Will a stink bug make a cat sick

Stink bugs are unpopular visitors in most homes, and if you have started to see them around, you might be feeling a little nervous on behalf of your pets.

In particular, cats are keen hunters and will chase and eat insects – so will a stink bug make a cat sick? Let’s find out whether they are dangerous, or if they are safe!

Stink bugs should not be dangerous to your cat really, even if it eats them.

It is thought that the smelly liquid that stink bugs secrete could irritate the digestive tract if the cat eats it in great quantities, but on the whole, this is unlikely to happen. However, if it does, you should take your cat straight to a vet.

We are going to look at:

  • Whether cats commonly eat stink bugs
  • What risks stink bugs pose
  • What to do if you have stink bugs in your home
  • When you should contact a vet

Do Cats Eat Stink Bugs?

We all know that cats are keen predators, and they will chase, hunt, and eat almost anything that moves (provided it is smaller than them!). You may notice your cat eats insects, or you might have a feline that totally ignores them.

Not all cats hunt stink bugs, but many do. The bugs are large enough to attract their attention and fast enough to pose a challenge in terms of chasing.

You might find that your cat just attacks insects, or you may find that they eat the ones they capture, too.

If that’s the case, you are probably wondering whether you should be concerned about the insects and whether they could hurt your cat.

Fortunately, most stink bugs will not appeal to your cat in terms of food, even if they see them as prey. Stink bugs smell awful and taste bad too, so you will probably find that even if your cat kills them, it does not eat them.

Some cats, however, will eat them, so if you’re concerned, read on.

Do Stink Bugs Bite?

Some stink bugs are capable of biting hard enough to pierce human flesh, but on the whole, most stink bugs do not bite. They also do not sting.

It is extremely unlikely that a stink bug will bite, even if your cat finds a stink bug that is capable of biting it. A cornered stink bug may try to, but usually, a cat will kill it before this happens.

Cats are so large, they often damage insects, even when they are playing with them. The chances of a stink bug managing to bite your cat are very low.

If a stink bug does manage to bite your cat somehow, you should clean the area and discuss the problem with your vet for professional advice.

However, stink bugs are not venomous and this is unlikely to be an issue in most cases. Often, you will simply need to disinfect the bite and keep an eye on it.

Do Stink Bugs Secrete Poison?

No, stink bugs are not poisonous, and they should not be able to hurt your cat, even if it eats them or eats the liquid that they secrete. They do not have any ability to poison anything, which includes cats, dogs, children, etc.

However, you should not encourage your cat to eat stink bugs, and if your cat makes a habit of eating stink bugs, it may suffer from some irritation as a result.

In general, stink bugs in your home will be hibernating and not keen to upset your pets, but if your cat finds one, it might decide to hunt it.

If you have a lot of stink bugs in your home, you should look at getting some pest control in to deal with the issue.

What Will Happen If My Cat Eats A Lot Of Stink Bugs?

If a cat manages to find and consume lots of stink bugs, which could happen if you have an infestation, the bugs’ stinky liquid may cause some irritation to your pet’s insides.

A stink bug might give your cat an upset stomach, but it could also lead to more pronounced symptoms, such as drooling or even vomiting.

If you inspect the inside of your cat’s mouth, you might see redness or swell on the lips, inside the cheek, and on the gums, and tongue. In general, this will not happen if your cat just eats one stink bug, but if you are concerned, take a look.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, you should contact your vet and discuss it promptly. It may need to be checked over, and possibly given fluids if it is vomiting a lot. Cats are prone to dehydration, so don’t ignore this.

Are There Any Long Term Health Issues Associated With Stink Bugs?

In general, no. It is not thought that stink bugs cause any long-term effects, even if a cat eats enough to irritate its stomach or cause vomiting.

You should discuss any concerns with your vet, as they will know your individual cat’s history and any issues that might occur, but it is not thought that stink bugs cause problems for more than the short term.

What Should I Do If I Have Stink Bugs In My Home?

If you have stink bugs in your home, the best thing to do is get professionals in to remove them.

You may be able to relocate one or two by yourself, without needing to call someone in, but if you have a lot, it’s a good idea to get pest controllers in.

If you are going to try and move stink bugs yourself, you should use a glass and a piece of stiff cardboard. Carefully nudge the bug onto the cardboard and transport it outside, a good distance away from your home.

This will stop your cat from hunting them, at least inside the house. Do not kill or alarm stink bugs if at all avoidable, because they will smell absolutely disgusting – as the name suggests.

Even if the bug does not register your presence before you kill it, it will still smell terrible afterward.

Relocating stink bugs is the safest way to remove them from your home and keep them away from curious kitties, but if you have too many to handle, get a company to deal with the issue.

What If I Have Used Insecticides?

You may have sprayed parts of your home with insecticides, and if this is the case, you should be extra careful with your cat.

Insecticides are very dangerous to cats, and if your kitty ingests one of the stink bugs that has come into contact with insecticides, it could make your cat extremely ill.

It is best not to use insecticides in a home with pets or young children. Try natural methods or the manual relocation option, rather than risk your cat eating something poisonous.

Even if you think your cat cannot access the room with the insecticide, an affected and dying insect could crawl elsewhere, and might then attract your cat’s attention. It is better not to take this risk, even though it is relatively minor.


Stink bugs are not a big threat to your cat, but if your cat likes chasing and eating insects, you should be careful. In very extreme cases, they could upset your cat’s digestive system enough to need vet intervention.

Don’t let your cat chase stink bugs, and if it catches one, make sure you remove it instead of letting your cat eat it.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Will a Stink Bug Make a Dog Sick?

Can Fire Ants Kill Your Pets?

15 Long Lived Insects That Make Great Pets

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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