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Home > Cats > Will Cats Keep Roaches Away? Facts & FAQ

Will Cats Keep Roaches Away? Facts & FAQ

The cockroach's dead by a cat

Occasionally, a persistent cat may help keep roaches away. As predators, many felines will “hunt” roaches and when done enough, this may prevent some infestations or help curb existing infestations.

However, this is based on many assumptions. Some cats have higher hunting instincts than others. Many cats may attack one or two roaches, only to quickly get bored. There is no guarantee that a particular cat will keep roaches at bay.

Plus, roaches are very secretive. While cats are known to slink around in the dark, they don’t always go to the places where the roaches are. Roaches can fit underneath appliances and inside walls, for instance—far away from your cat.

Cats may help curb some infestations and play a small role in keeping roaches away. However, they are not as effective as other pest control and cannot replace them.


Can Cats Detect Roaches?

Cats can likely smell roaches to some extent. After all, cats have a strong sense of smell compared to people and they can likely smell roaches and the waste they leave behind. If your feline starts acting strange in an area of your home, then it could be that they are detecting an infestation that you cannot yet see.

However, just because a cat can detect an infestation doesn’t mean it will do anything about it. Not all cats have significant hunting instincts, as we discussed above. Many cat breeds have been bred to decrease their hunting instinct, which makes them more suitable as solely companion animals.

Also, cats cannot always access these places to reach the roaches—even if they want to.

Cockroach dies after being played by a cat
Image By: Dani Daniar, Shutterstock

Does Cat Poop Attract Roaches?

Luckily for all cat lovers out there, roaches don’t seem to be particularly interested in cat feces. Usually, they are not drawn to a litter box so you don’t have to worry about your cat attracting roaches (though you should still keep their box clean).

Roaches will consume cat feces if there is no other food available. Usually, in our homes, there is plenty of food available and they won’t have to turn to the litter box as a food source.

With that said, a litter box will attract roaches once you already have a sizable infestation.

What Animals Keep Roaches Away?

Roaches do have natural predators. These predators prey on roaches in the wild and help keep their numbers low. Sadly, none of these natural predators are domesticated and there is no common pet that can roam around your house and eat roaches.

Cats are often thought to keep roaches away, but a single cat won’t be able to handle an infestation. Plus, not all cats are interested in roaches, even if they do see them.

Natural predators include animals like mice, amphibians, beetles, spiders, and other insects. You probably don’t want any of these animals wandering around in your house, however.

What Kills Roaches but Is Safe for Cats?

Most pest-control options out there are toxic to most animals, including cats. Because cats are so curious and agile, they can often get into any pest-control substances we leave out. Therefore, it’s vital to choose an option that is safe for felines.

Of course, this can be extremely difficult, but there are a few options that are safe and effective.

Borax and Diatomaceous Earth are both effective and safe. However, they need to get onto the roaches to be effective so you’ll need to apply them regularly. For this reason, they are often not as effective as other options and require more work.

Image By: PublicDomainPictures, pixabay



Cats may hunt and terrorize roaches but they aren’t likely to make a huge dent in an infestation or keep roaches away alone.

Not all cats are interested in hunting. While all cats do have some level of hunting instincts, some have more powerful instincts than others. Many modern cat breeds were bred without considering their hunting instincts, so they may not be as playful as other cats.

Furthermore, roaches are sneaky. They tend to shy away from traffic areas and can easily fit in places cats cannot. For these reasons, cats are not considered effective pest control.

Featured Image Credit: Amonrat Joysampao, Shutterstock

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