Can Cats Eat Hay? What You Should Know

Cats can eat hay, however it is not recommended for them. While it is nourishing for other animals, it is not at all nutritious for cats. It is not only unhealthy for cats, but it can also be difficult for them to digest. As a result, feeding such will just upset your stomach. If you have any hay to spare, you should feed it to grass-eating pets rather than carnivores like cats.

Hay does not contain any harmful substances that could damage cats. As a result, allowing your feline pet to eat some won’t endanger its life.

Giving them more than a few pieces, on the other hand, can be harmful to their stomach. It will also be a question of whether or not your pet will consume some.

Why Do Cats Eat Hay?

Can Cats Eat Hay? What You Should Know

Researchers haven’t figured out why cats consume hay, much like they can’t figure out why they eat grass.

This is due to the fact that hay does not include any nutrients that are consistently advantageous to cats; nonetheless, cats have been observed eating it after their meals on a daily basis.

Is Hay Considered Toxic Towards Cats?

Despite the fact that hay has been known to upset cats’ stomachs and induce vomiting, it is not considered harmful to cats.

That isn’t to say that overfeeding your cat hay won’t hurt your cat.

Because hay has little nutritional value for your cat, the more it is fed or substituted for his or her regular diet, the more harm it does.

Hay has no nutritional benefit other than fiber, which can make a cat sick if consumed in excess. This means that you must monitor how much hay your cat consumes at all times.

My Cat Always Throws Up After Eating Hay, Is Something Wrong?

No, there is nothing wrong with your cat if they vomit after eating hay; in fact, this is extremely common.

Greens and other forms of vegetation are difficult for cats to digest, so they frequently puke up the majority of what they eat.

This applies to all cats, not just those kept indoors.

Cats may build a stronger tolerance to the food, similar to other substances or new foods offered to them, but hay will still induce an upset stomach in the majority of cases.

This is said to be the reason why hay appeals to so many cats, as cats have been known to consume hay after meals on a frequent basis.

Cats are frequently seen vomiting their meals, leading experts and veterinarians to assume that cats eat hay and grass to cleanse their stomachs.

A cat may do this for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the food they recently ate has gone bad, the cat ate too much and can’t digest it correctly, the cat is feeling unsettled, or the cat has to puke the food up to break it down more.

Hay Has Lots Of Fibre

If you’ve ever had or been around small mammals, you’re undoubtedly already aware that they poop a lot.

Gary, our chinchilla, feces so frequently that we have to clean his cage on a regular basis, or else his cage would be nothing but poop.

Because of the quantity of fiber they consume, little mammals poop far more regularly than our larger furry colleagues (contained in the hay).

Cats may link hay with the treatment of constipation or even hairballs due to the amount of fibre contained in the hay.

This is why, as a natural cure, hay and cat grass are commonly given to cats suffering from regular hairballs.

Although this is true, I would recommend feeding your cat pumpkin rather than hay.

The major reason I prefer pumpkin to hay is that pumpkin lessens the likelihood of your cat vomiting. Pumpkin also has a better nutritional profile than hay, making it a clear winner over hay.

Is There Ever Anything To Worry About When It Comes To Hay?

Can Cats Eat Hay? What You Should Know

In general, you should constantly keep a tight check on your cat to ensure that they are eating the hay properly.

There is a choking concern while feeding your hay because of how long the strands can be and how dry and brittle they can be.

Because your cat will not be able to split hay into smaller pieces by chewing it, you may want to break bits of hay into smaller pieces.

Cats may try to rip the hay into smaller pieces with their paws, but more often than not, they simply consume it whole and hope for the best.

If your cat chokes on a piece of hay, call your veterinarian right away. A veterinarian or veterinary technician can walk you through the steps of securely removing hay from your cat’s mouth.

If you plan to feed your cat hay, it is imperative that you supply them with clean drinking water at all times.

This will ensure that everything goes down smoothly, especially if your cat develops a scratchy throat from swallowing a huge piece of hay.

If your cat vomits after eating hay, keep an eye on him or her for at least an hour.

If your cat’s vomiting continues or does not stop, you should take him to the veterinarian right once.

Regrettably, vomiting, like diarrhea, can cause dehydration. While dehydration may appear innocuous on the surface, it can lead to lethargy or death depending on the severity of the condition.

In cases of dehydration, it is critical to contact a veterinarian since a cat will almost always require IV fluids to rehydrate, as syringes of water will not be enough unless injected directly into the skin.

While the IV fluids are being administered, your cat will be examined by a veterinarian to check if there are any additional signs of illness or toxicity.

How To Discourage Your Cat From Eating Hay

If you have a really mischievous cat, like we have, I strongly advise you to take efforts to prevent your cat from wandering around your small mammal’s cage collecting hay.

The terrible aspect about hay eating is that as owners, we are often unaware of how much hay our cats consume, especially if we are not actively providing the hay.

Because there is a tiny mammal around when you’re trying to get your cat to stop eating hay, you’ll want to avoid making loud noises.

Because many small mammals have incredibly sensitive hearing, loud noises can be extremely distressing.

Another option is to make a “sss” sound to scare away the troublesome cat, though you should first verify if this bothers your little mammal because the sound is similar to that of a snake.

