Can cats eat flies: Everything you need to know

Can cats eat flies: Everything you need to know

Can cats eat flies? Yes, they can!

For a cat to be able to eat the fly in its food bowl it must first catch the fly. Once a feline catches the insect, it will spit out the wings and use its tongue to swallow the bug.

Cats are known for eating flies because of their small size and high protein content.

Flies are part of the animal kingdom as they belong to the insect group. They can be found in various places, such as trees, shrubs, and bushes.

Although they look disgusting and creepy, they don’t pose a threat to your cat.

What are the nutritional benefits of cats eating flies?

Cats consume flies mostly because they are natural hunters that are intuitively evolved to chase everything that moves.

Felines pursue flies for a variety of reasons, one of which is that bugs are the ideal entertainment for cats.

Swatting flies is a challenging task. Even though your feline pal is an extremely adaptable creature, catching a single fly may take hours. However, the cat likes it that way.

Some of the health benefits that come with eating flies are:  

  • Are an excellent source of proteins.

Flies are a great source of protein for cats because they are high in essential amino acids and minerals.

  • Provide calcium

Calcium is good for bone and teeth formation in cats.

  • Flies are a good source magnesium

Magnesium helps in the secretion of hormones.

  • Iron

It’s important to note that cats cannot digest carbohydrates very well. Although it’s not the best option, eating flies is a great way to supplement their diet.

Nutritional benefitImportance to cat body
Proteins– Build muscle
Magnesium– Helps in proper enzymes function
– Helps in hormone secretion.
– Building of teeth and bones.
Calcium– Bone growth and health
-Teeth formation
– Blood clotting
– Muscle formation.
– Nervous system function
Iron– Make DNA
Taurine – Normal vision (especially at night)
– Maintains a healthy immune system.
– Helps in heart muscle function.
A table on nutritional benefits of cats eating flies

What happens when cats eat flies?

Cats are carnivores and so they need to eat meat. Flies are usually the only insect that cats eat because they are easy to catch and provide a lot of protein.

However, there is a downside to this diet.

Some cats will not be able to digest the fly’s exoskeleton which can cause them gastrointestinal problems. Think stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Can cats eat flies and do they enjoy eating flies?

Cats have a natural instinct to kill and eat small insects. Flies are just another bug that they are able to catch and consume.

Cats enjoy hunting flies. It’s more the thrill of chasing down and catching a bug than the thrill of indulging in one.

However, it is important to understand that cats can overindulge in the consumption of flies if not fed properly and monitored.

Why do cats keep eating flies?

You’re probably wondering, why does my cat keep eating flies?

Felines are opportunistic hunters and if there is easy prey available to hunt then they will do it.

Cats can catch flies when they fly close to their mouths. This can happen while cats are eating or hunting around a trash can for scraps of food.

Some cats eat flies for protein content.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to get their protein from meat. Flies are a great source of protein for cats because they have a high protein content.

Some cats eat flies because they like their taste. As gross as it may sound to humans, flies are often sweet and tasty to cats.

Cats have a high metabolism, so they need more food than dogs to keep their energy levels up. This is why they eat everything from birds to mice and even insects like flies.

Why do cats keep eating flies?

Cats also need taurine in their diet. This amino acid helps them see in the dark and is important for heart function.

Flies can provide this taurine, as well as other nutrients that cats need.

Cats are natural hunters and they instinctively know how to hunt for prey. They have excellent vision, hearing, and smell which makes it easier for them to hunt down their prey.

Cats also have a special digestive system that allows them to digest a variety of food items that other animals cannot digest as easily.

What are the dangers of cats eating flies?

Cats are naturally curious creatures and they love to play. But the fact remains that cats shouldn’t eat flies or other insects.

If your cat has a habit of eating flies, it could lead to serious health problems for your pet.

Here are some of the dangers your furball is exposed to when eating flies:-

  • Pesticides (bug spray)

Most of us deal with houseflies using bug spray. However, some of these pesticides are lethal to cats.

It’s important to note that even though the pesticide on the fly is a few days old, it can still be toxic.

You can read more on insecticide toxicity in cats here.

