calming scent that encourages cats to act like cats.

Can Cats Get Worms From Eating Ants?

Even though your cat might get worms from eating bugs, ants aren’t the most common problem.

Most of the time, cats get worms when they eat flies or come in contact with fleas that carry the worm larvae.

Flies and fleas are much more dangerous to your pet than ants. So you don’t need to worry that ants will give your cat worms.

If you’re worried about your cat getting worms, don’t let him eat any bugs, not just ants. Fleas, on the other hand, lay eggs on cats when they comb.This makes it harder to keep a cat from swallowing a worm.

Other Insects That Are Dangerous To Cats

If your cat chases ants with enthusiasm, it’s likely that it will also be interested in other bugs. Cats can hear and see very well, so they can tell when something is moving. But your pet should stay away from these bugs:

Poisonous spiders

Small spiders that live in homes are safe. Poisonous spiders that are dangerous for people will also be dangerous for pets.

Spider venom is very dangerous for small pets like your cat. When a spider bites a cat, it does more damage than when it bites a bigger animal or a person. Stay away from the black widow and brown recluse spiders.

Bees and wasps

We all know that a bee or wasp sting hurts a lot. There is also a chance that both people and animals could have an allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis.

Some caterpillars

Common caterpillars don’t hurt cats, but some alien species can sting or hurt cats if they eat them.


It goes without saying that scorpion bites are very painful and could be fatal. If you live in Arizona, you should be careful around these bugs.


The exoskeletons of roaches could cause stomach problems if you eat them. They could also be carrying parasites that are bad for cats.

Fleas and ticks

Use solutions to get rid of fleas to avoid problems like itching, anemia, and worms. If you eat these parasites, you could get a tapeworm infection, which is also bad for your health. If you notice a tick on your cat, you should take it to the vet.

What If Your Cat Eats Red Ants or Another Dangerous Insect?

If you think your cat has eaten a harmful insect or been bitten by one, you should call your vet right away. The best thing to do is work with a vet you can trust who knows your cat’s medical history.

Worried that your cat has eaten a dangerous bug? Look for things like:

  • Vomiting;
  • Gastrointestinal issues;
  • Pain;
  • Drooling;
  • Wounds;
  • Paralysis;
  • Muscle tremors;
  • Lethargy;
  • Trouble breathing;
  • Seizures;
  • Unusual behavior.

Risks Of Cats Eating Ants

When your cat eats ants, just like when it eats something that isn’t cat food, there are risks.

1. Bitten By Ants

As was already said, bigger carpenter ants can sting, and if your cat comes across a lot of them, it could be one of the worst ant bites they could get.

2. Eating Bugs Outdoor

Outside, the cat might get used to eating bugs like ants and start eating everything he sees. You don’t want your pet to get into the bad habit of eating bugs and insects that aren’t safe.

3. Poisoned Ants

People often use poison to get rid of ants, so if your cat is eating ants, especially inside, the ants may have walked through or eaten poison, which could hurt your cat.

4. Fire Ants

Your cat won’t be able to tell “healthy” ants from “fire” ants. If your cat goes outside to look for small, quick animals, he might end up eating fire ants instead. Fire ants are hard to get rid of because they are poisonous.

Do Cats Eat Ants

Since he likes to eat ants, you should let your cat out. Because of the ants, your cat may want to go outside more often.

Can Ant Poison Kill Cats?

When ants are poisoned, they could also hurt cats. But how much poison does an ant have? Is venom from ants deadly to cats?

Most people think that cats are harder to poison than dogs because they are picky eaters. On the other hand, they hunt more and keep their fur in good shape. These actions can make them more likely to be poisoned.

A few poisoned ants might not hurt anything. On the other hand, it’s a different problem if you eat the poison.

Because cats are small animals, the amount of ant venom that could hurt or kill them may be less than you think.

If you use chemical sprays to kill ants, you should know that they are not completely safe.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that you should build dog-safe stations with low levels of toxicity.

Combat, for example, is made to kill ants and is less harmful to pets. Make sure it’s hard for pets to get to the stations. Don’t put them near the pet’s food, water, or toys.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Ant Poison

If a cat eats ant poison, what will happen? If you notice any of the above signs, you should call your vet right away.

Keep the number 800-213-6680 for the Pet Poison Helpline handy. You can get information and advice that will help you in the minutes or hours before you go to the vet.

What Could Happen If Your Cat Eats Too Many Ants?

Unless one of the above things is happening, your cat eating too many ants is usually not something to worry about. Again, everything depends on the situation.

If your cat ate fire ants, for example, the ants might bite him and make his mouth sore. If too many ants attack him in the area of his throat, he may drool a lot or have trouble breathing. Formic acid could make some cats sick if they are allergic to it.

If your cat comes into contact with insecticides, either directly or because it ate too many ants, it may have more symptoms. He might throw up, feel terrible pain, have convulsions, or go limp, depending on how much poison he ate.

If a person comes into contact with too much insecticide, they could die. If your cat is acting strangely or showing signs of being sick, call an animal poison control hotline or take it to the vet right away.

If ants infected your cat with a disease or parasite, the exact symptoms will vary depending on the disease or parasite.

But because it’s hard to know for sure where some bacterial infections and parasites come from, it’s best to tell your vet if you think your cat has been eating ants.

How Do I Keep Ants Out of My Cat’s Food?

Ants won’t get into the cat food if you spray pesticides around it.

If ants see a bowl of cat food, they will definitely come when the dinner bell rings.

Ants in the food bowl are normal inside, but if a cat is fed outside every day, they can become a problem.

Some people have it worse than others, and the problem is worse in some places than in others.

I’ve read a few scary stories that talk about this. Each of them was a person who needed help because red ants kept getting into the cat’s food dish, which, as we saw in the last section, is a very dangerous situation.

Most of the time, the problem isn’t as bad as it seems in this situation. You can take steps to get rid of pet food ants both inside and outside. Here are some suggestions:

Put cat food in a plastic bucket or bin. Ants can get into open bags of cat food and eat it, but they would have a hard time getting through plastic.

Make a barrier that can’t be broken through. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a great powder that will kill ants that try to cross it. DE that is safe for food doesn’t have any chemicals or pesticides that could hurt your pet.

Also, it would be great if the cat ate a little bit of it. DE is also thought to be helpful for getting rid of fleas.

A food bowl island is a great thing to have outside. Put the dish of food in the middle of a tray that can hold just a little bit of water. To finish, just add water. Ants can’t swim, so they’ll drown if they try to hit the bowl.

But when the cat is done eating, take the water away so that the water doesn’t sit there and cause a problem.

Bugs are attracted to still water.

“Cleanliness is just as important as not having ants.” Getting rid of things that attract ants, like food crumbs or residue, can make a big difference both inside and outside. Ants don’t have to check out the field if the places they eat are clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do ants bother cats?

In general, ants don’t bother cats. Cats can get hurt by large black ants, but the bites are harmless. On the other hand, fire ants can hurt rats.

Do Cats Eat Ants

Do cats attract ants?

Ants come into your home because of the crumbs and food that your cat leaves behind after eating.

One of the best ways to keep ants from getting into the dog’s food bowl is to wash their dishes every day. Scrub their plates every few days with a detergent that is safe for pets.

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, cats eat ants because they are fun to watch or because they are in their food. The good news is that most of the time, your cat won’t get sick if it eats ants. There are, however, some situations in which a cat shouldn’t eat an ant.

If you want to be careful and make sure your cat doesn’t eat ants, keep a close eye on him when he’s outside and look for ants in his food.

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