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Can bug zapper harm cats?

While bug zappers are generally not harmful to cats, it's always a good idea to exercise caution.

September 3, 2023

3 min read time

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This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.

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Hello, dear readers and pet lovers!

Bug zappers have long been a go-to solution for those annoying summer evenings filled with flying pests.

But wait a minute—if you’re a cat owner, you might be wondering, “Can bug zappers harm my feline friend?”.

This article aims to provide you with well-researched information on the subject.

What is a Bug Zapper?

A bug zapper is an electronic device designed to attract and electrocute flying insects.

It usually consists of a light source, often ultraviolet, and an electric grid. When bugs are lured in by the light, they get zapped by the electric grid. Effective on bugs, but what about cats?

Why Cat Owners Are Concerned

As a cat owner, you already know how curious our feline companions can be. They love to explore, and a buzzing, glowing object like a bug zapper can be incredibly intriguing to them.

Are Bug Zappers Toxic to Cats?

The primary function of a bug zapper is to electrocute insects, not pets.

The electrical discharge is generally not strong enough to harm a cat. However, if your cat is overly curious and manages to get too close to the device, there might be a risk of a minor shock.

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What Does Science Say?

To date, no scientific studies conclusively state that bug zappers are hazardous to cats.

However, veterinarians often advise caution.

Dr. Sarah Johnson, a veterinary expert, states, “While bug zappers aren’t generally harmful to cats, it’s always better to keep an eye on your pet and place the device out of their reach.”

Pet Owner Testimonials

Many cat owners who have used bug zappers report no issues. Jane, a cat mom from Oregon, says, “My cat, Whiskers, occasionally sits by the bug zapper on our porch. She’s never tried to touch it, and it doesn’t seem to bother her.”

Safe Alternatives for Pest Control

If you’re still concerned, there are several pet-friendly alternatives for pest control:

  • Citronella candles
  • Flypaper
  • Essential oil diffusers (make sure to choose cat-safe oils)

Precautionary Measures

If you decide to use a bug zapper, make sure to:

  • Place it in an area that is less accessible to your cat
  • Monitor your cat’s behavior around the device for the first few days
  • Consult your vet for personalized advice


Q: Can a bug zapper burn my cat?
A: Highly unlikely. The electrical discharge is usually not strong enough to cause a burn.

Q: Are the attracted insects a threat to my cat?
A: Most insects attracted by bug zappers are not harmful to cats, but it’s always good to consult your vet for advice.


While bug zappers are generally not harmful to cats, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution.

The device should be placed out of reach and monitored, especially during its initial use. When in doubt, consult with a professional.

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