Tag: cicadas

Of Claw Sheaths And Sky Raisins

First I’d like to thank everyone who chimed in to reassure me that little Buddy lost his claw sheath, not his entire claw.

I’d never seen such a complete piece of claw come off like that, which is what got me worried. Buddy has the best readers who not only tell him he’s a handsome cat, but look out for his safety too!

The little dude appears just fine and there’s no indication of any injury on his paws.

Which brings us to our next subject: The sudden glut of “sky raisins” for pets living within the cicada “Brood X” territory.

Billions of the large, winged insects have emerged from the ground in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware and parts of Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and northern Georgia. The current brood, dubbed Brood X, is near the end of its 17-year life cycle, and the cicada’s songs are at their most deafening this summer.

Screenshot 2021-06-15 at 05-34-19 Active Periodical Cicada Broods of the United States - CicadaBroodStaticMap pdf
Source: US Forest Service.

As cats and dogs are wont to do, they go after the larger-than-usual insects, and for them, a successful swat out of the air means a tasty treat.

That has lots of people wondering: Is eating cicadas harmful to my pet?

The answer is no, according to veterinarians who spoke to the New York Times, NPR and other press outlets in recent days.

There’s no truth to the rumors that a fungal toxin which affects cicadas can do any harm to cats and dogs, veterinarians say, and at worst, your pet might throw up the exoskeletons if they’ve snacked on a few of the relatively large insects.

“Most pets who ingest a few cicadas will only develop mild stomach upset,” Tina Wismer, a veterinarian with the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, told the Times.

That said, veterinarians also caution that you shouldn’t let your furry friend gorge on “nature’s snacks.” One or even a few won’t cause any harm, but making an entire meal of them could make your little buddy sick.

Speaking of meals, lest we judge our four-legged pals for their nasty eating habits, it’s worth nothing that plenty of our own species eat cicadas too. Yuck.

Deepfried_cicada
Source: Wikimedia Commons