Can Cats Eat Ladybugs? The Bitter Truth!

They’re fast, colorful, and fun to chase, but can cats eat Ladybugs? If you often spot these cute little critters in your garden, read this article to know if they’re safe for your kitty to eat.

I adore Ladybugs, so I wasn’t too pleased when my cat caught and ate one. I know it’s in their nature, but it still saddened me. I left it at that, but what happened a few minutes later shocked me!

Disclaimer
IMPORTANT: At stuffaboutcats.com, we regularly consult with licensed veterinarians and other industry experts. However, the information found on stuffaboutcats.com should not be viewed as veterinary advice. We do our best to help you better understand your cats, but the information on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance.

In this article, I share our story and tell you about the safety of Ladybugs for cats.

My Cat Ate A Ladybug! This Is What Happened

When my cat casually chased, caught, and ate a Ladybug in the garden, I wasn’t too happy, but I gave the toxicity of these tiny bugs no thought. After all, they’re so cute and harmless to humans!

A few minutes later, my thoughts changed – my cat started vomiting and seemed off. I watched for a bit, and after the vomiting stopped, I checked my kitty’s mouth because it seemed uncomfortable. There, I saw an orange little Ladybug stuck to my pet’s palate. 

At the vet, the Ladybug was removed, and my cat started feeling better, but it was an awful experience!

Can Cats Eat Ladybugs?

Reading our story, you might think the answer is a big fat no, but there’s more to it.

Ladybugs aren’t poisonous to cats, so felines can eat them. Some just taste terrible, and others use their defensive mechanism to protect themselves. The latter can make your cat sick.

So yes, cats can eat Ladybugs, but it’s not a good idea!

Types Of Ladybugs That Are Safe For Cats

Contrary to what many of us think, Ladybugs aren’t just red with black spots. There are over 6000 different species in the world, and several of these can be found in gardens. Each type can have a different effect on your cat. 

The Seven And Two Spotted Ladybugs

These Ladybugs are bright red with seven or two black spots across their body. Usually, cats leave them alone because their color is a natural indication to beware. If your cat does decide to get close, the Ladybug will secrete a foul-smelling odor from the joints of its legs.

The chance that your cat will still eat it after this is slim, but nothing too bad will happen if they do. The worse is that your kitty will have an awful taste in their mouth. 

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The Asian Ladybug

Asian Ladybugs can be red, yellow, orange, or black. They have a white segment on the top of their head and black markings on their body in the shape of a capital letter M. 

If you spot this Ladybug in your garden, you should keep an eye on your cat. When eaten, the Asian Ladybug can cause chemical burns in your pet’s mouth and digestive tract or even get stuck to the roof of their mouth.

After eating one, your cat may feel sick and experience diarrhea or vomiting. If the insect sticks to their palette, a vet will have to remove it. 

Some cats only experience a bit of discomfort, and you should consider yours lucky if this is the case. 

The Pink Spotted Ladybug

This Ladybug can appear red and is often spotted on big green leaves. They aren’t poisonous to cats, but they can secrete a small amount of their blood when they feel threatened. It can cause some irritation if your cat smells or consumes this. 

My Cat Ate A Ladybug! What Now?

If you catch your cat eating a Ladybug, there’s no need to panic. The best you can do is offer them some water and keep your eyes open for any symptoms that indicate discomfort. These signs include:

  • Appetite Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

You can also check the roof of their mouth to ensure that no Ladybug is stuck in there. If there is one, or if the symptoms mentioned persist, you should take your cat to the vet.

Typically, Ladybugs aren’t fatal to cats, but if they have a reaction and the symptoms can’t be controlled, they may get really sick.

Ladybug Season

You’ll start noticing more Ladybugs in your garden from spring to fall. Ladybugs like sunny spots and will often show themselves while finding a plant from where they can soak up the rays. 

They’re most active at dusk to early evenings when cats like to hunt, so yours will likely catch one at this time. If your cat has any discomfort afterward, they’ll let you know.

Adding The Last Spots

Ladybugs are cute little critters that you can safely place on your fingertip to admire, but when your cats act like predators, they will do what they can to protect themselves. Luckily, they’re non-toxic, but they can leave your pet with a bitter taste in their mouth and some discomfort. 

You only need to take your cat to the vet if their discomfort doesn’t subside, they seem incredibly sleepy, or if a Ladybug is stuck on their palette. Otherwise, you can relax and be sure that your cat will feel better soon.

I hope this article gave you the information you needed about Ladybugs and their safety for cats. If you have any more uncertainties, you’re welcome to ask questions in the comment section for other community members and me to answer.


What should I do if my cat ate a Ladybug?

If your cat ate a ladybug and experienced prolonged appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy, you should take them to the vet.

Are Orange Ladybugs poisonous to pets?

Yes. The Orange Ladybug can be fatal to your cat due to the toxins in its body.

Are Boxelder Bugs poisonous to cats?

No. Boxelder Bugs aren't poisonous to your cat, but it can make them feel sick when they eat one.

Can cats eat June Bugs?

Yes. Cats can eat June Bugs in moderation, but they might experience some gastrointestinal issues when they consume too much.

Read more about Is It Bad For Cats To Eat Bugs?