Because of the nature of this habit, a spray bottle may be recommended, albeit it is not always necessary.

The main reason you’d want to use a spray bottle is so that the surrounding small creature isn’t startled, though it’s important to note that being sprayed by a water bottle is a rather severe punishment for a cat.

Other supplies, such as double-sided tape, are available.

Place the double-sided tape around the cage in spots where your cat’s paws will catch it. The double-sided tape will not damage your cat, but it certainly make it uncomfortable.

The cat will eventually associate this place with the double-sided tape.

This is, without a doubt, the greatest strategy to keep your cat away from your tiny mammal’s cage and hay.

Not only that, but the double-sided tape usually sticks to the hay, making it more difficult for your cat to pick it up and take it.

Advice For Keeping Cats From Eating Hay?

Can Cats Eat Hay? What You Should Know

Yep. My kitties enjoy eating hay. After that, they puke it up. I caught my dog eating cat excrement the other day, and there was hay in the centre of the turd. The benefits of having a multi-species household are limitless!

Except for squirting them with the water bottle when they go into the rabbit pens, I haven’t found much to keep the cats away from the hay.

I’ve tried cat grass, and it makes them throw up as well.

They could be in need of some roughage in their diet (the same reason cats often try to nom house plants). You could try giving your cats fresh grass to eat instead of hay to see if that helps them from eating the hay. It would most likely be less taxing on their digestive systems than dried hay. You can buy “cat grass” in pet stores, but it’s really just regular yard grass, so you could grow it yourself with regular grass seed. Put it somewhere the cats can get to but the bunnies can’t (maybe near their regular food or on a shelf or table the rabbits can’t get to), and that should be enough to keep the hay eating to a minimum. To foster the “this is food” concept, bury a few pieces of dry cat food amid the grass.

Is Hay Toxic To Cats?

Hay isn’t poisonous to cats, but it isn’t particularly nutritious either. As a result, if a cat eats just a small amount of such grass, nothing bad will happen. It will not, however, provide any benefit.

If your feline companion consumes a lot of food, it may create digestive issues such as an upset stomach.

It’s important to remember that hay isn’t good for obligate carnivores like cats. It’s high in fiber, which cats want, but the amount in it will be tough for them to digest.

Hay, in general, is unlikely to provide anything beneficial to cats. Cats can live without eating plant-based food because they are carnivores.

They, on the other hand, cannot go about their daily lives without consuming meat. As a result, cat food is mostly composed of components that meet a cat’s nutritional requirements. Its constituents differ greatly from those found in hay.

Cats and herbivores have nutritional requirements that are diametrically opposed. What is good for one person may not be good for the other.

Of course, cats and plant-based animals have some nutritional similarities. Still, because they have different feeding preferences, it’s recommended not to let your pet eat hay.

How Much Hay Can Cats Eat?

As I previously stated, hay is not a common or optimal meal for cats. As a result, if at all possible, avoid feeding such to your pet. Now, if you can’t help yourself, keep it to modest doses. Don’t give them more than 10% of their total food intake for the day.

Too much hay in your pet’s diet can create stomach issues. Aside from the danger, it also has little to no nutritional value.

As a result, you shouldn’t bother including it in your pet’s diet on a regular basis.

Furthermore, hay should be treated as a special occasion. It would be great if you try to keep it to once a week at most. If at all possible, refrain from encouraging your pet to eat such items.

You shouldn’t give it more than 10% of its entire daily meal when feeding it.

The amount of food recommended for cats ranges from 24 to 35 calories per pound. This amount is sufficient to keep cats at a healthy weight.

A typical cat weighs between 6 and 9 pounds. As a result, they require approximately 50 to 70 grams of food every day. They can also consume 150-250 grams of moist food. Finally, they are allowed to consume 100-200 grams of raw food.

If your cat is allowed to eat hay, you should limit its daily intake to 5 to 7 grams. Furthermore, don’t offer pellets on a daily basis.

Risks Of Feeding Your Cat Hay

Other animals may find hay to be excellent and nutritious. It can’t be the same for cats, though.

The reason for this is that hay has too much fiber, which is difficult for cats to digest.

Herbivores like goats and cows benefit from hay because their digestive systems can break down fiber. As a result, they can consume them all day long without upset stomachs.

Because cats are carnivores, hay is difficult for them to digest, especially in large quantities.


Allowing your cats to eat hay is pointless due to the fact that it contains little nutritional value.

The only benefit of feeding or letting your cat to eat hay is that it provides fiber, which can also be obtained from other foods such as pumpkin.

Before modifying your cat’s food, you should always see a veterinarian, especially if you are concerned that they are deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, or nutrients.

A veterinarian will be able to tell you whether the food in question is a proper supplement, and if it isn’t, the veterinarian will suggest a supplement that will function better.

In all cases, I strongly advise you to keep your cat from attempting to eat the hay of your small mammals. This should also dissuade your cat from repeated visits to your small mammal cage, lessening the stress that the small mammal is experiencing.

So, how much do your cats enjoy hay, pet parents? Have they done anything unusual to conceal the hay? What have you done to put a stop to it? Please let me know in the comments section below!

Leave a Comment