Cicadas are small bugs that spend most of their lives underground. They are known for their loud sing-song sound, which they usually produce when they are looking for a mate. They often emerge after every two to five years, after spending most of their lives developing and maturing. Their sheer volume when they emerge can be overwhelming become a cause of concern among people and domestic animals. During their season, people often wake up to find million of the species blanketing trees and houses. The periodic appearance of these bugs has raised concerns over the safety of domesticated animals like cats, whose curiosity might lead them to eat the cicadas.
Should Cat Owners be Worried about the Cat Eating Cicadas?
The simple answer is no. During the cicada season, cats might eat a handful of cicadas over the course of a few days. In such a case, cat owners should not be worried because cicadas are not poisonous. With the emergence of millions and millions of cicadas last month, scientists began conducting experiments to improve their understanding of this species of insects. Based on scientific research, these species of insects cannot bite, sting, or attack their predators in any way. Their only defense is overwhelming people with their numbers when they emerge from the ground. Chefs have even experimented with cooking cicadas for humans as they have been considered as potential sources of proteins for all kinds of animals. Since chefs have experimented with cooking cicadas for human consumption, they can be perceived as being generally safe for cats. Caution should, however, be taken because the FDA issued a warning earlier this month about the potential high amounts of pesticides in cicadas.
Health Issues that Cats Might Face After Eating Cicadas
Digestive tract discomfort – The cat may experience digestive tract discomfort or pain after eating large servings of cicadas. Cicadas usually last in the environment a few days before they disappear and there is a likelihood that cats might help themselves with large servings of the freely available cicadas. Digestive tract discomforts are common in cats, especially after they have over-eaten or consumed something that they are not used to eating. Cats can also get digestive tract issues after eating cicadas because they are not part of their regular diet.
Vomiting – Your cat might vomit after eating cicadas. Since cicadas are not harmful to cats, some of the reasons that might lead to vomiting include overeating or hairballs. A cat might have simply over-indulged in the rare treat and ended up being too full. It is also possible that a might have eaten a large serving of the scrumptious insects and still over-indulged by eating its favorite treat offered by the owner. In such cases, it is not unlikely for the cat to vomit. The exoskeleton of cicadas can also be difficult for cats to digest leading to abdominal discomfort and in some cases vomiting.
Possible Allergic Reactions – Although it is rare, cats can have an allergic reaction after eating cicadas. Kittens have a higher likelihood of developing allergies when compared to fully-grown cats because their diet is usually limited to specific cat foods.
Choking – Cats can choke after eating cicadas because of the hard exoskeleton that characterized the bodies of cicadas. According to a pet couch, in case of choking, cat owners should consider performing a cat Heimlich or sweeping the cat’s mouth with their index finger to remove the object choking the cat. After removing the object obstructing the cat’s airway, cat owners should take the cat to a veterinary offer immediately for further assessment.
If Your Cat Ate a Cicada, and You are Worried About Its Well-being, Consider Doing the Following:
- Observe the Cat’s Behavior for the Next Few Days – Keeping an eye on the cats will help cat owners determine whether the cat’s behavior or health status has changed. It is important to keep an eye on the cat for the first few days to eliminate the worry that cat owners might feel after their cat eats cicadas.
- Assess the Cat’s Stool – A cat’s stool can help cat owners determine whether the cat is experiencing any digestive tract problems. For cats and other animals, cicadas can be perceived as regular servings of proteins. As such, owners should not expect to see a significant change in their cats’ stool unless the cat is unwell. In such a case, the cat owner should consider taking the cat to the veterinary office.
- Watch out for Allergies – Cat owners who suspect that their cats have developed an allergic reaction after eating cicadas should watch out for symptoms like itching, facial swelling, a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, which might be an indication of an allergic reaction. It is essential to take the cat to a veterinary office if one suspects an allergic reaction.
How to Prevent Cats from Eating Cicadas
Proper feeding – Providing the right amount of food for domesticated cats can reduce their interests in cicadas. Cat owners who are worried about their cats eating cicadas should ensure that they offer the right amount of food to their pets to keep them full and healthy. Cats that are fed well might only eat a few cicadas out of sheer curiosity.
Try limiting The Time the Cat Spends outside during Cicada Seasons – Although it can be difficult to tame a cat especially if the cat is used to playing outside, cat owners who are worried about the health of their cats or noticed that their cats experienced adverse effects after eating cicadas in the past, should try limiting the time their cats spent outside.
Cicadas are not poisonous or harmful to cats. Issues are only likely to arise if cats eat large numbers of cicadas. The hard exoskeleton of cicadas can cause choking, abdominal discomfort, and in some cases vomiting. Constantly watching a cats’ behaviors could help cat owners determine whether they should be worried about their cats’ indulgence in the rare treat.