Friday, August 26, 2011

Why don't cats eat slugs?


Why don’t cats eat slugs?

I have a wide selection of these slimy horrors in my garden. They come in two principal colours: the tan and the black, though I do also have the earth colour.

Of these, the tan are the most disgusting… or maybe the black. The tan ones are the colour of the contents of Grandson’s nappy, only slimier, moving and with horns. The black ones are perhaps more evil-looking – (why am I, the owner (servant) of two adorable black cats, saying this?- it can’t be the blackness so it must just be the slugginess) - but they have the advantage of being more visible on paths and therefore less likely to be trodden on by mistake. I mean, I wish someone else would tread on all my slugs (sorry Buddhists) but I’m not keen to do so myself.

But why don’t cats eat them? Cats eat all sorts of disgusting things, such as cat food, which smells revolting. Unfortunately, Cassie and Sirius can easily differentiate between, say, Whiskas sachets, the contents of which are slimy and evil-smelling, and the much more expensive Sheba mini-cartons, the contents of which look and smell much the same to me. I imagine that our furry friends favour them because of the word “Premium”, which is printed on the outside of the Sheba. I knew it was a mistake teaching them to read.

Anyway, surely slugs are made of meat? They look quite nourishing. I know that cats are attracted to moving things, whereas slugs don’t exactly gambol across the grass. But then Sheba doesn’t move very fast either and they’re very attracted to that. And prawns. And Dreamies. Wouldn’t it be great if our cats spent their days prowling in my herbaceous border, hunting down the slugs who munch on my hostas and phlox?

Snails might be a bit crunchy.

Yes, you’re right. I have better things than this to do and am procrastinating. Onward!

9 comments:

Peter CS said...

If you google 'cats eat slugs' you'll find that some cats do eat slugs, and it makes them sick. So I think you need another solution. Thrushes are partial to snails and I imagine slugs taste much the same, so you could try befriending a couple of those? On the other hand, the French and Belgians eat snails, but I never heard of them (or anyone) eating slugs. So maybe they don't taste so good.

Lucy said...

I'm not sure that if we saw cats eating slugs we'd feel quite so fond of them, the cats that is.

I'm also not sure that the black slugs are too destructive, even though they do look more malevolent.

Apparently ducks will eat slugs if you put the slugs in water to get the slime off a bit, it's the slime makes them so difficult to eat, and presumably makes the cats sick if they eat them too.

My hens used to eat snails if I crushed the shells for them, but would never eat slugs.

I remember hearing somewhere that if one was really starving in the wilderness one could, at a pinch, eat slugs, but not if the slugs had been feeding on something poisonous. I don't know how you would know if they had, I suppose you'd have to ask them.

Mac n' Janet said...

One of the terrors of my life is slugs and snails! They scare me to death, don't ask why, I don't know. I put up with snakes, alligators and spiders but snails are too horrible to live with. For some reason we don't have them here, but when we lived where they do I spent a fortune on salt dissolving them.

rachel said...

Cats don't eat slugs because they are highly refined creatures (cats, that is, not slugs) with sophisticated tastes. That's why they will eat smoked salmon, best French butter, clotted cream....

And yes, you do have better things to do. Although if you are bored, google slugs and find out even more revolting things about them. They fight each other, for example, most ferociously......

Fire Bird said...

cats too have better things to do as is clearly demonstrated in the photograph...

Jane said...

Who can blame them? (cats that is) The slime seems to put everything off eating them. - even dogs don't normally eat slugs, and they've been know to eat some pretty disgusting things in my experience! Oh, husband has just told me that foxes eat slugs - but he can't prove it...

Ali Honey said...

I'm pretty sure the problem is birds eat slugs BUT birds don't like cats so just maybe your felines are scaring the flying slug eaters away.

Prepare to be shocked. I used slug bait. I works really well and I don't see dead birds around so will continue to do so. We have so many birds here ...when I am gardening if I find slugs or snails I throw them out on the lawn or path for the birds to have.
Check all hiding/ breeding places like in under rims of water cans under pots etc and hunt them down.

Lynda said...

Our Borders neighbour's hens eat both slugs and snails and, as an added bonus, their daughter loves feeding the beasts to her chickens so much she voluntarily patrols our garden removing all of the slimy offenders she can find. Do you have room for chickens do you think?

Stomper Girl said...

Our cat eats flies! Even ones that have been killed with flyspray. But I can see why they'd draw the line at slugs.