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19.04.2022

Do cats eat frogs, or is the idea toadally gross?

Cats can’t resist the instinct to chase after, catch, and devour anything that moves and makes a noise in the garden.

Even indoor cats will happily sit at the window watching bird TV for hours. Those that venture outside will regularly hone their stalking and capturing skills by snaring whatever is slow enough to be caught.

Cats’ eating habits may not be to our taste, but their diet is the result of generations of evolution as predators. Prey is their natural food, however gross or inhumane that may seem to us.

Do cats eat frogs, though? Read on to find out whether the pond life in your garden could end up on the menu during your feline’s next hunting trip and whether there is any risk involved.

“Just jump. I dare you!”

Source: Pixabay

What do cats eat in the wild? Are frogs on their menu?

Cats have evolved as consummate predators, meaning that their nutritional needs can only be satisfied with meat.

In the wild, cats will hunt and kill prey up to 20 times a day, and their victims include frogs and various other small animals, such as:

None of these offers great calorific value, hence the frequency with which cats have to go on the prowl.

All of them offer the basic nutrients cats need to survive, as follows:

  1. Animal protein
  2. Animal fat
  3. Almost no carbs
  4. Vitamins and minerals

Animal protein

The most important ingredient in a cat’s nutrition is animal protein.

Cats need the amino acids—like taurine—that make protein up to build:

  • Muscles that support speed and agility
  • Healthy skin and a strong protective coat
  • Well-functioning organs

Plant protein is no substitute for meat as cats aren’t able to metabolise the amino acids to suit their requirements. There is no such thing as a vegan cat in the wild.

Any creature that offers a good and catchable source of animal protein is fair game for a cat to hunt.

Animal fat

As well as representing an excellent secondary source of energy for cats, animal fat also delivers essential fatty acids, such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Evolution has also made sure that cats love the taste of animal fat—commercial cat food recognises this with products enriched with cat gravy or jelly. This natural love of animal fat ensures cats are driven to hunt prey that offers the right nutrition.

Almost no carbs

Cats and carbs aren’t a good combination.

Cats get their energy from protein and fat, so carbs are superfluous as a calorie source. They can even be detrimental to a cat’s long-term health as unused carbohydrates are stored as fatty cells for later use.

Felines also struggle to deal with the sugar released as a result of eating carbs. A flood of blood sugar puts strain on the pancreas to produce enough insulin to keep the sugar in check, and the result—particularly in senior cats—can be:

For these reasons, cats don’t eat carbs in the wild. 

The closest they get is to munch on grass or plants occasionally to give themselves a folic acid boost or some roughage to aid digestion.

Vitamins and minerals

Needing vitamins A, B complex, D, and E, as well as a broad spectrum of minerals, cats have to eat frogs and other animals to cover their requirements.

The best sources of vitamins for cats are:

  • Vitamin A—liver and fish
  • Vitamin B complexmeat and liver
  • Vitamin D—fish oil, kidney, and liver
  • Vitamin E—liver and wheat germ oil

These sources, as well as lean muscle meat, also contain ample amounts of a wide range of minerals.

When they catch prey, cats will usually eat every part of whatever they have caught, including viscera, offal, and even the stomach contents. This ensures that they extract every bit of nutrition possible from their prey and cover their vitamin and mineral needs adequately.

“So do I have to kiss it, or what?”

Source: Pixabay

Do frogs make toadally good food for cats?

Frogs are nutritionally fine for cats, delivering a healthy dose of animal protein, some animal fat, and minimal carbs.

Compared to what cats need, the figures for frog meat are:

Nutrient type

Percentage in frog meat

Ideal percentage for cats

Animal protein

22%

Over 50%

Fat

5%

Up to 20%

Carbs/fibre

3%

Maximum 3%

While not delivering much fat, the level of protein in frog meat makes it an acceptable snack.

The real value of cats eating frogs may be in the range of vitamins and minerals frogs offer, including healthy doses of:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B complex

As important as their nutritional value to cats is their benefit as a training tool.

Cats are often fascinated by movement in potential prey, and a frog’s seemingly random jumping provides felines with excellent practice to hone their hunting skills.

Wild cats may often use frogs as advanced teaching aids to help their kittens learn predatory skills after they have been weaned.

The ability to catch frogs in mid-flight is a crucial skill for kittens to catch more nutritious prey, such as birds, in later life.

Completely oblivious to any danger…

Source: Pixabay

“Help! My cat ate a frog!”—UK frog health risks to cats

There are no poisonous frogs that are indigenous to the UK, so it is unlikely that your cat will suffer a toxic reaction if one is eaten.

The greatest risks involved in cats eating frogs are:

  1. Allergic reactions
  2. Digestive problems

Allergic reactions

Cats will occasionally mistake certain proteins for harmful invaders and mount an immune response.

Such food allergies cannot be treated or negated, and the symptoms of a food allergy are:

  • Patches of itchy red pustules on the skin—If you notice your cat shedding more than normal, obsessively grooming a certain area, or producing more hairballs than normal, you should examine your cat for signs of an allergic reaction. Food allergies will usually die down if you remove the allergen from your feline’s diet
  • Nausea or vomiting—If your cat begins throwing up, this can be a sign that something ingested has triggered an allergic response. You should monitor your kitty carefully and pay a visit to the vet if the symptoms persist

Digestive problems

Eating a frog may result in felines getting a bout of diarrhoea, particularly if they are normally sensitive.

