As we all know, cats like to chase just about anything that moves, and they are definitely fans of flies. So, what if your cat ate a fly? Will they get sick?
If your cat ate a fly then she is probably going to be fine, as this is something that cats just like to do. They enjoy showing off their amazing agility it’s rewarding –, they get a little snack! Unless the fly has gotten into pesticide or is infected with microbes, then nothing is likely to come of it where your cat’s health is concerned.
In today’s article we’ll explore this in a little more detail, so that you know about the scenarios where your cat might get sick from ingesting a fly and what you can do about it if you think your cat is unwell. Let’s take a look at cats and their insect-eating ways!
Table of Contents
Can cats get sick from eating flies?
In most cases, no, your cat is not going to get sick. Cats are predators and flies are great practice, so you’re going to see your cat showing off their skills and catching them from time to time. Now, while MOST of the time your cat is going to be fine, there IS a small possibility and we’ll go into that a little.
First off, if the fly has gotten into some pesticide, then this could give your cat some gastrointestinal distress, likely with some vomiting or even diarrhea. Thankfully, this usually will just last for a day, but if it lasts longer then it is time to go to the vet.
If you see your cat producing excess saliva or they seem to have breathing problems, however, then the pesticide could be a bit more serious and you should get your cat in right away.
Gastrointestinal parasites, such as Isopora are another possibility, so watch your cat for 24 hours to make sure that they seem to be okay. As far as stopping your cat from eating flies, standard flypaper can work if it’s only the occasional one getting in (otherwise they can be a bit unattractive as a solution).
Can my cat get maggots from eating flies?
No, your cat cannot get maggots from eating flies, although there is a condition called Myiasis that comes from flies laying eggs in a deep scratch or another wound. As maggots are the larval form of the fly, rather than the adult, your cat won’t get them simply by eating a fly.
Now, if your cat gets Myiasis from a fly laying eggs in a wound and then grooms themselves, there is a condition called ‘false strike’ where ingested maggots make it through the cat’s digestive system alive and unscathed, but while this looks gross it’s no cause for alarm.
Sometimes cats do this from simply eating maggot infested meat as well – the hardy maggots just seem pretty good at survival, but it’s necessarily a reason to panic. If you see maggots coming through in your cat’s stool then just get them into the vet and they can determine if it is a ‘false strike’.
Why do cats eat insects?
For cats, insects are simply tiny toys that also serve as the occasional easy snack. While they don’t provide a lot of vitamin content, they are full of protein and fiber, and with their quick movements the cat has a good time earning their snack.
While this can be a problem with bees or wasps, with insects like mosquitos and flies it’s actually fun to watch if the actual moment of capture doesn’t gross you out.
As far as those bees or wasps, the first time that your kitty gets stung a paste of baking soda and water can help you can expect a little swelling from the sting. Unless your cat has an allergy to bees or wasps, however, once they’ve gotten stung they will generally keep clear of them after that.
Should I take my cat to a vet if they ate a fly?
No, you shouldn’t have to take your cat into the vet after they eat a fly, unless they start displayed particular symptoms within the next 24 hours. Looks for symptoms of digestive issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. If you see anything like this, then it’s definitely time for your vet to take a look.
You can also look to make sure that you aren’t seeing any abnormal stools, as this is where parasitic infestations are going to show the most (or if your cat is having trouble going to the bathroom in the first place).
With flies, the odds are that it’s going to be okay, however, as cats are pretty good at tracking their movements, swatting out at them, and gobbling them right up.
A little flypaper or a ‘bug zapper’ with a trap in it to catch the fallen flies can help to keep your cat from eating them, but otherwise you’re kind of limited in your options – you’ll just have to get used to your cat catching those flies from time to time. It’s just one of those things that cats like to do.
In summary: Your cat should be fine, but keep an eye on them
Cats simply can’t help themselves when a fly is around. Those fast moving insects are simply too entertaining, but we hope that we’ve helped to ease your worries a little just in case your kitty has eaten a fly.
The odds are pretty good that nothing will come of it, but keep an eye on your cat for the next 24 hours if you are worried. As long as you don’t see changes in their potty schedules, suspicious stools, or signs of gastrointestinal distress then it’s likely going to be fine.
If you see salivation, however, then that fly might well have gotten into some pesticide, and that’s a different story. In such a case, get your kitty to the vet immediately so that this may be quickly ruled out or treated if the vets feels that it is warranted.
Just don’t panic overmuch – cats do this all the time whether we’re looking or not!