  • Flies are bacteria carriers (harmful/pathogen transmissions)

Let’s not forget that flies love to feed on feces and decaying matter. While the bugs go about enjoying their feast, they tend to pick up some dangerous pathogens.

Now, imagine if by bad luck your fur baby happens to eat a contaminated one. Most likely your poor baby will get infected.

  • Diarrhea and vomiting ( eating excessive flies).

Can cats get sick after eating flies?

Yes, cats can get ill from consuming flies. A study from the University of New South Wales found that when cats eat flies, it can lead to anemia in some cases.

Houseflies are common in homes and can carry a variety of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.

Cats have a natural instinct to hunt and eat flies, which makes them susceptible to getting sick from doing so.

Here are some of the things your cat may pick after eating a fly:

Bacterial poisoning

House flies can easily pick up some bacteria from their surroundings and transmit the pathogens to your cat.


  • In cases of diarrhea, make sure to keep your cat hydrated.
  • Consult a vet to get some antibiotics for the infections.
  • Maintain high levels of hygiene and aim for a fly-free home.


According to the MSD Vet Manual, this is also called fly strike or maggot infestation. Happens when a cat eats infected fly eggs or when a fly lays eggs on a cat’s wounds.

Pseudomiasis occurs when a cat feeds on maggots.

Cats with long matted coats are high candidates for myiasis. This is because the long fur will most likely have some excrement which then creates a perfect breeding ground.


  • Treat any open wound on your cat. Consult your vet on this.
  • Trim any fur around the wound.
  • Aim to have a fly-free home to deal with transmission.
  • Routinely groom your cat especially if your fluffball has a long coat that gets matted easily.


Allergies in cats occur when the feline’s immune system overreacts to something from the flies. It then ends up trying to remove the foreign bodies (allergens) and cause an allergic reaction.

Here is a table summarising sickness and symptoms of illnesses from flies:

(Maggot infestation)
– Lesions in ears, nose, anus & private parts, eyes, and neglected wounds.
– Maggots in the lesions.
Bacterial poisoning – Diarrhea
– Eye infections
Allergy– Rapid swelling in parts of the body.
– Difficulties in breathing.

Can cats get parasites from eating flies?

Cats can get parasites from eating flies.

Fly species that have been linked to the transmission of potentially harmful worms include tapeworms and Physaloptera.

Certain fly species can also transfer viruses to cats while they are crawling and feeding.

Can cats get worms after eating flies?

Can cats get worms after eating flies?
Photo by Egor Kamelev on

Fly species have been linked to the transmission of potentially harmful worms, including tapeworms and Physaloptera.

In addition to the diseases mentioned above, certain flies can also transfer viruses to your cat.

fly hunting can be a potential complication for younger cats and kittens that don’t have fully developed immune or digestive systems.

Some of the worms cats can get from flies include:-

  • Tapeworm
  • Hookworm
  • Stomach worm
  • Roundworm
Tapeworm– Seizures
– Unpredictable appetite
– A shaggy coat
– Skinniness
– Mild diarrhea
Hookworm– Diarrhea
– Constipation
– Coughing
– Lesions in between the toes and on the bottom of paws.
Stomach worm– Coughing
– Diarrhea
– Bloody or mucousy stool
– Loss of appetite.
Roundworm– Dull coat
– Stunted growth in kittens
– Visible worms in feces and vomit.
– Coughing
A table on worms cats get after eating flies and their symptoms

Cat worm treatment after eating flies

The best way to deal with worms is by deworming your cat.

It is, however, best to consult your vet to get the best dewormer for your cat.

Do flies lay eggs on cats / cat food?

Flies lay eggs on cats, which can lead to the transmission of worms.

Fly species that lay eggs on cats include houseflies and biters.

Maggots born from fly eggs quickly invade and infect nearby tissue, leading to possible illness for cats.

Are fly eggs harmful to cats?

Fly eggs are not harmful on their own.

However, they can be poisonous to cats if ingested.

Fly eggs may be the source of disease in cats, including worms, viruses, and other illnesses.

Can cats get maggots from eating flies?