Most tummy upsets sort themselves out within a day, but if your cat suffers diarrhoea for longer than 24 hours, you should check with your vet to make sure nothing more serious is amiss.

Frogs can carry Salmonella, which can lead to serious digestive issues in cats. The symptoms of salmonellosis, besides vomiting and diarrhoea, can be:

  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Behavioural changes, such as an unwillingness to engage with you

Salmonella can breed prolifically in the water frogs inhabit and may be present in the slime on a frog’s back.

If you suspect your cat may be suffering as a result of eating a frog, a quick trip to the vet should put your mind at rest.

Can you stop your cat from eating frogs?

Short of keeping your cat indoors all the time, you may struggle to stop your cat from following natural hunting instincts and chasing frogs.

The best you can do is to make sure the diet you feed your cat is as nutritious as possible. This can, at least, reduce a cat’s urge to hunt to satisfy a nutritional need.

What is the perfect diet for cats?

Whatever type of cat food you choose—wet, semi-moist, dry, raw, or homemade—there are some basics to which you should adhere to guarantee your cat gets the right balance of nutrients.

Ideal feline nutrition should follow nature’s guidelines and deliver the animal protein, fat, and micronutrients cats have evolved to thrive on. The food you choose should contain:

  1. A high percentage of meat
  2. An acceptable amount of fat
  3. No carbs, grains, or other fillers

High percentage of meat

The best cat foods have meat as the first ingredient on the label.

Meat quality for cats is measured by the biological value (BV), which plots the percentage at which cats can metabolise the amino acids in the protein. The BVs for the most common protein sources in cat food are:

Protein type

BV

Animal protein:

88%–98%

Vegetable protein:

45%–68%

If your chosen cat food has a protein source with a BV of 90% or more as its first ingredient, you should be on safe ground.

An acceptable amount of fat

The more animal fat the food contains, the more your cat will love the taste.

You should beware of products that list flavour-enhancers on the label as these have no nutritional value for cats.

No carbs, grains, or other fillers

Cat food manufacturers often use fillers to enhance the volume of their food at a low cost.

The best cat food avoids cereals and other plants. Products that list vegetable matter among their ingredients are best avoided.

Untamed cat food gives your kitty the best of the best

Untamed is the best way to go to keep your cat healthy and happy!

With twice the amount of animal protein from real meat compared to other cat foods in every tin of Untamed, you can be sure that your feline will get everything needed for an energetic life of fun.

Untamed is suitable for every life stage, including:

Developed by vets, each Untamed recipe—whether you choose Chocka Chicken, Tuck-In Tuna, or Full-On Fishy—is free from known allergens and can even help alleviate:

Untamed is also committed to ethical manufacturing and logistics, meaning that we:

  • Use only cruelty-free meat and dolphin-safe fish 
  • Ensure our packaging is 100% recyclable
  • Maintain full carbon neutrality throughout our supply chain

The best thing about Untamed is that cats love the taste—even the fussiest cat or one that normally avoids wet food should find Untamed irresistible.

Maybe the frogs in your garden deserve a break—try Untamed and keep your kitty happy and your frogs safe!

Untamed makes the frog hunt superfluous.

Image (c) Untamed

No need to hunt for Untamed—we will hop to your door!

Getting Untamed cat food delivered to you is as easy as one, two, three—here’s what you need to do:

  1. Give us a few facts about your cat
  2. Select the recipes for your feline
  3. Order a trial pack

Once your trial pack arrives, your Untamed journey can begin—our affordable monthly cat food subscription will make sure you don’t run out of your kitty’s new favourite tailor-made food.

The results should be noticeable in no time—happy Untamed cat parents tell us how good the Untamed effect is:

Timeline

What Untamed can achieve

Within a week

You should notice your cat becoming more lively with less mess in the litter tray

After two months

You may pick up that feline is more playful and full of energy

Within four months

Your cat’s coat should start to shine, and you should notice fewer hairballs

For life

Your feline should remain sleek, active, and contented, even in later years

Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat:

Sausage

Ice cream

Moths

Liver

Peppermint oil

Cake

Beans

Mayo

Baby food

Broccoli

Almond milk

Sugar

Cucumber

Sweet potato

Honey

Peanuts

Porridge

Coconut

Raw chicken

Eggs

Bananas

Nuts

Blueberries

Crisps

Rice

Peanut butter

Pasta

Bones

Garlic

Potatoes

Carrots

Vegetables

Raspberries

Pineapple

Onions

Oranges

Chicken

Pork

Raw meat

Apples

Soy milk

Mushrooms

Pumpkin

Slugs

Turkey

Mango

Birds

Peas

Chocolate

Cheese

Bacon

Grapes

Bread

Lactose-free milk

Adult cat food

Sweetcorn

Avocado

Tomatoes

Strawberries

Catnip

Ham

Popcorn

Olive oil