Do Cats Eat Ants?

Cats can consume many types of ants, including the common household variety.

Since they’re so flexible, cats can undoubtedly benefit from encountering different ants throughout their lives.

If you’ve noticed your cat constantly chewing on a handful of ants, it’s most likely because they’re hungry for something specific.

So, do cats eat ants?

Of course they do. A cat’s diet usually consists of small mammals, birds, fish, and insects. Insects are an important part of a cat’s diet.

They are high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Cats also love hunting and eating ants, so it’s no surprise that ants make up part of a cat’s diet.

Do Cats Eat Ants?

Most people think that cats don’t like ants. They’re allergic to them or they just don’t like them.

But do cats eat ants? Well, it depends on the type of ant and the location. Some cats will eat ants, while others will refuse to eat any form of insect. This article discusses the common types of ants that cats can eat and the reasons why cats might decide to eat them.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the most common ants that cats eat. They’re attracted to the smell of food, which lures them into your house.

If this happens, you’ll want to get rid of them quickly to make sure that they don’t cause damage to your home. But your cat may not mind a few ants.

Odorous House Ants

These ants usually nest under concrete slabs, sidewalks, and mulch. They’re also attracted to sugary and fatty foods, which can attract your cat.

The ants’ pheromones attract your cat when they’re in their colony, and your cat can easily catch them when they’re foraging for food outside.

Harvester Ants

Harvester ants are slender ants that feed on fruit and can carry harmful pathogens that can cause diseases in humans, including salmonella. Your cat may like the taste of these ants and might try to eat them.

Fire Ants

Fire ants are very aggressive and will often sting you if you step on them or accidentally kick them.

Fire ants can sting your cat, which can result in a lot of pain. However, it might be worth it for your cat to eat fire ants because they’re high in protein and fat.

Why Do Cats Eat Ants?

Because ants produce the pheromones that attract cats, it’s natural for a cat to eat them from time to time.

They also enjoy eating them because they’re high in protein and fat, which makes them a great source of nutrition for them. Cats also like eating ants’ nests because the ants are often found in their nests.

The reason ants may harm your cat is because they contain chemicals that can be harmful to their health. Eating dead ants isn’t dangerous to your pet since they’re already dead, but feeding your pet live ants can be harmful if they get stung by an ant while they’re eating the ant’s nest.

As a result, when dead ants are not available, it’s best to avoid feeding them to your pets because they might get stung by the live ones in the nest.

Are Cats Attracted To Ants?

They are, indeed. Cats may be attracted to ant mounds at some point in their lives, especially if they live near an ant colony.

If your cat likes eating ants, cleaning the nests every once in a while will help reduce the chances of them eating the ants that live in the colony.

Ants contain a lot of pheromones that attract them, so scattering some of their pheromones near an ant mound can help attract them away from your cat’s territory.

Ants are high on the food chain and can feed off small insects like spiders and other bugs that bother pets such as dogs or cats.

These two molecules function as pheromones to attract ants towards them. They’re chemicals that ants produce to attract other ants to their colonies, and these chemicals have a powerful effect on cats.

Oleic acid is another thing that tends to make people allergic, but it is an active ingredient in most anti-dandruff shampoos you can buy in stores.

Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Ants?

You don’t have to be afraid if your cat eats a few dead or live ants that are in their environment.

However, you should avoid giving them any live ones that they find on your lawn or near your home.

Most ants do not have any compounds in their bodies that can be harmful to humans. However, some species can sting humans and cause allergic reactions in some people.

There are several circumstances in which you can end up with an allergic reaction from the bite of a fire ant, especially if there are chemical burns on your skin.

Fire Ants

Formic acid is a substance found in most living organisms, including animals.

Formic acid is basically ant venom, and it’s what causes a fire ant to sting you. Some cats can taste formic acid when it’s on their coats, which may lead to an allergic reaction.

This can occur if your cat licks his own coat and eats the ants off it. Cats that lick their coats while grooming themselves may lick dead ants.

If your cat eats one fire ant, it probably won’t hurt it, but if it gets too many from a bite, it might have an allergic reaction.

Using some insecticides to clean the ant’s nest or lawn can help get rid of the ants in your lawn and keep them away from your cat.

Ant poisons can be dangerous for cats because they can get into their bodies if they eat poisoned ants.

However, keep in mind that some insecticides may not target all pest species, so read the labels thoroughly before using them to clean your yard and keep your pets safe.


Another thing to watch out for with insecticides is that they can contaminate the soil in your yard and make it unsuitable for growing food for your pets.

For example, suppose you have multiple ant beds in your yard, and you use an insecticide to get rid of all of them.

After the ant colony is wiped out, you can end up putting more food into your pet’s environment, which can lead to more ants.

This will increase the number of dead ant parts, which can attract your pets, especially cats. If you only use an insecticide when the ant colony is active, this will be a small problem.

If your cat eats an ant from a poisoned nest with dormant larvae, it could cause serious health problems for your cat.

Parasites and Diseases

Another reason to be concerned about your cat eating insects is that some parasites and diseases can be transmitted to cats and cause them to develop health issues.

