Can cats eat silverfish? Are there any potential health issues associated with cats eating silverfish? Are silverfish harmful to cats?
If you have been spotting silverfish in or around your home or know they are active in the area where you live, you’re right to be cautious.
These little insects are pretty creepy looking, and we all know how hard it is for a cat to resist stalking and playing with insects. So, if your cat ate a silverfish or you want to know if they are poisonous or harmful I’ve explored this topic for you.
I will give you the good news right away – I’m going to help put your mind at ease. Because, for the most part, silverfish are harmless.
Silverfish are not known to carry any toxins, and therefore they are not toxic to animals or humans. They don’t bite, spray, or do any other horrible defensive things like some insects do. They are also not known to carry any pathogens that can cause sickness and disease.
So, they do not pose a threat to your cat. Which is great to know if you have them around your home.
Let’s not stop there though. If you have been spotting these insects in space you and your cat share, you should make sure you know everything about them, what they are doing there, and most importantly – what you need to do to start getting rid of them.
I’ve done some research and found out some pretty interesting facts and bits of information for you. Read on and I’ll elaborate a little more….
What Are Silverfish?
Don’t let the name fool you, silverfish are small insects (around half to one inch long) and have nothing to do with fish.
Silverfish are believed to be one of the oldest insects in the world, so that’s a testament to how resilient and good at surviving they are. Which contributes to why they cause homeowners some distress and are problematic to remove.
Like a lot of creepy insects in the home, silverfish are most active at night. I can tell you, it’s not a pleasant discovery to see one scurrying across the floor in the middle of the night. Or seeing your cat chasing and playing with one for that matter.
If you’re still trying to positively identify a silverfish, they are fairly unique looking and fairly easy to identify once you have a picture. As you can see in the images on this page, they are long and thin with long antennae, are a greyish color, and that scaled pattern on their backs.
Most notably, they wiggle as they move, which is why they are called silverfishes. Their motion is quite fish-like, they wiggle their bodies as a fish tends to when pushing through the water. If you’ve seen it, there is no mistaking it’s a silverfish.
Related: Their bodies a little similar to earwigs – read about whether or not earwigs are harmful to cats here.
Are Silverfish Toxic or Dangerous to Cats (Or Humans)?
When I started doing some research into silverfish I called up my local pest exterminator to check if they were potentially harmful to my cat, and I also checked I’m safe!
I spoke to a really friendly exterminator and he assured me that silverfish are not harmful. They reassured me that they don’t bite, spray any smelly substances (unlike some caterpillars which are harmful to cats as I wrote about), they don’t sting animals or people, they aren’t poisonous, (as backed up by this reputable pest
So, it’s all good news on the safety front. This doesn’t make me any more likely to go near to them though as they still creep me out. Plus, I still don’t want my cat messing with them – but it’s a huge relief to know they aren’t posing a health hazard.
I hope I’ve helped you rest at ease too if you have these little critters around your home!
On a side note, the pest control guy did say that some people have allergic reactions to the skin silverfish shed and leave behind.
They shed their scales throughout their lives and will leave them where they’ve been frequenting. Which, again is pretty gross, and another reason why no one likes having insects in their homes.
Can Cats Eat Silverfish?
I’ve spoken to pest control experts, other cat owners, and dug deep into this question to be sure of the answer. The answer is that cats can eat silverfish without any health concerns.
But, and it’s a big BUT – it’s really gross and I would do everything you can to make sure your cat isn’t eating these little insects.
If you have them in your home, your first priority should be ridding your home of them. They can do quite a bit of damage to stuff around the home, not to mention they are shedding and pooing everywhere!
I’m not here to give advice on how to get rid of silverfish. But I’ve read that it can be difficult as they can go without food for long periods and reproduce in large numbers so I’d call your local pest control companies for advice.
Do Cats Eat Silverfish?
Unfortunately, some cats will eat silverfish when playing and taunting their pray. I’ve seen cats eat flies, grasshoppers, crickets, mosquitoes, dragonflies, and a whole host of other insects over the years, so nothing surprises me.
For me, as someone who is a bit squeamish and easily grossed out, it doesn’t get any easier seeing one of my cats eating an insect. So, I do everything I can to stop them. But cats are cats, there is only so much we can do to stop them.
I just can’t have them coming over to me and rubbing their face on me and being fussed after they just chewed on an insect. Maybe that’s just me!
If you prefer skimming and just want the answer to, ‘can cats eat silverfish?’ then the answer is yes. They can eat them, and some cats will eat them, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not ideal.
There are no known health hazards associated with cats eating silverfish. Plus, silverfish don’t pose any threats to cats, humans, or other animals by being aggressive or when defending themselves.
They are just another annoying insect that I’m sure anyone reading this doesn’t want inside their homes. But, hopefully, you can now sleep easy knowing you and your cats are not in any danger.
If you prefer video content I’ve put together this side show for you, enjoy: