A Cat eating fly is not a sight you see regularly, it is not easy for a cat to catch a fly. So, is it okay for my cat to eat flies?
Like most insects and bugs, flies have erratic movements that spur the hunting instinct of a cat. The cat will try to swat the flies, and if they are successful in knocking down the fly, they will play with them–killing them in the process, just like they do with roaches.
The primary concern about your cats eating insects and bugs is the possible presence of parasites on the bug since they scuttle through rotten foods and fecal matter. This aside, eating a fly or two will likely cause your cat no harm, except if the flies have been poisoned by pesticides.
In this article, we will explore why your cat may want to eat or play with a fly. Also, we will look at any possible dangers of your cat eating a fly, and what you should do afterward.
Table of Contents
- Is It Okay For My Cat To Eat Flies?
- What happens if a cat eats a fly?
- Do flies transmit worms to cats?
- How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Flies
- Final thoughts
Is It Okay For My Cat To Eat Flies?
A Cat eating fly doesn’t happen often, when they chase or knock down these flys it’s usually for the fun of it. If you pay attention to how cats participate in any game where you have to toss their toys in the air, you’ll see why hunting a fly is so much fun for a cat.
It is okay for your cat to eat a fly or two, these flies pose no direct risks to your cat, since they have calcium and protein which is basic for your cat, but they may be parasite-laden–carrying numerous fungi, bacterial, pathogens, and even increasing the risk of parasitic worms gaining access into your cat’s body.
Flies may seem like an insipid choice of food for your cats, but they are fun to chase, catch and eat for your cats. I have witnessed my cat skillfully knock down a bumblebee, he kept flipping and knocking the bumblebee around the place until its carcass was scattered around the place, and my cat ended up not eating the bumblebee.
With this act, I got to understand that; the reason why a cat will decide to hunt a fly is because of the fly’s scuttling, and erratic movements, this makes the cat want to stop the movement, so it could have some peace. This is why they play with most flies they catch, instead of eating them.
What happens if a cat eats a fly?
When a cat decides to hunt down a fly, the usual fatalities are; broken vases or broken house accessories that were not bolted. Your cat may fall sick, vomit, have diarrhea, and even lose coordination if diseases are passed on to them from the flies. Flies carry over 100 human and animal diseases.
Possible insecticide poisoning
The insecticide you or your neighbors used to keep flies away may hang on the fly, if your cat eats a fly, there is a possibility that it can be poisoned by permethrin–which is an active ingredient in most pesticides and insecticides.
Permethrin poisoning is a common occurrence in cats, according to the cat protection society. Ingesting permethrin could lead to a nervous breakdown in your cat. The following are symptoms of permethrin poisoning:
- Loss of co-ordination
- Touch sensitivity
If the above symptoms are noticed, you should visit your vet. However, you should understand that it’s highly unlikely that a fly will get in contact with an insecticide and still live, which means your cat is less likely to come in contact with flies that are poisoned with pesticides. Also, you cat needs to eat a significant number of poisoned flies to get the maximum effect of permethrin.
Diarrhea and vomiting
The pathogens on the fly can cause loosed stools in cats, they could also lead to constant vomiting in your cat. This stomach sensitivity usually resolves on its own, if it persists for more than two-three days, see the vet.
Transition of bacteria and fungi
House flies are known for their prowess in feeding on decaying matter and waste. They swallow the liquid foods and then vomit them on solid foods, this helps to liquidify the solid foods. These habits of the fly make it easy for them to be carriers of pathogens, fungi, and bacteria that lead to sickness in cats.
Chart of Fungi and bacteria that are transmittable from flies to cat
The listed infections can make your cat sick. Always check in with the vet if the cat starts showing severe signs.
Do flies transmit worms to cats?
Flies are one of the easiest sources of worms in cats, once your cat chows down a fly that is infested, the worms will get to the cat’s intestine, feeding off the nutrients from the cat’s food. A cat that is worm-infested will be malnourished and fall Ill more often.
The following worms can be gotten from a fly:
Hookworms are ulcerating worms that can be transmitted from a fly to your cat. They operate by latching on to the linens of your cat’s intestines, with their mouths shaped like hooks, then they sulk the cat’s blood and tissue fluids. When the worms detach from one spot to another spot, they leave ulcers behind.
Symptoms of hookworms include pale gums, anemia, lethargy, weight loss, and a faded coat. This worm can be easily treated by deworming your cat, and you have to repeat the deworming process two weeks after, to kill any larvae that would have hatched.
These worms feed off the tissues fluids and blood of the cat–also called Physaloptera. Just like the hookworm, the main target of this worm is the nutrients in the cat’s body.
These 2 -5 inches worms can live anywhere in the cat’s body, but they are mainly found in the small intestine opening and majorly in the cat’s stomach, they also habit the lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
The symptoms of these pink-colored worms include vomiting, visibility of the worm in the cat’s vomit, and anorexia. Depending on the level of infestation, surgery or Over counter drugs will take care of the worm.
The fly will get roundworms from eating fecal matter, these roundworms are transferred to the cat if they eat the fly. This roundworm grows 4 inches long–they wine and dine in the guts of the cat, sucking up all the nutrients they can, while they lay their eggs.
Bloating, inability to gain weight, and diarrhea are the basic symptoms you’ll see, a more severe symptom includes the blockage of the intestine, which provokes vomiting and constant lethargy in the cat.
How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Flies
We have reiterated that your cat won’t have problems eating one or two flies, but you can never tell the fly that will send him to the vet, this is why you have to make efforts–ensuring the cat doesn’t get to eat flies.
Give the cat some treats
Aside from fluffy’s hunting instinct, hunger may also be behind the drive to chase down a fly. If you notice your cutie going after a fly, you can dole out some treats, this will deter the cat from going after the flies. Which pet will prefer flies over treats?
While the cat is enjoying the treats, get rid of the flies.
Alternate the cat’s focus
Bring out the toys your cat loves most and get him distracted from the flies. When your cat is distracted by the toys, open up the windows and send out the flies. Using insecticide to chase out flies is not a good option–you want to eliminate any risks of fluffy getting poisoned by insecticides.
We have come to the end of the exploration of the topic: “is it okay for my cat to eat flies”, these are your pointers-Ensuring your environment doesn’t have anything that attracts flies. It is better to chase off the flies than using insecticide, since you may be risking poisoning your cat.