Can Cats Eat Ants? 11 Things To Be Careful

During the warmer months, ants are more active, and if you have an infestation, you may notice that several of them are trying to feast on your cat’s food.

Some cats won’t be bothered by them in the slightest, while others will play with and even eat them.

Most species of ants are perfectly safe for cats to eat.

Except for the fire ant, most ant species are harmless to humans.

Oleic acid, found in abundance in ants, is rumored to give cats a euphoric state.

To learn more, keep reading!

Why Your Cat Eats Ants

During its lifetime, nearly every cat will consume at least one ant. It’s likely that if you have ants in your home, they’ll find their way to where your cat eats. Your cat will not only not mind if there are a few ants in its food, but it may even seek them out.

Cats, being carnivores, prefer high-protein foods, but ants just don’t cut it.

Protein can be found in insects, though not to the same extent as in a bird or rodent. While most felines enjoy a good bug hunt, most housecats can get by just fine without eating them. Your cat may be preoccupied with ants because doing so satisfies its instinct to hunt and play.

Is it okay for cats to eat ants?

Except in two cases, it’s fine for cats to snack on ants.

  1. We’ve poisoned the ants.
  2. Those are fire ants, also known as red ants.

Aside from that, your cat’s ant-eating habit is a pleasant and healthy one. This satisfies its nutritional needs and calms it down so it can act on its predatory instincts.

If the ants your cat is hunting are not poisonous, there is no reason to stop them from doing so. Ants are harmless, even if your cat requires sensitive stomach cat food. Read on for information about potentially harmful species of ants.

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What about that red ant that your cat keeps playing with? It’s a bad plan all around.

When they feel threatened, these ants usually respond with violence. They return in droves to slaughter whatever it is that has provoked them.

A red ant bite hurts like hell. These insects inject their unlucky prey with a poisonous alkaloid. A stinging pain sets in, and then swelling and maybe even an allergic reaction.

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Your cat having a life-threatening allergic reaction is the worst possible outcome. The results of your cat being bitten by dozens of red ants can be disastrous. It is possible for multiple bites to prove fatal.

Even if the cat catches the ant in its mouth, as long as the insect is still alive, it will be able to bite. Cats can die from suffocation due to swelling in their windpipes and throats. Sometimes there are no warning signs and you have no idea what your pet is reacting to.

Is it acceptable for cats to consume ants? If they’re red ants, probably not.

Other insects that are dangerous to cats

If your cat enjoys chasing ants, she may develop an interest in other insect species. Cats are able to quickly detect movement because of their keen hearing and eyesight. However, your furry friend should stay away from certain insects:

Poisonous spiders

Tiny spiders found in homes are harmless. Toxic spiders can be a problem for humans, but they can also be dangerous for pets. Small animals, such as your cat, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of spider venom. Cats, compared to larger animals or humans, suffer more damage from a single spider bite. Both the black widow and the brown recluse should be avoided at all costs.

Bees and wasps

We are all too aware of how painful a bee or wasp sting can be. There is also the risk of an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, which can happen to both humans and animals.

Some caterpillars

Although most caterpillars pose no danger to cats, some exotic species can be dangerous if consumed.


A scorpion sting is extremely painful and potentially life-threatening. If you live in Arizona, be wary of these creepy crawlers.


Roaches are harmful to eat because their exoskeletons can irritate your digestive tract. In addition, they can spread parasites that are deadly to felines.

Fleas and ticks

Flea control products should be used to avoid itching, anemia, and worms. These parasites pose a threat to human health because eating them can result in a tapeworm infection. If you find ticks on your cat, you should take it to the vet so they can be removed to prevent the spread of disease.

What if your cat eats red ants or another dangerous insect?

Call your vet immediately if you think your cat has been bitten or has eaten a poisonous insect. Having a trusted veterinarian who is familiar with your cat’s medical history is ideal.

Concerned that your cat may have consumed a poisonous insect? Keep an eye out for signs like:

  • Vomiting;
  • digestive disorders;
  • Pain;
  • Drooling;
  • Wounds;
  • Paralysis;
  • Body shakes;
  • Lethargy;
  • Difficulty in breathing;
  • Seizures;
  • Strange actions.

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Can ant poison kill cats?

Ants can also be harmful to cats if they have been poisoned. But how much venom could an ant possibly carry? Does ant poison have the potential to be lethal to cats?

