Cockroaches are a common nuisance in many homes, and those with cats are no exception. While these resilient pests can be difficult to eliminate, understanding how they interact with feline companions can provide insights into managing infestations. This article delves into the dynamics between cockroaches and cats, the health risks involved, and effective strategies for preventing and controlling these unwelcome guests in cat-friendly homes.

Key Takeaways

  • Cockroaches are resilient pests that can thrive even in homes with cats, often hiding in unoccupied areas.
  • Cats have a natural instinct to hunt cockroaches, but not all cats are interested in eating them.
  • Eating cockroaches can pose health risks to cats, including digestion issues and potential poisoning from pesticides.
  • Using catnip can be an effective and safe way to deter cockroaches from entering your home.
  • It’s important to use safe pest control methods and monitor your cat for any signs of illness if they consume a cockroach.

Introduction to Cockroaches in Cat-Friendly Homes

Why Cockroaches Thrive in Homes

Alright, fellow felines, let’s talk about those sneaky little critters that scurry around when the lights go out. Cockroaches thrive in homes because they love the same things we do: food, warmth, and shelter. They are experts at hiding and can squeeze into the tiniest cracks. When the house is quiet, cockroaches may emerge, making it seem like they appear out of nowhere. It’s so hard to get rid of cockroaches because they are quick to scurry away at the first sign of danger.

Cockroaches and Cats: An Overview

Now, you might be wondering, "Do these roaches know who they’re messing with?" Well, sort of. Cockroaches tend to avoid busy rooms or rooms that contain cats. They know we’re predators willing to hunt them down. However, not all of us are interested in these crunchy snacks. Some of us might play with them for a while and then leave them as a gift for our humans. Others might find them too crunchy to enjoy.

Challenges of Cockroach Infestations

Even though we might be great hunters, a single cat cannot eradicate a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches are persistent and can multiply quickly. They can also carry bacteria, parasites, and viruses that could potentially lead to health problems for us. So, while we might deter them from returning, it’s important for our humans to use pet-safe roach killing methods to keep our homes roach-free. Opting for pet-safe roach killing methods—such as diatomaceous earth, boric acid (used with caution), and natural repellents, or employing physical traps that don’t involve harmful chemicals—is the best way to ensure our safety.

Remember, a clean home is a happy home. Let’s keep those roaches at bay so we can enjoy our cat grooming sessions in peace!

Do Cats Hunt & Eat Cockroaches?

Natural Hunting Instincts

Alright, fellow felines, let’s talk about our natural hunting instincts. We cats are obligate carnivores, which means we need animal protein to survive. While cockroaches aren’t exactly our first choice for a gourmet meal, they can be a good source of protein, fat, and minerals. So, if we’re hungry enough, we might just go for it! But remember, not all of us are motivated to hunt, especially if we’re well-fed and living the good life.

Why Some Cats Avoid Cockroaches

Now, let’s get into why some of us might avoid these crunchy critters. First off, cockroaches can be a bit too crunchy for our liking. Plus, if we’re not hungry, we might just play with them for a while and then leave them as a gift for our humans. And let’s be honest, sometimes we’re just not in the mood to deal with them. After all, we’re not exactly effective pest control agents, especially if there’s an established population of cockroaches in the house.

Cockroaches as Prey

When it comes to cockroaches as prey, it’s a mixed bag. On one paw, they can provide some nutritional value. On the other paw, they can also contain harmful toxins that can make us sick. So, while we might catch and eat them occasionally, it’s not something we should rely on for our main diet. And let’s not forget, sometimes we just like to bring them as a gift to our humans, because who doesn’t love a good surprise?

Remember, fellow felines, while cockroaches can be a fun and crunchy snack, they’re not the healthiest option for us. Always keep an eye out for any signs of illness if you do decide to munch on one.

Health Risks for Cats Eating Cockroaches

Hey fur-iends, let’s talk about the not-so-yummy side of munching on those creepy crawlies. Cockroaches might seem like fun toys, but they come with their own set of risks. Here’s the scoop on why you should think twice before making a snack out of them.

Exoskeleton & Digestion Issues

First off, those crunchy exoskeletons are tough to digest. Imagine trying to chew on a piece of plastic—yeah, not fun! Ingesting too many cockroaches could lead to some serious tummy troubles like vomiting and diarrhea. While cockroaches do have some nutritional value, the risks far outweigh the benefits.

