Do cats eat cockroaches? Is it OK for a cat to eat a roach? Can cats get parasites from eating roaches?

Do cats eat cockroaches? Is it OK for a cat to eat a roach? Can cats get parasites from eating roaches? Click here to safeguard your pet now

Let’s be honest: cockroaches are unwelcome guests in any home. They’re shifty, they’re ugly, and they scuttle around the place making everyone feel unsettled – not to mention when they randomly start flying in your direction! 

Fortunately, if you happen to have a cat in your home, you’ll have some measure of protection against them. However, is it actually safe for your cats to be eating and defeating the cockroaches who make their way into your home? 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cats and roaches, and whether there’s anything you need to worry about.

Do Cats Eat Cockroaches?

First things first, do cats actually eat cockroaches? 

  • Yes, cats are natural-born hunters, and many of them enjoy chasing and catching small creatures, including those pesky little cockroaches we all despise so much.
  • Of course, some cats may even eat the roaches they catch, especially if they are hungry or have a strong prey drive. It sounds disgusting, but most cats don’t really seem to mind! 
Curious cat carefully watching a caught wasp or fly in an inverted glass beaker, tries not to lose sight of stinging insect. Pet life at home concept. Shallow depth of field

Is It OK for a Cat to Eat a Roach?

So, what happens if your cat eats a cockroach? Is it safe for them to do so? Should you be worried? Here’s what you should know…

  • Generally speaking, it is safe for a cat to eat a roach, as cockroaches are not toxic to cats.
  • That being said, there are a few important factors to consider, such as the potential for parasites and the use of insecticides or toxins that may be present on the cockroach.

Can Cats Get Parasites from Eating Cockroaches?

Wait, what? Did someone say parasites? 

  • While cockroaches themselves usually don’t carry parasites that affect cats, they can indeed pick up parasites from their environment.
  • If a cockroach has been in contact with contaminated food for example, or areas where parasites are present, there is a slim chance that your cat could contract a parasite by eating the roach – thus rendering them sick.
  • Don’t panic! The risk of parasite transmission from cockroaches to cats is generally very low – but not entirely impossible. So, be mindful if you see that your cat has been chowing down on lots of cockroaches recently. 
British Longhair puppy sitting and looking with envy at a butterfly

Should You Stop Your Cat from Eating Cockroaches?

While there is a very low risk, the risk still exists. As such, is it worth trying to prevent your cat from eating cockroaches entirely? 

  • It’s generally best to discourage your cat from eating cockroaches to minimise potential risks. Of course, this is far easier said than done because it will be impossible for you to keep an eye on your cat at all times – especially when they’re most active at night while we are tucked up in bed. 
  • Again, even though roaches are not toxic, they may have come into contact with harmful substances such as pesticides or household chemicals – so yes, try your best to keep them away.
  • Additionally, preventing your cat from eating cockroaches helps reduce the risk of parasite transmission and potential gastrointestinal upset. Sure, having your cat eat cockroaches is a very effective way to keep the numbers down, but if it results in an expensive trip to the vet, you’ll likely regret it. 

How Can You Prevent Your Cat from Eating Cockroaches?

OK, so how does one keep their cat from eating cockroaches? You can’t keep an eye on them at all times – and it’s not as though you can sit them down and give them a good talking to. So, what’s the solution? 

  • The best approach is to maintain good hygiene in your home to discourage cockroach infestations. For example, clean up crumbs, food spills, and food debris promptly after cooking and eating.
  • Seal any cracks or openings where cockroaches can enter your home. This is an effective way to deter other insects as well, such as huntsman spiders
  • Use cockroach traps or professional pest control methods to eliminate roach populations without endangering your cat. We strongly advise against laying down poison if you have pets at home. Instead, contact your local experts like Pest Control Brisbane
A macro shot of cockroaches on a white surface

What Is the Best Way to Prevent Cockroaches from Entering Your Home?

As we’ve established, the most effective way to prevent your cat from eating cockroaches is to keep the number of cockroaches entering your home to a minimum. Here’s how you can go about it: 

  • Keep your kitchen and dining areas clean, as cockroaches are attracted to free food sources (as are we all). 
  • Store your food in airtight containers to prevent roaches from accessing it (including pet food). 
  • Regularly empty and clean pet food bowls to remove any potential attractants.
  • Seal any gaps in windows, doors, and walls to prevent cockroaches from entering your home.
  • Consider professional pest control services if you have a persistent cockroach problem – especially if you have tried all of the above and those pesky little buggers keep on coming! 


While it’s not uncommon for cats to catch and eat cockroaches, it’s generally best to discourage this behaviour. Sure, roaches themselves are not toxic, but they can carry parasites or come into contact with harmful substances that may invariably transmit to your furry little friend.

It’s important to maintain a clean and hygienic home environment to prevent cockroach infestations and reduce the risk of your cat encountering these pests. That way, you won’t have to constantly worry about your cat ingesting a contaminated cockroach and ending up needing a trip to the vets. 

If you’re reading this and you feel concerned about parasites transmitting to your pets or struggling with persistent cockroach issues, we urge you to consult with your veterinarian or a professional pest control service for further guidance and appropriate solutions.

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