It can be quite a sight when you walk past a pond and see a large number of dragonflies buzzing around and going about their business.
They come in an assortment of color and sizes which make it quite a spectacle.
It is common to see your cat trying to chase dragonflies as the sight of a fluttering insect activates your cat’s hunting instincts.
Trying to catch a dragonfly can give your cat a good workout.
But what happens if you catch your cat eating dragonflies?
Is it dangerous for your cat?
There isn’t much of a danger of poisoning if your cat happens to eat a dragonfly. Dragonflies are not poisonous nor do they possess any venom. Dragonflies are capable of biting and it might be rather painful if your cat gets bitten by a large one.
Let’s take a deeper at what dragonflies really are and why your cats love to chase them.
What Is A Dragonfly?
A dragonfly is an insect that can fly and has two pairs of wings. The wings are not equal in size with the hind wings being larger than the front wings.
Their natural habitat is around bodies of water like lakes, rivers and ponds.
The dragonfly has an elongated body and is easily recognizable with its large pair of eyes. Besides their strikingly large eyes, dragonflies come in bright metallic or iridescent colors.
Dragonflies are predatory in nature which means that they ate other smaller insects for food. They make excellent hunters due to their agile movements and strong pair of mandibles.
More than 3000 different species of dragonflies have been recorded to date.
Are Dragonflies Poisonous?
Thankfully dragonflies aren’t poisonous but they can give both cats and humans a nasty nick when provoked.
They have powerful jaws and are ferocious predators so do be careful when handling one. My friend got a nasty bite from a rather large dragonfly when he tried to catch it for a photograph.
The bite broke his skin and it bled a little but last I checked, he still has his finger.
Why Do Cats Like Chasing Insects And Bugs?
To understand why your cat can be so excited when it sees a flying insect or creepy crawlies, we need to understand the nature of cats.
Like dragonflies, cats are also predatory in nature.
Stalking and hunting their prey is part and parcel of being a cat.
However, cats are not insectivores which means that they do not have a thing for eating other insects. Rather, they are obligate carnivores which makes them pure meat-eaters.
Although our domesticated furry felines no longer have to hunt for their food, the natural instinct to stalk and chase is still in their DNA.
Flying insects and creepy crawlies enable your cat to flex and practice its hunting skills. With their zig-zag movements and colorful exterior, not many cats can resist not chasing after a dragonfly.
Many cats chase dragonflies for fun without the intention of eating one.
Are There Any Risks To Cats When Eating Dragonflies?
First of all, when it comes to eating insects, it isn’t on your cat’s priority list. Your cat would gladly eat a bird than a dragonfly.
Then again, given the strong innate curiosity of cats, it might just be tempted to see how the dragonfly tastes life as a snack.
The good thing is that dragonflies don’t contain any poison or venom that is toxic to cats. However, they do have a rather strong pair of mandibles that can give your cat a nasty nick.
Most dragonflies are small in size and can’t inflict a painful bite. But the biggest dragonfly is the Petalura Gigantea which can grow up to 20 inches in length.
It might not bother an adult cat much but for a kitten, a bite from such a big dragonfly can be painful.
Furthermore, some dragonflies can be infected with parasites like water mites and flatworms. These parasites can be transmitted to your cat if it happens to eat an infected dragonfly.
If you happen to leave in an area where there are lots of dragonflies, it would be a good idea to have your cat dewormed during dragonfly season.
How To Stop My Cat From Chasing After Insects?
Cats being cats, it would be next to impossible to try and stop them from chasing after insects. The best thing that you can do is to discourage your cat from playing with them.
Keep your cats indoors as well so that there is a lesser chance of your cat running into a potential target for practice.
Get interactive toys for your cat which allows it to chase and catch it. My cat loves anything with feathers and can spend hours just chasing a feather tied to a strong.
Sometimes, simplicity is the best policy.
What Insects Are Dangerous To Cats?
Although dragonflies won’t do much harm to your cat, there are many bugs and insects out there that can give your cat a nasty sting or venomous bite.
Roaches and mosquitoes aren’t exactly poisonous to cats but they carry parasites that can be transmitted to your cat.
Certain mosquitoes can transmit heartworms to your cat which can be fatal in young kittens. Some cats are very sensitive to mosquito bites which can turn into lesions.
What Does It Mean When You See Dragonflies?
Dragonflies usually appear during the summer months with some species making an appearance as early as spring.
The sighting of a dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation and adaptability. For many centuries, the dragonfly is a symbol of happiness, love and hope.
The sudden appearance of a dragonfly is a good thing, just don’t let your cat eat one.
It is good to know that dragonflies aren’t poisonous or dangerous to our cats and pets. They can be a common fixture if you happen to live near a body of water.
Many cats eat dragonflies due to their erratic movements and bright colors.
Don’t be too alarmed if your cat eats a dragonfly. They are more harmless than they look.
However, it would be best to discourage your cat from chasing and eating insects and bugs as you’ll never know when your cat might run into one that can be deadly.