Cats can exhibit some rather strange and confusing behaviors at times, but that is just part of their charm.
So when we catch them eating something that seems weird for a cat to want to eat, it’s quite perplexing.
However, there is probably a very reasonable explanation for your cat’s fairly odd actions and out-there snack choices.
Cats eat cobwebs for a few reasons; they could be seeking the protein cobwebs contain, hunting spiders, or having fun.
Most reasons why cats eat cobwebs are harmless and are usually no cause for alarm. However, if you have concerns or it seems out of character for your cat, contact your vet.
Eating cobwebs is harmless and non-toxic to your cat. So there is no need to worry about a cat getting ill from ingesting them. Here are some possible reasons why your cat has decided to start eating cobwebs.
Cats Eat Cobwebs To Get Protein
The good news; ingesting cobwebs is harmless to your cat. Cobwebs are made of protein, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. It is a cat’s nature to seek sources of protein.
This is a leftover trait from their hunting days and the main part of their diet. It’s possible your cat has a nutritional deficiency and is trying to remedy that with nutrients found in the cobwebs.
What Are Cobwebs?
Cobwebs are spider webs that have been abandoned by the spider seeking a better spot and have become dusty. A spider’s web is made from silk that contains protein, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.
Cobwebs can be an indicator that there are spiders in your home. Even though the web is abandoned, there could be a freshly made web nearby.
Spiders are beneficial in that they eat mosquitos, flies, and other small insects.
However, if you’re concerned about poisonous spiders posing a threat to your family and pets, there are multiple solutions.
These solutions range from peppermint oil to ultrasonic pest repeller. Research the best options for your household.
To rid your house of cobwebs, a broom, duster, or vacuum should do the trick. Be on the lookout for the spider that could be hiding.
Also, note where you find the most cobwebs, as this could lead to where the spider is.
Cats And Protein
Adult cats require more protein than dogs or even humans. Cats generally need a minimum of 26% of the protein in their diet. Versus a dog that needs 12% or a human with 8%.
A cat’s need for protein increases as it ages. Senior cats (12 years and older) typically need a diet containing nearly 50% protein.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that their bodies are designed to handle a strict meat diet. Domesticated cats have evolved not too far from their wild descendants.
Because of this, cats have to ingest the amino acids they need. Mainly since their bodies can not produce them on their own. Therefore, they depend on their diet for these essential amino acids.
Make sure your cat is getting the appropriate portions of food. Follow up with your vet to review your cat’s diet and food. Especially if kidney disease is a concern, where limited protein can be beneficial.
Again, always discuss any food or diet issues with your vet.
A cat seeking other forms of protein and nutrients could be a sign of nutritional deficiency.
Other signs to look for are missing patches of fur, dry skin, weight loss, and change in behavior. Read through the nutritional contents of your cat’s food.
Make sure that it contains at least the 26% protein recommended for adult cats. Take the time to read the online reviews about your brand of cat food.
Ask your vet for recommendations on what type of food is best for your pet.
Make an appointment with your vet if you suspect that your cat may have a nutritional deficiency. Then you can determine what nutrients your cat needs and any diet or food changes that need to happen.
Cats Could Eat Cobwebs Because Of Pica
What is Pica? Pica is the consumption of non-edible materials. It’s often found in young cats and certain breeds. Items more commonly consumed include fabrics, elastic bands, cardboard, paper, and plastic.
While the cause is unknown, some factors include being weaned too early, dietary deficiency, compulsive disorders, and boredom.
Tearing certain materials is common. However, a cat with Pica will grind its chosen material with its back molars before swallowing.
Pica can begin in cats as early as three months old. Some are likely to grow out of the behavior by one-two years of age. If you have concerns, contact your vet.
In severe cases, if a large amount of material has been consumed, there’s a risk of damaging the digestive tract. This could lead to surgery to retrieve the foreign object from the cat’s body.
Watch your cat’s behavior, and if they seem to exhibit any of these symptoms, contact your vet.
Your Cat Is Hunting A Spider
Cats are natural-born hunters. Even if domesticating them has taken the need to hunt for their dinner away, the instinct remains.
They enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and their bodies release endorphins when they ‘attack’ their prey.
Likely, your cat doesn’t care about the cobwebs and just got tangled in pursuit of a spider.
Cats are powerless when the urge to hunt comes over them. Anything that rapidly moves can trigger your cat into hunt mode. Suddenly, your fluffy orange tabby turns into a mighty lion stalking its prey.
Domesticated cats do this more for entertainment than for survival. These instincts are still hardwired into their brains, making it hard to resist squirrels running around outside.
Plus, it explains why even that pesky laser pointer seems to taunt them.
Can Cats Keep Spiders From My Home?
Cats have been used as pest control for centuries. Cats can keep any small insects away from your home. However, they are much more effective when it comes to rodents.
Having a cat is not necessarily going to keep a spider from entering your home. Since spiders will not see a cat as much as a deterrent as a mouse might.
However, they can catch and chase away insects that try to enter your home.
What If My Cat Eats A Spider?
More good news! If your cat ingests a spider, your cat’s stomach acid can neutralize any venom that resides in the spider. However, keep an eye on them for a few days.
Also, be wary of your cat playing with spiders; in rare cases, a spider could bite the cat. In that case, seek immediate veterinary care.
Your Cat Enjoys Eating Cobwebs
Another possible reason for your cat’s cobweb chewing could be because they simply enjoy it. Your cat is probably having a good time playing with the webs.
However, if you want to discourage this behavior, provide toys and play. Also, be sure to remove cobwebs from your home. If your cat is finding the webs outside, try to supervise their outdoor time.
Why Cats Play
Playing provides your cat with exercise and an outlet to express its hunting instincts. As well as a means to relieve boredom. This is why it is essential to provide your kitty with toys to help facilitate play.
This is especially important for indoor cats. To help them maintain a healthy body weight, keep their muscles toned, and provide mental stimulation.
What Toys Do Cats Like?
Cats like rapid movement, so toys such as balls, fishing rods, and artificial mice will do.
Everyday items around your house, like paper shopping bags, cardboard boxes, and feathers, are fun as well. Each cat is different and enjoys different toys.
Make sure to try out a variety of toys to see which one your cat likes best, from crinkly things to interactive mice.
You do not have to pay top dollar for cat toys either. Many cats will spend hours surveying their kingdom from the safety of an empty box.
Make sure all toys are cat-friendly and do not have small attachments that can break off and be swallowed.
Why do cats eat dust bunnies?
Eating non-edible items, such as dust bunnies, can be related to Pica. It’s a condition fairly common in young cats.
Monitor your cats during playtimes and make sure that they are not trying to consume any foreign objects.
Are spiders attracted to cat litter?
Simply put, no, spiders are not attracted to cat litter. However, if you find one, the spider is most likely looking for bugs that may be in the litter box.
As long as the box is regularly cleaned, this should not be much of an issue.
Why do cats eat grass?
A cat may graze grass to boost their vitamin levels. Grass contains folic acid that can add oxygen to the bloodstream. However, a cat’s stomach does not have the proper enzymes to digest vegetation.
The grass can stimulate the stomach and intestine muscles to move the unwanted grass and other non-digestible matter. This causes the cat to vomit.
Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.