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.
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!”
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:
- Animal protein
- Animal fat
- Almost no carbs
- Vitamins and minerals
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.
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:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Chronic diabetes
For these reasons, cats don’t eat carbs in the wild.
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 complex—meat 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?”
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:
Percentage in frog meat
Ideal percentage for cats
Up to 20%
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:
- 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.
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…
“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:
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
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:
- 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?
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:
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:
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:
- Kittens to promote healthy growth and development
- Adults to promote wellbeing, keep weight under control, and encourage an active life
- Seniors to maintain mobility, combat weight loss, and encourage a healthy appetite, even after gum disease or tooth loss
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis or bladder stones
- Bowel disorders, including irritable bowel disease (IBS) and constipation
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
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:
- Give us a few facts about your cat
- Select the recipes for your feline
- Order a trial pack
The results should be noticeable in no time—happy Untamed cat parents tell us how good the Untamed effect is:
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
Your feline should remain sleek, active, and contented, even in later years
Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat: