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Do Cats Keep Roaches Away? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Do Cats Keep Roaches Away? Facts & FAQ

Do cats keep cockroaches away? This is a question that has been asked by many people, and the answer is yes, cats do keep cockroaches away, to some extent. In fact, cockroaches are one of the favorite prey items for cats. Cats have a natural instinct to hunt and kill prey, and cockroaches make an easy target. Cats usually eat the cockroaches they catch, but sometimes they will bring them as a gift to their owners.

Although cockroaches are nasty, they are not bad for cats. However, that doesn’t mean they’re healthy snacks for your cat. Pesticides, the insect’s exoskeleton, bacteria, parasites, and viruses they carry could potentially lead to health problems for your cat. Read on to find out more about cats and cockroaches.

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Do Cats Hunt & Eat Cockroaches?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require animal protein to survive. While cockroaches are not a preferred source of food for cats, they will eat them if they are hungry enough. Cockroaches are a good source of protein, fat, and minerals, so they can provide some nutritional value to cats. However, cockroaches can also contain harmful toxins that can make cats sick.

Although cats can eat cockroaches, not all cats prefer to do so. Your cat may play with cockroaches for a while and then leave them as a gift or simply because they are not hungry. Your cat may also not enjoy cockroaches because they are too crunchy.

Kitten with a dead cockroach beside
Image Credit by: GooseB, Pixabay

Will Having a Cat Keep Your House Free From Cockroaches?

Cockroaches aren’t off-putting for cats. They are predators willing to hunt them down and kill little creatures such as cockroaches. In spite of this, cats can’t prevent cockroach infestations very well. Even though cockroaches perceive most creatures larger than themselves as threats, a single cat cannot eradicate a cockroach infestation. Still, cockroaches may be deterred from returning by a persistent cat, which could lead to a decrease in their population.

Domestic cats that are well-fed may not be motivated to hunt. Additionally, cats may not be able to kill cockroaches consistently, making them ineffective pest control agents. Infestation size should also be considered—it won’t affect the number of cockroaches if one cat attacks an established population. The more cockroaches you see, the more there are likely to be.

Are Cockroaches Afraid of Cats?

There is no clear consensus on whether or not cockroaches are afraid of cats, as there are no studies, and the available anecdotal evidence is inconclusive. Some cat owners suggest that cockroaches avoid areas where cats are present, while others say that cockroaches are not significantly affected by the presence of cats. It is possible that the interaction between these two species depends on the individual cat and roach, as well as on the environmental conditions.

It’s so hard to get rid of cockroaches, as whenever danger appears, they scurry away. When your house is quiet, cockroaches may emerge. Alternatively, they may stick to rooms that are largely unoccupied and avoid busy rooms or rooms that contain cats.

cat hunting in grass
Image Credit by: SJ Duran, Shutterstock

Could Cats Get Sick From Eating Cockroaches?

There is a potential for cockroaches to spread bacteria and diseases to cats, but there is no concrete evidence that this occurs. Cockroaches are known to carry bacteria on their exoskeleton, which could potentially make cats sick if they eat them. Cockroaches also tend to live in dirty environments, which means they may carry other harmful bacteria or parasites that could also make cats sick.

In general, it’s best to keep cats away from any insects or animals that could potentially make them sick. In theory, cockroaches could transfer salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful contaminants to cats through their feces, saliva, or skin. However, it is important to note that there have been no studies directly linking the consumption of cockroaches with any health issues in cats.

British shorthair cat hiding
Image Credit by: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Exoskeleton & Digestion

The exoskeleton of a cockroach is hard to digest, which could potentially make cats sick if they eat them. While cockroaches do have some nutritional value, they also contain toxins that can be harmful to cats. Ingesting too many cockroaches could cause gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

Toxic Pesticides

Pesticides used to kill cockroaches could potentially be toxic to your cat. Cats are likely to become ill when they come into contact with pesticides, but a slight risk exists. Generally, however, the amount of pesticide residue inside or on a cockroach isn’t enough to cause serious trouble for your cat. However, it’s still recommended that you find alternatives that are pet-friendly.

Signs of Pesticide Poisoning

The most common symptoms of pesticide poisoning in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and pawing at the mouth. In more severe cases, cats may experience seizures, difficulty breathing, and even death. The most common way that cats are exposed to pesticides is through ingestion. Signs usually occur within minutes to hours after exposure and can vary depending on the type of pesticide that was used. If you believe your cat has been exposed to pesticides, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

What Should You Do if Your Cat Eats a Cockroach?

If you find that your cat has eaten a cockroach, the first thing you should do is remain calm. It is unlikely that your cat will experience any serious health problems as a result of eating a cockroach, but it is still important to monitor their condition closely. If your cat does seem to be having any health problems, take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

kitten being checked by the vet in clinic
Image Credit by: Maria Sbytova, Shutterstock

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

There are a variety of ways to get rid of cockroaches depending on the severity of the infestation and the homeowner’s preferences. For light infestations, bait traps can be effective in luring and killing the roaches. These traps can be purchased pre-made or can be made at home using a simple mixture of boric acid and sugar.

For more severe infestations, a combination of baiting and spraying with an insecticide may be necessary. Make sure you use a pet-safe insecticide. You might even be able to help your cat with catnip! CBS News reports that cockroaches do not like the smell of this herb.

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In conclusion, the jury is still out on whether or not cats keep cockroaches away. Some people swear by it, while others say that it doesn’t make a difference. However, there are some things that you can do to help keep cockroaches away, regardless of whether or not you have a cat. These include keeping your house clean and free of clutter, sealing any cracks or openings in your walls or floors, and using an insecticide spray.

Featured Image Credit: DaModernDaVinci, Pixabay

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