Why does my cat eat spider webs? We know that cats can get into a lot of trouble, and although we consider spiders’ webs disgusting, cats do not share the same viewpoint. Unfortunately, some spiders are so unintelligent that they venture into building a web near a cat. Well, they will soon find out it was not a good idea.
Cats eat spiders’ webs while playing or when they run into them by mistake. They usually do not search for them as a food source on purpose. However, cats could eat spiders’ webs if they have a health condition, such as lacking proteins in their diet or they have pica.
Let’s better examine why cats like to eat spiders’ webs.
WHY DOES MY CAT EAT SPIDER WEBS?
If you do not have spiderwebs around your house, it may be challenging for you to see your cat having fun with them. 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? In general, cats tend to put many things in their mouth. Cats are curious creatures, and they want to put their nose into everything. It includes spider webs. These funny constructions may attack cats.
Cats owners know that cats like to chew and lick various objects and things that look like threads. So, for example, if there is a spider web, cats may just play with it and attempt to chew it just for fun.
You should not immediately worry if you see your cat putting a spider web in his mouth. Possibly, he is just playing. But, if you see your cat often hunting and heating spider webs, maybe there is something to worry about.
Here are the reasons for your cat attempting to chew or eat spider webs:
1. PLAY & CURIOSITY
The most common reason for cats chewing on a spider web is curiosity—especially kittens and young cats. Cats like to play. Stings and spiders webs will attract your cat. Cats may try to paw at a spider web, chew it, get their body into them, and lick it off while grooming.
It is a normal mess cats like to get into during the day.
2. HEALTH PROBLEMS
If your cat is obsessed with spiders’ webs, there is an underlying problem. Some cats develop the tendency to eat objects such as plastic, paper, and similar.
In general, they do it because they have a nutritional deficiency that makes them hungry and wants to eat material things. So spider webs are as good as plastic or paper.
What is a spider web, and why would cats want to eat it?
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)
Spider silk contains many proteins, which may be what attracts cats to eat spiders’ webs.
If a cat eats a spider web from time to time, nothing will happen to him. However, if it is an ongoing obsession, your cat may have some nutritional deficiency, and he is looking for proteins.
If you notice that this is the case, it would be great to bring him to the vet and have him checked; it may be a symptom of Pica disorder.
3. NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY
If your cat doesn’t have pica, he could simply lack protein. On the other hand, maybe your cat’s diet doesn’t include much wet food, which is richer in protein. In this case, your could help your cat switch his diet to include more protein sources.
Low-quality food can also be filled with a lot of colorants and carbs. Therefore, if your cat is eating wet food from low-quality brands, he could still develop a nutritional deficiency.
Here are some high protein food ideas for your cat:
WHAT IS PICA DISORDER?
Pica 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 WEBS 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 danger, not that this is a diet to choose, but it is not dangerous.
IS A SPIDER WEB DANGEROUS?
Spider web is not dangerous when ingested because It is built with spider silk full of proteins. They are going to be destroyed by the acids in the stomach. Spider webs taste acid, so it is not an enjoyable food for pets or humans.
IS IT OK FOR MY CAT TO EAT SPIDERS?
Cats are born hunters, so they go after any moving thing; it includes spiders and may involve any insect that crosses the door or window. Cats have the habit of running behind insects and spiders, mainly for fun.
Sometimes cats pock those insects until they stop moving but do not necessarily eat them. My cat is a good example. In summer, I find mosquitos and other insects dead on the floor. He does an excellent job of guarding the house. In fact, it is his job!
As far as spiders are concerned, cats can nullify any adverse effect of spider venom and digest them. However, you should pay attention to giant spiders or dangerous spider species that could harm humans and pets.
It is always better to check which species of spiders are in your area, and if you are aware of dangerous species, you should do all you can to prevent spiders from coming into your house in the first place.
HOW TO PREVENT A CAT FROM EATING A SPIDER?
If you want to prevent your cat from eating spiders, you could do the following:
- Make sure that you constantly clean spiderwebs
- Treat any nutritional deficiency in your cat
- Buy good quality food
- Treat him for pica if necessary
SHOULD I LET MY CAT EAT BUGS?
Cats are hunting. Naturally, it isn’t easy to prevent them from eating buts, especially if you are not with them all day long. Bugs usually are not dangerous, but some can be poisonous, so it is not good for cats to eat them.
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. It is essential to prevent the venom from spreading in the body.
Other treatment options may include:
- Assisting with breathing medications to reduce muscle spasms
- Relaxing the muscles
- Hospitalization with intravenous fluids
Do everything possible not to expose your cat to a black widow. But, if you see one, have a professional come and take the spider away; this spider can be dangerous to humans too.
If you are not sure your cat got a bite from a black widow spider, you may see some of the symptoms:
- Extreme pain in the area of the bite
- Muscle tremors
- Rigid muscles
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 tiny insect.
Do cats get rid of spiders?
Cats follow and hunt anything that moves, and naturally, they get rid of spiders. Therefore there is no safe place for a spider in your house if you have a cat. Cats are often used as a deterrent for those insects and other unwanted animals like rats and similar.
What happens if my cat eats a poisonous spider?
Usually, the stomach acid should be neutralized. However, you should bring your cat to the vet to ensure he is fine in case of doubts.
Can a spider bite a cat?
A spider can bite a cat. It can happen while the cat is sleeping, if the spider is getting on a cat without the cat noticing, or when a cat goes outdoors.