Although this is less probable than if your cat consumed a poisonous insect or spider, it can still happen in some cases.

Insects like cockroaches can spread bacterial infections like salmonella when they are eaten.

They can also give tapeworms to dogs through their poop. These worms can be passed on to humans if they eat poop or soil that is contaminated with tapeworm eggs.

What Happens When Cats Eat Ants?

We’ve previously said that ants themselves aren’t hazardous to cats because most of them don’t contain enough toxins to be harmful.

But you may be wondering what happens after your cat consumes an ant. This can impact your health too, but it’s mostly dependent on what species of ant your cat consumes and how it’s prepared.

Fire Ants

Since they’re very toxic to humans, fire ants are especially dangerous to cats. If a person gets stung by a fire ant, the venom in its stinger can paralyze him in seconds.

The paralysis makes it hard for the person to breathe, and if they don’t get help right away, they could die.

With a few exceptions, most fire ant species cause only minor irritation in people, but a single bite can cause a cat to experience intense pain.

Fire ants, for example, may strike your dog or cat and cause severe itching.

Because of their red hue, red ants may look just like fire ants when you’re looking for them in your backyard.

However, red ants are deadly to pets only when they sting them-they don’t contain the same venom as fire ants do.

The more feared black carpenter ant is also harmless when eaten.

While black cats may bite your cat, it’s normal for felines to play with this insect without any ill effect.

Risks Of Cats Eating Ants

It’s Possible That the Ants Are Fire Ants.

Your cat will not be able to tell if an ant is venomous or not based on its color alone.

If your cat is searching for tiny, tasty morsels of food outside in the yard, it may come across a fire ant nest by accident and accidentally consume one while digging around in the grass and dirt.

Because of their bite, even the tiniest of bites from a fire ant can kill a cat within a matter of minutes.

The Ants Could Have Been Poisoned

Many people use poison to deter ants, so if your cat is in the yard and accidentally consumes one of these pests, even a tiny amount could lead to serious consequences.

Although there’s no reason to be alarmed if your cat consumes an ant or two, it can become a problem when there are too many ants in your yard for them to avoid.

This may lead to the ant colony surrounding your home since they’re attracted to sweet substances like sugar or honey.

Your cat may accidentally come into contact with these nests during playtime outside in your yard or while roaming through the bushes near the house.

Your Cat May Want to Eat Ants Outside

Because your cat enjoys eating ants, they may continue to eat these insects even if your yard is free of any visible nests.

Your cat will remember there are ant nests in your yard and may deliberately target them for consumption in the future.

Cats Become Accustomed to Eating Bugs Outside

Your cat may get used to eating bugs outdoors over time and forget that there are other options available to them inside the home.

You don’t want your cat to develop a craving for insects and become hungry enough to seek out more pests that can harm your pet—especially ones as dangerous as fire ants or black carpenter ants.

Cats Can Be Bitten By Ants

As previously said, bigger carpenter ants may bite, and it is one form of defense they have against predators. Some of these ants may be large enough to harm your cat.

Your cat may get bitten by an ant while playing outside in the yard or while sleeping in his cat tree.

The bites can cause mild irritation, itching, bleeding, and swelling at the site of the wound.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Consumes Ant Poison?

The best approach to dealing with potential health problems from eating ants is to immediately identify and treat any symptoms.

If your cat isn’t acting strangely after ingesting an ant or two, you may not need to do anything since it’s most likely fine.

However, if your cat starts showing severe signs of illness or discomfort after consuming ants, you should take him into a veterinarian immediately.

The vet can look at his body weight and condition to see if he is malnourished or has any other health problems that may need treatment right away.

Can Ants Make Cats Sick?

Apart from red ants, eating any type of insect won’t cause any serious health issues for cats unless eaten in large amounts.

If your cat consumes ants that have been treated with pesticides, this could cause some adverse health effects due to the chemical residue that remains on the ant’s body.

To prevent this and spare yourself a trip to the vet, you should prevent your feline friend from playing outdoors, where he’d come into contact with these pests in the first place.

Do Ants Make Cats High?

When cats are among ants, they might get startled and panic, and this could cause them to act erratically.

Unlike other pets, cats don’t naturally enjoy being around insects or spiders.

If you happen to find your cat playing around in the backyard or hanging out near an ant nest, this could mean they have developed a crazed quest for this insect.

This can make it challenging for you to keep them out of trouble or get them to stop messing with the ants.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Croissants?

Final Words

Cats consume ants often, especially in outdoor environments where the insects are common.

Except for fire ants and red ants, most types of insects pose no threat to your feline pal if consumed in small amounts.

Crushed ants attract cats because they generate a pungent smell that repels other creatures but attracts them instead.

If your cat has been around fire ants or red ants, you should keep him inside for a few days because these insects can carry diseases that can hurt both people and animals.

Purchase an ultrasonic pest repeller to keep pests away from your home permanently.

You might also want to talk to a vet to make sure there aren’t any underlying health problems that could be caused by these encounters.