Can Cats Eat Flies? What You Need to Know!
No doubt you have seen your cat eat some questionable bugs at one time or another. Domestic furry felines are even known to hunt down flies and eat them. We know that flies are pretty gross, so if you’re like most cat owners, you probably wonder whether cats should be eating flies at all. Technically, cats can eat flies. However, that doesn’t mean that they should do so regularly. Read on to learn what you should know about cats eating flies.
Why Do Cats Eat Flies?
A cat might eat a fly for a few different reasons. First, your cat will likely do it for sport. Cats have an innate yearning to hunt, which is what their ancestors did to survive. Since domestic cats are fed by their owners, they do not need to hunt nowadays. So, they sometimes use their hunting skills for fun and entertainment. You have probably found a dead mouse or bird on your front porch a time or two.
Some cats will chase a fly around, stalking it from afar for several minutes before going in for the kill. However, their efforts are often halfhearted because they are just having fun, so the fly ends up getting away. Other cats don’t mess around and snatch flies up as soon as they are spotted. Other cats watch flies with intensity but without bothering to get up and chase the bugs.
Another reason a cat might eat a fly is that they lack a vitamin or mineral, and they are trying to get the nutrition they need by hunting down whatever they can, including tiny flies. If you feed your cat high-quality commercial food according to the package directions and take your pet to the vet regularly, the reason for your cat eating a fly is likely not due to a lack of nutrition.
What Harm Can Flies Cause Cats?
While the occasional fly as a snack will likely not harm your cat, there are some dangers to know about if your cat spends time around a lot of flies in a barn or somewhere else. Because houseflies can carry more than 100 diseases, they can infect your cat after being consumed. Some of the diseases that a fly can transmit to a cat include:
- Typhoid fever
Flies can also harbor parasites, such as pinworms and hookworms. However, your cat would have to eat quite a few flies before it would be likely that health problems develop. Be aware of the risks so that you can keep an eye out for signs of health problems if you can’t get your cat to stop eating flies. Those signs and symptoms include:
- Throat swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your furry family member quickly seen by a veterinarian. If your regular vet is not open, find an emergency clinic to visit. The sooner your cat is screened for disease, the greater the chance that treatments will be successful.
What Should Be Done if Your Cat Keeps Eating Flies?
Let’s face it. We humans cannot control our cats. We can beg, negotiate, and demand, but our cats will do whatever they want!. So, don’t expect to be able to stop your cat from trying to hunt down any flies that they see. However, if you think your cat is hunting too many flies during the day, you can take steps to keep the flies out of their reach. Keep your cat inside more often where flies are not likely to roam.
If you live on a property with farm animals, put some fly traps around the exterior of your house. You can also screen your porch, so your cat has a place to lounge in the sun without the temptation of flies buzzing around. Make sure that there are plenty of interactive toys available around the house to help to keep your kitty entertained, so they’ll be less likely to hunt flies.
Some Final Thoughts
Nobody wants flies lurking around, so when one gets in your house and your cat wants to hunt it down, there is no reason to stop the hunt. However, it is important to remember that flies carry diseases that can be transferred to a cat when ingested. So, keep an eye on your furry friend and make sure that they do not start to show any signs of illness.
See also: How to Keep Flies Away From Cat Food (5 Tips and Tricks)
Featured Image Credit: SamuelStone , Pixabay