Do Cats Eat Ants?

Do Cats Eat Ants?

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If your home is like most households on planet earth, chances are pretty good that you’ve had to deal with an ant problem or two every once in a while. These insects tend to become pretty pesky if not taken care of as soon as they are noticed. So do cats eat ants?

It is especially important to get rid of these pests if you have cats in the home. The reason for this is because ants tend to be attracted to cat food. In my experience, it does not matter if your cat’s food of choice is wet or dry food. Ants seem to be attracted to it regardless. 

So, is it okay if your cat chooses to eat these pesky insects? Can your cat get sick by eating ants? And how do you get rid of these pests without harming your cat? In today’s article, I will answer these questions for you so you know what the best course of action is to take should you find your cat eating ants.

Are Ants Harmful To Cats?

Most species of ants are not harmful to our cats. However, this world is full of exceptions and ants would be one of them. For example, fire ants are poisonous and can be fatal to your beloved feline if they happen to eat one of these fierce creatures. These vicious fire ants sting with an alkaloid venom which is what causes the reaction. 

If your cat was bitten by an ant that is not of the fire ant species, they should be okay. As always, if your cat is acting strangely after being bitten, it is best to call your veterinarian to be sure.

Are Cats Attracted To Ants?

Ants are known to contain certain chemicals that cats seem to be super attracted to. When an ant dies and is crushed, they emit these chemicals which cats have an easy time smelling. To the human senses, it may resemble the smell of licorice.

What these chemicals actually do is act as a type of pheromone that cats cannot resist. When a cat encounters these pheromone types, it has a calming effect on them. 

Some cats tend to react to crushed ants the same way as when they are around catnip, which means they might rub around in the muck of crushed ant guts. This behavior might be alarming to us humans, but don’t panic. It is natural for your cat to react this way.

How Do I Get Rid of Ants Without Harming My Cat?

Chances are good that if you have ants in your home, you probably don’t want them there. So how then can you get rid of these pests without harming your precious feline companion? 

Well, you definitely shouldn’t use the normal chemicals you’d use if you didn’t have cats. These chemicals can often be harmful and sometimes fatal to your cat if they are ingested. 

The best way to get rid of ants safely without harming your cat is to purchase what is known as an ultrasonic pest repeller. As the name might suggest, these devices use electricity instead of harmful chemicals that are easy for your cat to ingest.

Not only does this particular one that I am recommending deter ants, but they also keep other types of insects away as well. This device is extremely useful if you have spiders, fleas, or cockroaches in your home as well.

How Do You Keep Ants Out of Cat Food?

If you’ve ever had an ant problem, you may have noticed that the ants seemed to be attracted to your cat’s food dish. This is because to an ant, your cat’s food is sweet and tasty.

I recently had this very same problem in my home. It took a few tries before I was able to figure out a sure-fire way to combat my ant problem for good. 

The first thing you will have to do is to throw away any of your cat’s food that has ants in it. I know this is not ideal and seems like a waste of cat food, but trust me you will not be able to see every ant that is in the food bowl. 

After you have thrown out the infested food, make sure that you wash your cat’s bowl thoroughly. This is a really important step that you should not skip over. After you wash the food bowl, move the cat’s food dish to a different area that is away from the parade of ants.

You will also want to vacuum or scrub the area of the floor that you had the ant problem at. Next, try to locate the possible areas where the ants are getting in at. 

After you have found the point of entry, sprinkle a combination of good old fashioned table salt and pepper in and around the area where the ants are entering your home. Be sure to sprinkle the salt and pepper liberally. 

After all this is done and you have noticed that the ants are gone, you should consider purchasing special pet food bowls that are ant repellent in nature. You can find this type of no-ant pet food dish here on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

So do cats eat ants? I think it’s safe to assume that, yes, they do eat ants. And if you have stepped on a pile of ants and crushed many of them, they may react much like they do with catnip. 

If your cat starts eating normal household ants, they will most likely be okay, so just let them have at it. However, if your cat has eaten any fire ants, you should definitely seek professional help from your veterinarian as soon as possible just to be on the safe side.