You just saw your cat chasing, catching and eating flies, right?
Got curious? The same things happen to me when I saw my cats were trying to catch and eat flies in the backyard and even in the house.
Then I decided to find out the reason behind it and glade I got the right answer.
So, can cats eat flies?
In short, yes, cats can eat flies, and most of the time, they are safe. But, it could be problematic if they reject to eat their food and chasing flies frequently.
Flies often carry insecticides and infection, which can get transmitted to your felines when they ingest them raw, which can cause mild health complications such as vomiting, indigestion issue, stomach pain and bloating.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the topic and try to identify why cats eat flies? Are flies safe? And how you can prevent them from eating it?
Can Cats Eat Flies?
Yes, they can.
It might look gross, but they are high in protein, making it a good snack option for them, but that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you feed flies.
In the wild, cats often eat small mammals and insects, and their stomach has the ability to digest various types of creatures including flies and bugs.
But some cats may have a more sensitive digestive system than others, and eating flies may cause mild stomach upset, leading to loss of appetites, vomiting, or even diarrhea.
Therefore, if your feline companion is eating flies occasionally, you don’t have to worry as it won’t be causing any harm.
What Happens When A Cat Eats Flies?
In general, cats do not face any health complications after eating flies, but if they have ingested something toxic, then your cat should experience stomach upset, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are the common symptoms.
But it doesn’t last long and should go away within few days, but in some cases, it persists longer than that. In that case, you should talk to your vet immediately.
So, what are the potential risks if a cat habitually eating flies?
- If your cat is frequently eating flies, he/she more likely to get gastrointestinal parasites leading to gastrointestinal bacterial infections.
- Skin infection is common for outdoor cats due to fly bites, and some often lay eggs on their skin which turns into worm and maggots, causing irritation.
- To prevent flies from our house, we often use pesticide and insecticides. Flies get contact with these, and when your feline friend ingests them, it gets transfer into their body, which could be highly dangerous.
- Flies often carry bacteria and other harmful parasites. When your cat eats them, it causes stomach infection resulting; vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and could cause danger to your cat’s health.
Besides, the bite and sting of flies and bugs can also lead to skin allergy, which can be dangerous for your feline friend.
And some of the common found allergic symptoms are swelling, itching, redness, lethargy, breathing issue and collapse in some cases.
Thus, if your cat experiences any of the above symptoms, immediately call your vet to start the treatment as soon as possible.
Can Cats Get Sick From Eating Flies?
Usually, felines kill and eat their prey in the wild (particularly if it’s small such as rat, birds, rabbit, fly or bug), and most of them are harmless.
Sometimes they ingest insects and bugs that are toxic and can cause gastric and other health-related issues.
But cats are wise enough to choose insects that aren’t toxic or harmful to them. For example, cockroach, lizard, grasshoppers, flies, and even bees are considered safe.
So, there is no need to worry if your furball is catching or chasing a fly as they are harmless.
What About Pesticides?
If you have a cat or any other pet in your house, avoid pesticides!
This could be dangerous; if your home is pesticides to remove and prevent flies and bugs, you are endangering your cats too.
Are Flies OK For Cats To Eat?
Well, it depends!
Cats are obligate carnivores and usually eat small insects, mammals, and bugs in the wild. Their digestive system is strong enough to digest almost everything they eat unless it’s poisonous.
But indoor cats far differ from the wild ones, they have a more sensitive digestive system, but if your feline has ingested a small fly or bug, it shouldn’t be problematic.
And cats only opt for insects and bugs that are not toxic for them. So, the chances of ingesting something poisonous is relatively low but still keep an eye on your feline companion.
Are Flies Toxic To Cats?
Not all but yes, some flies are toxic to cats, but only outdoor cat eats a lot of flies and other kinds of bugs roaming around them.
But indoor cats get proper food and hardly get a chance to play and eat flies. Usually, most flies are pure protein with little fat and nothing unhealthy at all except the exoskeleton ones.
But some insects and bugs like bees, wasp, fire ants, scorpions, poisonous spiders and cockroaches are relatively toxic. They can lead to gastrointestinal parasites causing vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, mucous, anemia and dehydration.
So, if you have an indoor cat chasing and playing with flies on the balcony, just sit back and let them play unless it’s the toxic ones.
Why Do Cats Love To Eat Flies?
You may not know, but cat loves to eat flies and bugs that’s why they don’t leave their prey even after being scolded.
Cats are a wild animal, and it’s in their ancestral root to chase, hunt and kill their prey.
It doesn’t matter whether the cat is indoor or outdoor; the hunting instinct of cats make them do this.
And flies and bugs are easy prey for your feline friend; they mostly contain protein which a cat needs to survive.
So, cats are meat-eater, and in nature, they do hunt small fly and bugs to fulfill their daily meat requirement, but indoor cats do it out of curiosity.
How Do You Prevent Your Cats From Eating Flies?
Cats are curious natural predator, and if they see flies buzzing and fluttering around them, they will try to grab and eat them.
With little DIY and tricks, you can easily prevent your cats from eating flies. Here are some tips.
Keep food for your cat – After feeding your cat properly, keep food in a bowl aside for them to eat whenever they feel hungry, this may not prevent their natural hunting behavior, but your cat might not eat them frequently as their stomach is already filled.
Keep your cat busy – Keeping your cat busy is probably the best way you can prevent your cat from eating flies and other bugs.
There are plenty of ways do to that, for example, plant cat grass, purchase toys, create a secret hiding place for your feline companions.
By doing this, you can redirect their interest in chasing and hunting flies and other small animals.
Play with your cat – interactive scheduling playtime with your furball is highly effective. It will make your cat busy, and they won’t get bored or have enough time to chase flies.
Use fly traps, citronella and pesticides – by installing fly traps, you can keep your house clean, but I do not recommend using pesticides.
Install and seal screen doors and windows – install placing screen on windows and doors to prevent them from entering your house. This might cost you a bit, but affordable to keep your feline friend safe and healthy.
Cats do eat flies, and there is nothing to worry about it. Cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive system is pretty much designed to handle these kinds of food.
In the wild, cats eat them more frequently to fulfill their nutritional requirement, but domestic cats get them from their meal.
But still, some cats may chase and kill and eat flies, birds, insects and other small creatures out of curiosity.
So, don’t worry if your cat munches them occasionally, but if they are getting addicted, you should curb the habit of eating flies and bugs.