Why does my cat eat spider webs? Have you ever seen your cat going around the house and finding a spider web in a corner and eating it? Let’s find out why.
Cats normally are not going to search for a spider web on purpose, but they may get some parts of the spider web on them if they run into it. At this point, they may start eating it. Otherwise, they could eat it because they may like it and need some nutrients.
Let’s examine this a bit better.
WHY DOES MY CAT EAT SPIDERWEBS?
If you do not have spiderwebs around your house, it may be challenging for you to see your cat having fun with it and cleaning it all up. Or maybe there is a reason why homes with cats do not have spider webs in them?
But do cats really like a spider web?
A spider web, spiderweb, spider’s web, or cobweb (from the archaic word coppe, meaning “spider”) is a structure created by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets, generally meant to catch its prey. (Ref. Wikipedia)
Cats are curious creatures, and they like to put their nose into everything. Literally, they do put their nose into everything. It includes spider webs. These funny constructions may attack cats. They may want to play with it and get covered with spider web substance.
The next thing you know is that they start licking it and eating it. Spider webs contain proteins, your cat may like them and keep on trying to find them in order to eat them.
If it happens from time to time that your cat is eating spider web, nothing will happen to them. If it is a continuous obsession, your cat may have some nutritional deficiency, and he is looking for proteins.
If you notice that the latter can be the case, it would be a great idea to bring him to the vet and have him checked; it may be a symptom of Pica disorder.
WHAT IS PICA DISORDER?
Pica (/ˈpaɪkə/pIE-kuh) is a psychological disorder characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive, such as ice (pagophagia); hair (trichophagia); paper (xylophagia); drywall or paint; sharp objects (acuphagia); metal (metallophagia); stones (lithophagia) or soil (geophagia); glass (hyalophagia); feces (coprophagia); and chalk. (Ref. Wikipedia)
Besides a mental disorder, Iron-deficiency, anemia, and malnutrition are the most common causes of pica.
ARE SPIDER WEB EDIBLE?
Spiders make their webs from silk, a natural fiber made of protein. Spiders expel it from the anus as part of their digestive process, and it is excreted through the spider’s spinneret glands located at their abdomen’s tip.
Spinneret: any of a number of different organs through which the silk, gossamer, or thread of spiders, silkworms, and certain other insects is produced. (Definitions from Oxford Languages)
Therefore spider webs are edible. Animals and humans can eat it without dangers, not that this is a diet to go into.
IS A SPIDER WEB DANGEROUS?
Spider web is not dangerous when ingested. It is built of proteins mainly if spider webs are ingested, they are going to be destroyed by the acids in the stomach. Spider webs taste acid, so it is not a pleasant or enjoyable food.
Why does my cat eat spider webs in only one of the questions, we are answering some more questions below:
- Is it OK for my cat to eat spiders?
Cats are born hunters, so they go after any moving thing, it includes spiders, and it may include any insect that crosses the door or window. Cats use to run behind insects and spiders, mainly for fun.
Sometimes cats pock those insects until they stop moving but not necessarily eat them.
My cat is a good example. In summer, I find mosquitos and other insects dead on the floor. My cat does a good job of guarding the house. In fact, it is his job!
As far as spiders are concerned, they can nullify any negative effect from spider venom and digest them.
- What happens if my cat eats a poisonous spider?
Normally the stomach acid should be neutralized. However, you should bring your cat to the vet to make sure he is fine in case of doubts.
- Should I let my cat eat bugs?
Cats are hunting. Naturally, it is difficult to prevent them from doing it, especially if you are not with them all day long. Bugs are normally not dangerous, but some can be poisonous, so it is not good for cats to eat them.
Usually, I wouldn’t say I like that my cat eats insects and bugs. If I see him hunting it and pocking a bug, I let him do it, but if he attempts to eat it, I push him away and remove the insect. Of course, if I see him doing it.
- Can a black widow spider kill a cat?
With black widow spiders, one has to be careful. In fact, a black widow bite is usually fatal in cats and also in many dogs and small pets.
If this happens to your cat, rush him to the vet or even the hospital. I would say if you do not find anything available and have them treat the animal as soon as possible. We want to prevent the venom from spreading in the body.
Other treatment options may include:
Do everything possible not to expose your cat to a black widow. If you see one, have a professional come and take the spider away, this spider can be dangerous to humans.
If you are not sure your cat got a bite from a black widow spider, you may see some of the symptoms:
- Can cats smell spiders?
Funny enough, cats can smell the taurine from spiders. After all, cats are hunters, and they can smell even an odor coming from such a little insect.
- Do cats get rid of spiders?
Cats follow and hunt anything that moves. Therefore there is no safe place for a spider in your house if you have a cat. Cats were used as a deterrent for those insects and other unwanted animals like rats and similar.
Cats like to put their nose and paws everywhere, including spider webs. It is an instinct for cats. Make sure you keep them safe, spotting if there is any danger around and removing it.