Monday, March 11, 2013

Pet weirdness – eating bugs

Okay, I know that Little Gray has some issues, having once been a stray cat. Even after five years in a good home, he remains fascinated by water as if remembering that a refreshing drink isn’t easy to find.

Whenever I water the plants on the back porch, he stares at the streams that trickle out of the bottom of the pots and run off the edge of the porch. He will even follow them and dab his paw into the wetness. He doesn’t trust the quality of the water he gets when I refill his bowl. He has to sniff it first and often will dip his paw in the water, sniff his paw, and then lick the water off to make sure of the taste.

Also, he has an urgent need to sniff everything that I have in my hand whether it’s a book or a turtle that I’m carrying from one part of the yard to the other. He’s not hungry per se, but he wants to know what I have.

The pet weirdness reached a new height the other evening when he was sitting on my lap in the kitchen and we both noticed a small cricket hopping along the tiled floor. (This was probably a leftover cricket from our pet toad, who recently passed on and went to toad heaven after five happy years here on earth with us.)

Anyway, the cat jumped off my lap and went to investigate the cricket. That wasn’t so weird because I know cats get curious about little moving things. But after sniffing the cricket, our cat licked it up in a matter-of-fact way, swallowed, and came back to my lap for more petting. I couldn’t believe what I’d seen. I mean, I've never seen a cat do this before.

And I hoped that he wasn’t about to spit it up. (He didn’t.) Does your cat eat bugs? If so, what kind of bugs? Was he or she ever a stray? Is this normal cat behavior?

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  1. Oh yes, cats are great bug eaters. It's gross. LOL But every cat I've ever known has once in a while had a little snack.

  2. My cat eats bugs.

    One spring when I was living in Manhattan, my apartment was infested with flying carpenter ants, of all things. My cat would sit on the floor and look up at the ants flying around, then she'd jump up and catch one between her two front paws, and then she'd eat it. It was one of the strangest things I'd ever see a cat do. (My current place is mostly pest-free, though every now and then I'll see her catch a bug and eat it. She typically kind of just slaps it onto the floor and then licks her paw. I suspect that she'd be a great mouser if I ever lived somewhere with mice. Funnily enough, she is TERRIFIED of the outside.)

  3. My cats eat bugs all the time. There are no spiders in my house cos the cats eat them. Even worse I've seem them in the garden eating slugs and worms which is disgusting! As far as I know nearly all cats will eat a bug if it gets near enough for them to catch it!

  4. Tam, it is gross, ha, ha! Or startling to say the least.

    Kate, the thing with the carpenter ants? That's what my cat does with seed moths out here. Very fast reflexes.

    Jen, whoa, slugs? That would be too disgusting for words. :D I'd assumed maybe cats were drawn to bugs for how fast they moved. But if your cats like slugs, it must be a taste/protein thing.

  5. May is the queen of bug eating. She'll hunt down those nearly microscopic gnats even.

    And she's fascinated by water, too. :)

  6. Very interesting feedback, Chris. I'd thought our cat was unique with that water thing. But at least it isn't due to traumatic memories of being a stray or anything. :)


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