are ladybugs poisonous to cats

However, ladybugs can be harmful to cats if they are consumed in large quantities. Ladybugs contain a chemical called cantharidin, which is toxic when ingested in high amounts. Cantharidin can cause oral irritation, drooling, and vomiting, and in severe cases, it can cause kidney failure.

Different Types of Ladybugs, Different Signs

There are approximately 5,000 different types of ladybugs worldwide. With spots on each elytra—the hardened forewing covering the ladybug’s flight wings—the nine-spotted ladybug is the most well-known. The portion of the forewing that is visible has the ladybug-associated spotted pattern.

Although common ladybugs in your garden should be safe as long as your cat only eats one or two, there is limited information available regarding certain species of ladybugs being consumed by pets. Furthermore, Asian ladybeetles, a distinct and more hostile variety of beetle, are frequently mistaken for ladybugs. If you discover an Asian lady beetle in your home, you should investigate for a possible infestation.

They’re also relatively aggressive and known to bite. Even though the bites usually only hurt, your cat is at risk because they can’t take the same care of the wound as you can.

are ladybugs poisonous to cats

Ladybug poisoning in pets is exceptionally rare. Ladybugs naturally taste terrible. Therefore, pets typically don’t eat more than once in their lifetime. Nonetheless, there have been isolated reports of dogs becoming toxic due to consuming ladybugs. Although there isn’t any information available for cats, we can search for the most typical symptoms in dogs since, in the event that it happens, there probably will be some overlap.

  • Drooling
  • Drowsiness
  • unable to urinate (stool impaction may happen because cats may not be able to break down the tough forewing shells of ladybugs).
  • Vomiting
  • Behavioral changes

If you’re concerned that your cat may have consumed a lot of ladybugs, contact their veterinarian. Few case studies exist regarding the adverse effects in cats, so your veterinarian might want to have your cat observed to make sure no unintentional side effects occur that could have long-term effects.

are ladybugs poisonous to cats

Does the Ladybug’s Color Tell You Anything?

An article published on Healthline looked at the role of toxicology of different ladybug species and tested the theory as to whether the more colorful ladybugs were more poisonous. The results were similar to what one might expect to get in an introductory biology course.

Brown ladybugs are usually larch ladybugs. They are the least toxic species of ladybug and rely on camouflage to ward off predators. Due to their tendency to have the highest concentration of toxins in the body, orange-tinted ladybugs—which are frequently mistaken for Asian lady beetles—will aggravate allergies in people the most. The strongest allergic reactions are caused by red-spotted black ladybugs because they contain one of the strongest toxins.

What Are Asian Lady Beetles?

The harmonia axyridis, commonly called the Asian lady beetle, resembles a ladybug in appearance but is a little bit bigger. Regular ladybugs are bright red, but Asian lady beetles can occasionally be orange or red in color. Because of this, it can be very challenging to tell the difference between the timid ladybug and the aggressive Asian lady beetle.


What happens if a pet eats a ladybug?

Some case reports have found the lymph (fluid) the bugs secrete when a dog crushes the ladybugs in its mouth can cause damage that may be similar to a chemical burn. They can also have a burning effect on the gastrointestinal tract.

Are bugs poisonous to cats?

Insects with rigid exoskeletons (beetles and grasshoppers, for example) are considered non-toxic to cats, but could cause stomach upset if the cat overindulges in too many of these insects at a time. Some spiders are also harmless, but certain spiders are very harmful for your cat.

Are ladybugs poisonous if eaten?

No, ladybugs are not poisonous! They don’t draw blood or carry any type of disease, either. The only time ladybugs are poisonous is if you eat them. However, if you’re allergic to ladybugs, a skin welt may form. Additionally, a ladybug’s fecal matter is a known allergy exasperater.

Do ladybugs harm anything?

Ladybugs won’t damage your home or harm your pets. They don’t eat wood and they are not disease carriers. They can bite you — what Dr. Forschler says would feel like a pinprick — but ladybugs are much better known and appreciated for the way they devour insect pests in the garden.