Last Updated on March 25, 2020
Getting bed bugs in your home can become a nightmare pretty quickly if they are not rid of. They typically live and lay eggs in and around beds, sofas, and computer desk – Places where we spend a lot of time at night. They will also target pets as well and will nest in and around pet beds, cat trees, and toy chests. Dogs are used to sniff the buggers out to help find the nesting areas, can cats do the same? Can a cat sniff out bed bugs and will they eat them?
Dogs Use Sense of Smell
When dogs are used for finding bedbugs in homes, they are trained to alert the handler of the scent being present. They don’t always get the right location but they can at least let the homeowner know they have bed bugs somewhere in their home. Many animals are capable of smelling insects like this as they give off a distinct odor. Unfortunately, cats are not known to pick up on this or care all too much.
Cats Hunt with Sight & Sound
If you happen to have bed bugs in your home, the chances of your cat interacting with them aren’t very high. These particular insects are stealthy movers and do not make noise when going to and from the nesting location. If a cat happens to spot one, there is a chance they will play with it or try to catch it.
Will a Cat Eat Bed Bugs?
While cats are known for putting all kinds of things in their mouth, not all of them will pick up insects in their mouth much less eat them. Bed bugs also give off an unpleasant odor and likely do not taste too great so if your cat happens to pick one up in their mouth, they will likely spit them out and walk away.
Can Cats Keep Bed Bugs Away?
It is very unlikely for a cat to help contain a bed bug infestation much less get rid of them. Bed bugs primarily go after human hosts as they give off higher levels of carbon dioxide. If a human host is not available, they will begin to target other animals such as birds, dogs, and yes – cats.
The bottom line is that it is very unlikely a cat will eat any bed bugs. In the event you happen to catch your cat playing with one and then eating it, it is a good idea to get them tested for parasites. Bed bugs can carry and spread Trypanosoma Cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas Disease. While this is very rare, it is better to play it safe than sorry.