Toxic Pesticides

Now, let’s talk about the real danger—pesticides. Humans often use these nasty chemicals to get rid of cockroaches, and if we eat a poisoned bug, we could be in big trouble. Pesticides can cause a range of health issues, from mild symptoms like drooling to severe ones like seizures.

Signs of Pesticide Poisoning in Cats

So, how do you know if you’ve accidentally eaten a poisoned cockroach? Here are some signs to watch out for:

  1. Drooling
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Tremors
  5. Seizures

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to get to the vet, pronto!

In general, it’s best to keep cats away from any insects or animals that could potentially make them sick. Better safe than sorry, right?

Stay safe out there, and maybe stick to the kibble and treats your humans give you!

Preventing and Managing Cockroach Infestations

two orange-and-black cooked eggplants on gray stove

Using Catnip as a Deterrent

Alright, fellow felines, let’s talk about a secret weapon in our battle against those pesky roaches: catnip! Yes, you heard it right. Not only is catnip our favorite treat, but it also works wonders as a roach repellent. When you sprinkle catnip around the house, it creates a barrier that those creepy crawlies just can’t stand. It’s like having a force field that keeps the roaches away while giving us a little something to roll around in. Prevention plays a pivotal role in controlling roach infestations, and catnip is a purrfectly safe option for us cats.

Safe Pest Control Methods

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of safe pest control. We all know that roaches are persistent little buggers, but we can’t just use any old roach killer. We need to make sure it’s safe for us, the kings and queens of the household. Here are some pet-friendly options:

  1. Cockroach Gel Baits: These are easy-to-use and a safer alternative to bait stations. Just make sure to place them where we can’t reach them.
  2. Boric Acid: If used correctly, it can be safe, but there are safer alternatives out there.
  3. Combat® Stations, Strips, and Gels: These are user-friendly and effective, but always ensure they are placed out of our reach.

Remember, prevention is far different than eradication. Regular cleaning, sealing entry points, and managing trash and food sources can significantly reduce the appeal of your home to these unwelcome guests.

What to Do if Your Cat Eats a Cockroach

Okay, so let’s say one of us gets a little too curious and decides to munch on a roach. First of all, ew! But more importantly, what should our humans do? Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Stay Calm: Panicking won’t help anyone.
  2. Check for Signs of Distress: Look for vomiting, diarrhea, or any signs of discomfort.
  3. Consult a Vet: If you’re unsure or if we show any signs of distress, it’s always best to consult a vet.

Important: Always keep an eye on us after such an incident. While most of the time we’ll be fine, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So there you have it, fellow furballs. With these tips, we can help our humans keep our homes roach-free and safe for us to roam around. Now, let’s go find some catnip!

Preventing and managing cockroach infestations is crucial for maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment. Our comprehensive guide offers practical tips and solutions to help you keep these unwelcome pests at bay. For more detailed information and expert advice, visit our website today.


In conclusion, while cats can play a role in controlling cockroach populations in your home, they are not a foolproof solution. Cockroaches are resilient pests that can hide and thrive in areas less frequented by both humans and cats. Although cats may hunt and kill cockroaches, they are not always motivated to do so, especially if they are well-fed. Additionally, the potential health risks associated with cats eating cockroaches, such as pesticide poisoning and digestive issues, should not be overlooked. Therefore, it is essential to adopt a comprehensive approach to pest control that includes proper sanitation, the use of safe pesticides, and possibly professional pest management services to ensure a cockroach-free and cat-friendly home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats keep cockroaches away?

Cats can deter cockroaches to some extent due to their natural hunting instincts. However, a single cat cannot eradicate a cockroach infestation entirely.

Can cats get sick from eating cockroaches?

Yes, cats can get sick from eating cockroaches, especially if the cockroaches have ingested toxic pesticides or carry bacteria, parasites, or viruses.

Why do some cats avoid eating cockroaches?

Some cats may avoid eating cockroaches because they find them too crunchy or simply prefer other types of prey. Additionally, well-fed domestic cats may not feel the need to hunt.

What should I do if my cat eats a cockroach?

If your cat eats a cockroach, monitor them for any signs of illness, especially symptoms of pesticide poisoning. Contact your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

Are cockroaches harmful to cats?

While cockroaches are not inherently harmful to cats, they can carry harmful bacteria and parasites. Additionally, pesticides used to kill cockroaches can be toxic to cats if ingested.

Can catnip help in deterring cockroaches?

Yes, catnip can help deter cockroaches as they tend to avoid the smell. Using catnip around your home might help in keeping cockroaches at bay.