Cat lying in hay

Can Cats Eat Hay?

While it might seem strange to see your feline friend nibbling on hay, it’s not an uncommon sight.

But is this behavior safe? Can cats actually eat hay, and if so, should they?

Quick Answer:

No. While hay isn’t toxic to cats, it’s not a suitable part of their regular diet.

Why Do Cats Eat Hay?

There are a few reasons why your cat might be drawn to hay:


Cats are naturally curious and may simply be exploring the texture and smell of the hay.

Digestive issues

Some cats eat grass or hay when they have an upset stomach. The fiber can help move hairballs through their digestive system.

Nutritional deficiency

While rare, a lack of essential nutrients in their diet could lead them to seek out alternative sources, like hay.

Boredom or stress

If your cat is bored or stressed, they may chew on hay as a way to self-soothe.

Potential Risks of Hay for Cats

While not inherently toxic, hay does come with some potential risks for cats:

Digestive upset

Hay is high in fiber, which cats cannot fully digest. Eating too much can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.


In rare cases, large amounts of hay can cause a blockage in the intestines, requiring veterinary intervention.

Allergic reaction

Some cats can be allergic to hay, experiencing skin irritation or respiratory problems.


While hay isn’t toxic to cats, it’s not a suitable part of their regular diet.

It lacks nutritional value and can potentially cause digestive issues.

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