My cat eats moths: is this normal or should it be discouraged?

I suspect it is not harmful but is there a formal answer?

  • My kitten has caught and eaten 6 moths tonight he loves them and teaching them bout hunting to probably wouldn't be so good if they been sprayed with flyspray thou
    – user6531
    Jan 22, 2016 at 13:04
  • My adult cat bring in alive moth for my kitten to play and eat so yes its normal, i feel sorry for the moth because they play with it for a wile befor killing it so i try and get it out of the window before it dies
    – user7653
    Jul 22, 2016 at 0:47

4 Answers 4


Completely normal - not harmful. Flying fast moving things make great toys and often good snacks. One my cats goes crazy over flying insects often bordering on self-destructive tendencies (thinking she can also fly over my kitchen to catch it).

There may be some oddball moth(s) out there that aren't good for cats to eat but I wouldn't be too worried about that slight possibility.

  • 1
    yep, totally normal. It may give them an upset stomach, but that's self-correcting. Moths are GREAT entertainment. Oct 7, 2014 at 22:29
  • 7
    Yeah, my cat used to catch and eat everything that moved, from groundhogs to fruit flies. After a while, he learned that wasps and hornets were good to avoid.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 7, 2014 at 23:42
  • Use to have a cat that caught flies and ate them, saved me a lot of work of swapping flies :p
    – Vahx
    Jan 24, 2016 at 0:07
  • Cats eating bugs is no different than humans eating candy. Jun 25, 2019 at 0:09
  • I remember our family used to praise our cats for bringing home random prey. Even if they insisted on bringing it inside. We'd still make sure they understand we don't want it inside the house, but we encouraged it. Cats are natural hunters. Humans have drastically domesticated them. But their instincts are still there. Jun 25, 2019 at 0:16

Actually it IS harmful if the cat eats many of them... like three or more a day for several days. Moths have a toxic powder on their wings. Although it may not harm them to eat a few, several in a few days can cause your cat to become lethargic, lose weight and get very sick.

  • 4
    Hi and welcome :). Can you add a link showing this information?
    – user6796
    Jul 4, 2017 at 5:07
  • 2
    It's certainly odd that one would question the affirmation and alternatively not question my post positing the opposite. I don't have any references supporting my claim that it isn't harmful but it's typically much more rational to err on the side of caution and assume that it is harmful until proven otherwise.
    – Enigma
    Jul 5, 2017 at 2:58
  • One counter-link: thesprucepets.com/can-cats-eat-bugs-555032. Which agrees with my understanding over the years. So I have to call this alarmism unless you can provide some support for the claim
    – keshlam
    May 12, 2023 at 2:34

My kitten ate one moth and two days later her eye got really swollen and yucky. I started reading up on what her eye problem could be and it is called Blepharitis. I read that if an insect bites or is inhaled caused her Blepharospasm. I would say letting your cats eat them is harmful and you definitely should stop them.

  • Did you self-diagnose or did you take your kitten to a vet? That sounds much more likely to be conjunctivitis (pink eye) than blepharitis (caused by allergies or bacterial infections).
    – Allison C
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:12

It is harmful, as moths have toxic powder on their wings. You should try your best not to let any animal eat bugs. They could also be sprayed with bug spray, which could also kill a cat or dog.

  • 2
    some types of moths can acumulate toxins from their diet but this is normally not a problem as cats do not eat a lot of moths.if pesticides is used in your area it is best to avoid your cat eating moths just to be safe. Jun 23, 2019 at 17:28
  • 1
    Can you provide citations for your claim?
    – Allison C
    Jun 24, 2019 at 14:20
  • 1
    Us humans get our own fair share of toxins in the food we eat. Whether it be regular meals, candy, dessert, pastries... Bugs are to cats as chocolate is to humans. Jun 25, 2019 at 0:14

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