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The common belief is that because cats are picky eaters, they are safer from poison than dogs. However, they are more likely to go on hunts and take the time to maintain their fur. Such actions may increase their vulnerability to poisoning.

Even if some ants ingest the poison, that might not be enough to harm anyone. To take the poison orally is an entirely different matter.

Due to their small size, cats can be poisoned by surprisingly little ant poison.

Insecticide sprays may be effective in getting rid of ants, but they are not risk-free.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends putting in pet-safe, low-toxicity stations. Products like Combat are designed to kill ants specifically and have a low toxicity to common household pets. Make sure pets can’t get to the stations easily. Keep them far away from the pet’s bedding, bowls, and playthings.

Are ant traps poisonous to cats? Is ant bait safe for cats?

It’s only natural to want to get rid of ants if you discover them in your home. Ant poison is the first thing that comes to mind. However, this may become an issue if you have young children or pets.

It’s likely that you’ll turn to online resources in your search for a solution. Can a cat get sick from eating an ant trap? Can cats safely consume ant bait?

It is still not a good idea to let your cat snack on ant bait, even if it is less toxic than insecticide sprays. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies the boric acid found in ant baits as “moderately acutely toxic.”

A healthy adult cat would need to consume a lot of boric acid before it became seriously ill. The effects are more severe in younger cats, older cats, and cats with preexisting conditions.

Acid boric poisoning in cats causes a variety of signs, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Appetite loss
  • Seizures
  • Disorders of the skin
  • Swelling and redness
  • Pain that burns

Arsenic, which is found in some bait, is even more toxic than boric acid. Extremely high doses are lethal, while prolonged exposure results in loss of appetite and nerve damage.

Because of the potentially lethal toxins found in ant bait and ant traps, they should be avoided around cats.

What Happens If Your Cat Eats Red Ants?

While small amounts of black ants are fine for your cat to eat, red ants (also known as fire ants) are dangerous.

Your cat could get bitten by an ant while he’s eating a fire ant, which could cause serious injury to his mouth, throat, or stomach. Your cat will experience immediate blistering and stinging pain if the ant is successful in injecting it with a toxic substance called an alkaloid.

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Red ant bites are painful and can even be fatal if the victim has an allergic reaction to their venom.

Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your cat has eaten a red ant or is displaying symptoms of an allergic reaction.

What to do if your cat eats ant poison

What are the effects of ant poison on cats? Please contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms.

Always have the toll-free Pet Poison Helpline number (800) 213-6680 handy. In the critical minutes or hours before you get to the vet, you can find out valuable information and advice.

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Cat-Safe Ways To Get Rid of Ants

The presence of ants in your home may be welcomed by your cat, but you may feel otherwise. You’ll want to be cautious if you want to get rid of the ants in your house. Your cat should avoid eating any ants that may have come into contact with insecticides or poison.

Your cat probably won’t get sick from eating one or two insecticide-treated ants. If your cat has eaten a lot of poisoned ants or come into contact with the insecticide, you may have cause for concern. Call your vet or the ASPCA’s poison control hotline immediately if this happens to your cat.

Using a pet-friendly exterminator service or an ultrasonic pest repeller is the safest way to get rid of the pests without endangering your cat. These electronic gadgets are effective at warding off ants and other pests without endangering your pets.

How To Keep Your Cat’s Food Ant-Free

Keep the ants away from your cat’s food if you’re worried about how many of them it is eating, or if your cat has become averse to eating because of the infestation. To keep the ants away from your cat’s food, consider the following:

  • Ants will invade your home if you leave any crumbs out or if you leave bags of cat food open.
  • Make an inaccessible island out of the bowl, and the ants will have no chance of reaching your cat’s food. Put the bowl of food in the middle of a moat you’ve made out of a tray of water. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is another option; it is effective against fleas and ants but won’t harm your cat if it gets licked.
  • Shift the cat’s bowl around if you notice ants gathering around it; they may become perplexed if they can’t find the food they’re looking for.
  • Keep the toilet bowl tidy: Your cat’s food bowl and surrounding area can be kept free of ants by being cleaned and swept daily.


Despite what you might think, cats can safely consume black ants. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your cats do not eat any fire ants they come across and that you are using non-toxic methods of ant extermination to keep your kitty safe.

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