Why Is My Cat Rubbing His Face In Ants?

This morning my cat started to rub his face in a bunch of ants and then he was eating some. Why Is My Cat Rubbing His Face In Ants?

They were crawling all over him. Then he started to roll over them and rub his body all over them. After he was done and just laid there in the ant pile relaxing. Why was he doing this?



Ants have a strong zesty taste to them which cats love. Just like cat nip, the cat’s senses go off when they smell and taste these ants. Not only do cats like the taste of ants, they also like to roll around in them to get the ant smell on them. The taste of some ants are very similar to the minty taste of cat nip. Cats also like the movement of ants running around, it’s entertainment for them. Cats enjoy stalking their prey (insects) then pouncing.

It is not certain if ants are safe for cats to eat. If the ants are in your cat’s food bowl, get a bigger pan that your cat’s food bowl could fit into. After putting the food bowl in side the bigger pan, then pour about an inch of water into the bigger pan so the ants crawl up and fall into the water and drown.

The other night, I found some ants crawling around. I crushed a few of them, and they gave off a strong smell, like licorace. Is that formic acid? Just then, my cat came along and went crazy over the ants, started licking them up from the table and rolling in them. He even tried to nibble my fingers, it was even stronger than his reaction to catnip. Has anyone heard of this?



This paper “Dietary fats and body lipid composition in relation to hibernation in free-ranging echidnas” by Falkenstein et al. has, I think, solved an old puzzle for me. Years ago I noticed that our housecats were very excited and pleased by the scent of crushed meat ants (Iridomyrmex) on my boots. I assumed that there was something in the ants’ bodies that “turned on” cats, and I actually did some experiments with formic acid, without success. I found the Falkenstein paper recently, which mentions the abundance of oleic acid in meat ant bodies.

I also found out very recently that oleic acid is one of the important constituents of the pheromone that cats wipe on objects with their chins. It is possible to buy a synthetic mixture of fatty acids – including mostly oleic acid – which can be sprayed around a home to comfort cats and improve their behaviour in various ways. So – I now surmise that what my cats were reacting to so delightedly was the oleic acid released by the crushed meat ants.​



 

Related Articles:



Carolyn’s Natural Organic Handmade Soap

Essential Oils User’s Guide

We Now Live In A World With Customized Bar Soaps, Lotions And Shampoos

Why Interior Designers And Home Stagers Prefer Bar Soap Over Liquid

Parabens: A Cancer-Causing And DNA-Damaging Preservative Used In The Food And Cosmetic Industries

Our Facebook Page

 

Your Questions And Comments Are Greatly Appreciated.

Carolyn A.


Testimonials

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Lara Smith

I really like this soap. Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift!

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.

Tina A.

Customer

Great price a a nice mild scent. I do not care for overly scented products and this was fine.
This would make a great gift! I really like this soap.