Can cats get maggots from eating flies?
Photo by Snapwire on

Cats can get maggots from eating flies.

Maggots are the larvae of adult houseflies, and sick and immunocompromised cats are at the greatest risk.

Worms are some of the common pathogens that your cat can get exposed to after eating flies.

Maggots occur when a fly lays its eggs on your cat’s open wound or irritated skin.

However, the cat can still get a maggot infection, known as myiasis, from eating maggots.

Should I worry when my cat eats flies? / Cat is eating a lot of flies.

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.

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.

Cat eating contaminated flies

Eating fly eggs is not a major health concern for cats.

However, there are risks associated with eating contaminated flies. This is including attracting other insects and diseases.

If the cat eats more of the insects than it should, it can become ill from fly contamination.

If the fly is contaminated with a harmful pesticide or insecticide, it can transmit active pathogens to your cat.

How to keep flies away from your cat.

  • Use mesh on windows.
  • Install screen doors and windows – Screen doors and windows allow light and air to come in while keeping out flies and other bugs.
  • Pet safe insecticides.

If you must spray your house or yard, go for pet-friendly pesticides and insecticides.

  • Don’t leave food outside – This is another measure towards keeping flies away from your home.
  • 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 up after your pets and properly dispose of their trash and excrement in your yard and house. (Proper waste disposal (poop/garbage).
  • Use fly traps and citronella candles

How you can prevent your cat from eating flies.

Understandably, you’d want to try your best to stop your fluffball from feasting on houseflies.

Here are some awesome tips to help you with that:-

  • Eradicate flies.
  • Provide play toys. You can also consider getting your cat a fly-looking toy.
  • Redirect attention.
  • Provide enough food.
  • Most importantly, ensure you have regular vaccination and de-worming programs for your furry friend.

How does my cat benefit from playing with flies?

Surprising as it may sound, sometimes your cat may benefit from playing with flies.

Here are some of the benefits:-

  • Playing with flies helps cats release pent-up energies.
  • Playing with flies prevents the insects from settling on surfaces to lay their eggs, and it prevents them from contaminating your food (in the case of houseflies).
  • Hunting has other important functions in cats, such as skill development and health.

Fun Fact: Female cats play with their prey more than males.

The reason behind this is believed to be the maternal instinct that cats have to care for their kittens.

Despite some of these benefits, the cons still outweigh the pros. It is still best to try and create a fly-free environment for your cat.

Are house flies harmful to cats?

Houseflies deposit eggs in the diseased skin wounds of animals.

In elderly cats, bite wounds are frequently the source of infection.

Flies are attracted to matted hair coats that have been polluted with excrement.

Maggots are born from eggs placed in contaminated hair coats and spread quickly to any infected lesion.

Infections caused by flies may cause your cat to become ill, since your cat may contract worms as a result of ingesting them

Can cats kill flies?

Yes, cats can kill flies.

Felines are natural hunters and it should not come as a surprise that they can easily kill houseflies if they want to.

Why do cats try to catch flies?

You’re probably wondering, why do cats catch flies and eat them after playing?

Well, anything that moves makes them curious.

When they are kittens, they think it’s a playful activity and poke all sorts of insects around them.

They even pounce quickly and ensure that they use their claws to push these insects to death and consume them eventually.

In addition to trying to obtain food, hunting has other important functions in cats including skill development, health, and providing entertainment.

Cats try to catch flies because they are instinctually programmed to do so.

Felines will also prolong their hunt in order to make sure they are not in danger before attacking.

Should you let your cat eat dead flies?

There are circumstances when the fly is able to cause the cat harm after ingestion.

It is possible there are potent bacteria and microbes which can cause harm to the cat’s organism after ingestion.

Parasites can also be present in the fly which then infest the cat’s gastrointestinal system.

Whether or not we see our cat eating flies, we need to be observant of any symptoms of digestive problems.

These include vomiting and diarrhea, as well as noticing the presence of eggs in their stool.

If you think your cat has any pathology due to eating flies, speak to your veterinarian immediately.

Deworming and vaccinating your cat is also vital to prevent diseases that may occur due to eating flies. Follow vaccine and deworming schedules closely.

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