Seeing a bunch of lightning bugs – aka fireflies – flying round in a transparent night time sky is a cool sight
However these little glow bugs pack fairly the poisonous punch. So, in the event you’re questioning; are lightning bugs toxic to cats?
The reply is – Sure, they’re.
Lightning bugs possess a chemical that may be very poisonous when ingested. Small lizards and comparable measurement animals can die from consuming only one firefly, so it’s extremely essential that your cat doesn’t eat lightning bugs.
They’re attention-grabbing little bugs. If you wish to extra about them, the dangers they current to cats, canine, and different animals, and what to do in case your cat eats one – please learn on.
What Are Lightning Bugs and The place Are They Situated?
Lightning bugs, additionally known as fireflies are a soft-bodied beetle (Ladybugs are also part of the beetle family) that will get their names as a result of they glow at night time.
They do that as a result of they’ve a chemical compound known as lucibufagins of their decrease stomach. Lucibufagins would possibly make them look cool by glowing at night time, nevertheless it’s truly a defensive steroid that glows to warn predators that they’re poisonous.
Fireflies reside in tropical climates and are normally discovered flying round moist wooded areas and marshlands. Within the U.S the states with probably the most fireflies are Pennsylvania, Florida, and South Carolina.
There are some 2,000+ species, they usually can differ in measurement and look fairly a bit. There’s no mistaking the glow they emit at night time although. In some elements of the world, they’re merely known as “Glow worms”, or “Glow bugs”.
In case you come throughout them you don’t must be involved about being harmed. They don’t assault people or pets. Their defensive mechanisms are designed to warn off predators and do hurt to something that tries to eat them.
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Can Cats Eat Lightning Bugs?
There’s good and unhealthy information. The unhealthy information is that lightning bugs are literally very poisonous to cats. In addition to canine, different small animals, bugs, and any dwelling factor that thinks it’s a good suggestion to eat them.
The excellent news is that it’s very troublesome for a cat to catch and eat a firefly, so it’s not possible they’ll eat one. Even when you have them within the space the place your cat roams and hunts.
It’s lizards and birds that prey on these little bugs probably the most. They remorse doing so shortly after as firefly toxicosis is deadly to small reptiles, animals, and birds as I’ll clarify in additional element beneath.
It’s troublesome to regulate what your cat chases and eats whereas outdoors roaming. However, fireflies are so poisonous it’s value doing every thing you possibly can to make sure your cat’s publicity to them is minimal.
What Occurs If a Cat Eats a Firefly?
Investigating this matter I discovered a few accounts from cat homeowners saying their cats tried to eat a firefly however rapidly spat it out once they tasted it. I additionally spoke to a good friend that mentioned the identical factor.
Apparently, fireflies additionally style and odor foul (I’m not going to search out out first hand). It is a good deterrent in case your cat does handle to catch one.
Plus, one firefly shouldn’t be sufficient to trigger critical hurt to a cat or be deadly. Though, one is poisonous sufficient to trigger some gastrointestinal and motor points. The toxin truly impacts how an animal strikes and thinks by disabling an enzyme that transports ions throughout cell membranes.
Fireflies actually do pose a critical poisonous menace to any animal that eats them.
Though we’re lucky sufficient to not know a lot about what occurs when a cat eats a firefly, we do know what occurs when a lizard eats one.
Bearded dragons discover them exhausting to withstand and are a lot better at catching them. In the event that they eat a lightning bug, they begin shaking inside 15-20 minutes as firefly toxicosis units in. They may retch and vomit because the horrible style registers they usually develop into conscious of the unwell results – and may be lifeless inside 2 hours.
It’s that quick.
In Abstract – Are Lightning Bugs Toxic to Cats?
Lightning bugs, fireflies, glow bugs or no matter you name them the place you reside are toxic little bugs.
The chemical compound that creates the glow of their decrease stomach known as lucibufagins. This compound is poisonous, and when ingested is highly effective sufficient to kill a small lizard inside a few hours.
Happily, there aren’t many identified instances of cats consuming fireflies as they’re exhausting to catch. However it’s definitely value retaining in thoughts how poisonous they’re when you have any small pets which may come throughout them.
What’s your expertise with lightning bugs? Has this data come as a shock to you? Did you understand how poisonous these little critters had been?