Hay is cut and dried grass trimmings. It’s common to find haystacks on farms and/or other natural areas where maintenance work has been done.
It’s common for hay to be fed to farm animals, but is it something that happens for domesticated pets too? Can cats eat hay?
Cats can eat hay in moderation. It’s not recommended to make hay a regular part of the cat’s diet as it will have minimal nutrients and lead to long-term health issues due to consistent consumption.
A lot of cat owners want to give their pets something that’s easily accessible. Haystacks are accessible depending on where you live but that doesn’t mean it should become a regular part of the cat’s diet.
It’s important to give the cat a well-rounded selection of foods or something that is solely formulated for its health.
Here is a look at why cats can eat hay but it is not recommended over the long haul.
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Factors To Consider When Feeding Hay To A Cat
Hay is not good for cats in excess.
This does not mean hay is off limits for your feline friend. It comes down to how much hay a cat is eating when it’s eating the hay, and how consistent the feedings are during the week.
You don’t want to make this a daily occurrence. It’s not safe for the cat and it will become excessive to the point of harming the pet.
You can feed hay to a cat as long as you are doing so in moderation. This means giving a handful of hay to a cat once every 2-3 weeks. This is enough to let the cat have a bit of fun with the hay while not compromising its health.
If you make it a daily habit, this is going to yield terrible results including serious health consequences.
It should be treated as nothing more than a way to mix things up for the cat. It will keep them happy as some cats do like chewing on hay from time to time.
2. Upset Stomach
Giving hay to a cat will lead to unwanted digestive symptoms when done in excess.
If you continue to give the cat a bowlful of hay every day, it is going to create symptoms such as an upset stomach, vomiting, and/or nausea.
It’s important not to give the cat so much food it will lead to an upset stomach. This goes for any type of food including hay.
The more hay a cat eats, the more likely it is to develop these symptoms. An upset stomach is not ideal for the cat and it can also lead to long-term complications along the way.
3. Lack of Key Nutrients
It’s essential to understand the importance of key nutrients in a cat’s life.
There are important nutrients a cat needs to eat including vitamins and minerals. If they are not getting these nutrients through their diet, it can start to have horrible consequences on how the cat feels during the day.
It can also start to cut into their lifespan depending on how severe the deficiency is.
While hay is high in fiber, it doesn’t offer much more than that to cats. It is simply not the most nutrient-dense food a cat can eat and that is why it’s a bad idea.
4. High in Fiber
The one thing hay has going for it is fiber.
It will get the metabolic rate to go up during the day and that is why some cats get an upset stomach. The fiber content is so high, it can start to take a toll on the cat’s digestive system depending on how much it consumes.
The best course of action is to reduce how much hay a cat is eating and keep it to a handful here and there.
This will ensure the cat stays healthy and still gets to eat enough hay.
Can cats eat hay?
Cats can eat hay but it is not recommended in excess. Too much hay will lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and/or vomiting. This is why it’s best to give a cat hay in moderation.
When given in moderation, the cat will enjoy the perks of eating hay and not the unwanted symptoms.
Look into diversifying a cat’s diet to the best of your ability. It’s the only way to make sure the cat doesn’t end up with unwanted symptoms that are difficult to handle at the best of times.
A cat that doesn’t eat well will develop symptoms that are going to cut into its lifespan. Be methodical when giving hay to a cat. This is a must.
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