If your cat eats a fly but it is only an occasional thing, there is nothing to worry about. Pursuing flies is natural cat behavior and a good form of exercise to sharpen your feline’s eye-paw coordination and for brain stimulation. However, if she is doing it habitually then you should take measures to prevent it by keeping your home fly-free as continuously eating flies could lead to health issues like gastrointestinal infection.
My cat ate a fly: Should I worry?
Cats are natural predators and it is their instinct to hunt for prey just like their ancestors and domesticated cats do not lose that ability. Take your pet cat for instance. She will pursue any moving things she can lay her eyes on including small creatures such as ants and spiders. Your feline will also happily pursue flying critters as well, including flies, grasshoppers, and even bees. While some cats would present their “prize” to their pet parents, most felines will eat their prey, especially if it’s a small fly or bug.
If your cat eats flies but rarely, then there’s nothing to worry about. Catching flies is actually a good form of exercise for felines to sharpen their eye-claw coordination as well as to stimulate their curious brains. However, if your pet cat does it regularly then you should take measures to stop it. This is because some cats have sensitive stomachs and eating a fairly great number of flies may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Eating flies as part of her daily snacks may also lead to disease and life-threatening health conditions.
What happens if your cat ate a fly?
Here are the most probable risks of your cat habitually eating flies:
- flies carry bacteria and other microbes that could endanger your cat’s health
- flies may have come in contact with poisonous insecticides and there’s a risk it may be transferred to the cat
- eating flies may result in gastrointestinal parasites like Isospora that may lead to gastrointestinal bacterial infections
- your cat may also be susceptible to fly bites especially if your cat goes outdoors and flies like the botfly may lay eggs on her skin which turn to maggots and may cause to skin infections
Should your cat have a minor stomach upset due to her habit of eating flies and experience diarrhea and vomiting, it should subside and go away after a day. However, if the symptoms persist longer than that, then you should consult the vet right away because your cat may have contracted a gastrointestinal bacterial infection.
Also, be observant if your cat is manifesting signs like dripping saliva from the mouth, has trouble breathing, or has lost her body coordination. These are signs that she may be poisoned as the flies that she ingested may have come in contact with insecticides. Bring your pet cat to the veterinarian at once for immediate treatment.
How to keep flies away from your cat?
As long as your cat sees flies fluttering and buzzing around there’s a great possibility that she’ll keep pursuing and eating them. The best solution? get rid of the flies!
Here are some fool-proof ways to keep flies away from your cat and your home in general:
- fly-proof your home by placing screens on windows and doors and by installing roof vents
- practice good housekeeping practices to keep flies away such as cleaning and disposing garbage properly and making sure that trash bins are covered well
- clean and dispose of pet feces and waste in your yard and home premises properly
- use fly traps and citronella candles to ward off flies
How to prevent your cat from eating flies?
Aside from keeping your home and premises clean and fly-free, here are other tips to divert your cat’s attention from flies.
- redirect your cat’s interest on safer things to chew on by giving her toys that she can pursue to release her predator tendencies like feather toys
- schedule interactive playtime with your pet cat so she doesn’t get bored at all
- install a cat perch, catio, or cat shelves that she can explore so she’ll remain active and forget about going after flies
What insects are considered toxic to cats?
While flies are not considered toxic to cats, your inquisitive feline may also take a liking for other insects that fly, crawl, or skitter around. Here are some types of insects that could pose great risks for your cat should she try to eat them.
This type of insect releases self-defense toxins that could harm animals and small lizards have been known to die because of the said toxins. An ingested firefly could cause drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats. Bring your pet cat to the vet right away if this happens for immediate treatment.
Common house spiders are harmless for cats but there are poisonous spiders to watch out for like the Black Widow, Hobo Spider, and the Brown Recluse. These types contain venom that causes paralysis, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle tremors if your cat was bitten while pursuing the spider. Bring her to the vet at once so she’ll be treated right away.
This type of moth has black and orange stripes in the abdomen and considered poisonous when ingested by cats.
Small centipedes that are commonly found in homes are harmless for cats but larger ones may be dangerous because these insects have venoms. It could result in fever and weakness should your cat be bitten by these crawlers during the pursuit.
These insects may be dangerous for cats as they carry harmful parasites which could affect cats if ingested and may lead to worm infestation.
Fleas may cause itchiness and anemia among cats and may also cause tapeworms if ingested.
Bees may cause an allergic reaction that could lead to anaphylaxis should your cat eat and ingest it. Be sure to consult your vet on the proper medicine to give to your cat.
Your cat’s predator instinct manifests itself at any given time by pursuing rodents, smaller animals, or even flies. Some cats may eat flies at certain times while some others may habitually snack on them. There’s nothing to worry about if your cat eats an occasional fly but if she’s regularly doing it then you should do something to curb the habit by keeping your home fly-free to safeguard your cat’s health and well-being.