Are sugar ants harmful to cats [Expert Explains]

Sam McGilin

Sam McGilin

Hey there, I’m Sam McGilin, the person behind Pallentor. I have worked in the pest control industry for over 15 years. On this site, I share my knowledge so you can enjoy a pest-free home.

Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours helping homeowners deal with a wide variety of pest-related issues.

During this time, I’ve come across an interesting question quite a few times – are sugar ants harmful to cats?

As a long-time professional in the pest control industry, I believe it’s a question that merits thorough exploration.

Are Sugar Ants Harmful to Cats?

Sugar ants are not harmful to cats. Unlike some other insects, sugar ants are not venomous, and their bites are usually too small to cause any real harm. In the rare instances that a sugar ant does bite a cat, it might cause minor irritation but nothing that would necessitate an emergency vet visit.

What if your cat eats a Sugar Ant?

The immediate impact of a cat consuming a sugar ant is minimal to non-existent. Cats have relatively strong digestive systems that are capable of handling the occasional insect.

Most cats won’t show any signs of discomfort or illness after eating sugar ants. If they do, it’s often due to them overindulging or the cat having a sensitive stomach, which might result in minor digestive upset. However, such cases are few and far between, and any discomfort is typically short-lived.

How to prevent cats from eating Sugar Ants?

As a pest control professional, my first piece of advice would always be prevention. If you can prevent a sugar ant infestation, you won’t have to worry about your cat eating these tiny invaders. Regularly clean your home, especially the kitchen and dining areas, where food residues can attract ants. Also, ensure that your cat’s food and water bowls are clean, and don’t leave uneaten cat food lying around for too long.

Training tips to prevent cats from eating Sugar Ants

Training your cat to avoid eating insects might be a bit more challenging due to their natural hunting instincts. However, it is not impossible. Redirecting their attention when they are focused on an ant or rewarding them for leaving the ant alone could help. Using a strong verbal command like “Leave it!” can also discourage your cat from interacting with the ants. Over time, with patience and consistency, your cat may learn to ignore the ants.

To keep your cat’s hunting instincts satisfied without resorting to real insects, consider interactive toys. There’s a wide variety of cat toys available that mimic the movement and behavior of small prey.

Laser toys, feather wands, or small motorized toys can keep your cat engaged and entertained. Another option is to provide plenty of climbing and hiding opportunities, like cat trees or boxes, to enrich their environment and fulfill their instinctual needs.

Remember, the best way to protect your cat from potential harm caused by sugar ants is to prevent the ants from invading your home in the first place.

But if they do find their way in, training your cat and providing alternative forms of entertainment can help keep both your cat and the ants safe.


To revisit the initial question – are sugar ants harmful to cats – we’ve delved into various aspects of this subject. From my years of experience in pest control, it’s evident that sugar ants pose little direct harm to cats.

Also, we have considered the impact of cats eating sugar ants, noting that the occasional consumption is unlikely to cause significant harm, either immediate or long-term. However, frequent ingestion could lead to issues, and we should always strive to prevent this behavior.

The key takeaway here is to manage any sugar ant issues responsibly and promptly, keeping the health and well-being of your pets as your top priority.