Do Cats Eat Frogs and Toads? Yes!

By Phil / October 12, 2019
Do Cats Eat Frogs or Toads

Do cats eat frogs and Toads? Are feral cats more likely to hunt frogs for food, or do all cats hunt frogs?

I’ve had my fair share of rodents, amphibians, and birds brought to my door over the years. Here’s everything you need to be aware of if you’re asking yourself any of those questions….

First of all, cats are natural hunters. Even the most domesticated cat finds it hard to resist chasing and even eating live prey from time-to-time.

If you have frogs, toads, and other amphibians or reptiles in and around your home, you’re right to be cautious. There is always a chance your cat will lick, bite, and even eat a frog or some other creature.

So, to answer – do cats eat frogs and Toads? Sometimes they do, yes. It’s very possible. My cats have hunted and caught frogs before. They’ve played with, and injured frogs and toads for sure, but haven’t eaten them as far as I know.

Are Frogs Poisonous to Cats?

Most frogs are not poisonous to cats. At least, I’m talking about all the species of frogs that live in residential areas. If you go deep into some woods or tropical areas, that’s a different story.

I’m aware that readers of this blog live all over the world, however. So, I’d suggest making a positive ID of any frogs you see in your area. It’s also worth doing a quick check to find out what species of frogs live in your general area too as you might not see them.

The main distinction you need to make is if it’s frogs that are in your area or toads. Toads are a lot more problematic, as I will explain in more detail later in this post. It’s often hard to tell frogs and toads apart too, so you need to be really vigilant about this.

What Happens If a Cat Licks a Frog?

What Happens If a Cat Licks a Frog

As I’ve already mentioned, my cats have played with frogs over the years. I’m sure they’ve licked them as I’ve seen them using their mouths to try and control them. (Before I intervened and let the terrified frog loose!)

These were just common garden frogs though. Part of the Ranidae family, known as the R. temporaria species. If I sound like a frog expert, I’m not. I identified the frogs in my garden and looked up their info on Wikipedia here.

Why Do Cats Bring Frogs Home?

Most cat owners have had to endure their pets bringing home some kind of dead or half-dead gift at some point. It never gets any easier to deal with, that’s for sure.

I took a more detailed look at why cats bring home dead mice in this post. The principles for bringing home frogs, dead or alive, are the same.

Cats are natural hunters, even 10,000 years of domestication hasn’t changed their natural instinct to hunt. You will have noticed this when playing your kitty. Sometimes they just can’t resist the urge to chasing anything small that moves like a living creature.

According to Live Science, spayed female cats are most likely to bring home live prey they’ve caught. This is because they bring live prey home to their young in the wild to teach them how to eat.

Why do they bring frogs and other prey to you? You’re the closest thing they have to family. (Unless they’ve had a litter, of course.) So, while it’s a bit gross, it is a sign that your cat thinks a lot of you. 

Do Cats Eat Toads?

If you’re not into wildlife, you can be forgiven for not being able to tell the difference between frogs and toads. For the record, the main difference between the two is that frogs have long legs and smooth skin. While toads tend to have shorter legs and thicker skins.

Cat’s certainly cannot tell the difference, neither do they care. A cat that’s willing to eat a frog, is just as likely to eat a toad. So, the answer is yes, cats do eat toads. At least some cats will.

Related Content – If you also have dragonflies here’s the rundown on whether or not cats can eat dragonflies.

Are Toads Poisonous to Cats?

Toads are potentially poisonous to cats, yes.

There are around 50 species of toad. Almost all of them secrete toxins to warn off predators, but the good news is that only a few are seriously dangerous to cats.

The two main culprits are:

The Cane Toad – Found in Florida, Southern Texas and Hawaii.

Cane Toads Poisonous to Cats
That’s one menacing stare…

The Colorado River Toad – Found in New Mexico, California, and Arizona.

Colorado River Toads Poisonous to Cats
Literally wrestling a lizard, cats beware.

Both of these toads can be fatal to cats, dogs, and other small animals. It’s worth double-checking if they’ve ever been spotting in your area.

The effects of toad poisoning in cats vary depending on the species they came into contact with, how long it’s been since you noticed, the cat’s health, and so on.

Typical signs of toad poisoning include:

  • Frothing from the mouth
  • Vigorous head shaking
  • Pawing at their mouth
  • Retching or vomiting

It’s really not pleasant to see a cat dealing with toad toxicity. It puts them through a good deal of discomfort, and as mentioned, it can be fatal if they cross the wrong toad.

How Long Does Toad Poisoning Last in Cats?

The symptoms discussed above can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. You should, however, always take your cat to a vet to have them checked out if you think they’ve licked a toad or absorbed some of their toxins.

It’s not worth waiting it out, honestly. At the very least, give your vet a call and ask them what the best course of action is. I know it can be costly and difficult to see a vet as short notice, but you absolutely have to do something about poisoning.

How to Treat Toad Poisoning in Cats

There is no antidote or medicine to treat toad poisoning. All you can do is minimize the discomfort your kitty is experiencing and the absorption of the toxins before getting them to a vet.

The first thing to do is to wash your cat’s mouth out with clean water. This is never easy to do with cats, but it’s crucial you do this asap. Flush any saliva and frothing away from their mouths as it will contain some toxins.

If you have time – in between calling a vet and putting your cat in a carrier – try and take a picture of the toad they came into contact with. This will make identifying it a lot easier than describing it from memory.

Chances are you’re not the first cat owner in your area to bring a cat to your vet after coming into contact with a toad. They’ll have a good idea of the species of toad in the area, and a picture will help them confirm this and make treatment easier.

Related Questions:

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous to Cats?

The Green Tree Frog is fairly common in the Southern US. They hang around in trees and tall grass near lakes, swamps, and wetlands.

These frogs are small but have a decent defense against predators. They excrete a stong emetic agent through their skin when they feel in danger.

It’s not a fatal toxin to cats, but it can cause diarrhea and vomiting and isn’t very pleasant. If you think your cat (or dog) has fallen foul to a Green Tree frogs toxins, the symptoms usually last around an hour.

Do Cats Eat Frog Spawn?

Cats do eat frogspawn, yes. If they can get at it with their paws they will eat it. It’s not going to do them any harm, but for obvious reasons, it’s not something I would encourage.

Other Insects, Arachnids and Potential Dangers to Be Aware Of

It’s good to be aware of other potentially harmful creepy crawlies your cat might come into contact with. I’ve covered a few of the common insects and creatures cats come across, check out:

Do cats eat scorpions? Are centipedes poisonous to cats? Can cats eat silverfish? And loads more in the blog.

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