You’ve watched your cat eat grass in your yard. And, as the caring cat parent that you are, witnessing a natural carnivore turns a herbivore right in your presence is already giving you endless thoughts. Has the feline become a little goat with claws? Why do cats eat grass? How do you stop your cat from eating grass? What effect does the grass have on your cat’s health? Is your little furry friend trying to communicate something by feeding on raw green veggies?
Don’t get too anxious- it’s normal for cats to eat grass. Your feline will ingest grass for the following reasons:
- Supplementing their diet,
- Get natural fibres,
- Control furballs,
- Manage stress
- Self treatment by inducing vomit,
- For fun!
On more than one occasion, you might have probably observed your feline friend nibble on grass. To some point, you might have seen them vomit grass. But in a genuine sense, cats are not herbivorous! Thus, raising concerns on what could be the reason behind your cat eating grass.
Vets say over 7 out of 10 cat owners report instances where their cat pets enjoy tucking into eating grass. Maybe it is your first time or the second incident observing that happen. There may be some more instances out of your sight.
The mystery of cat eating grass is among several curious habits that left cat owners puzzled like you are today. Despite them being specifically carnivores, they can digest grains or vegetables commonly found in cat food. But that does not make them grass eaters.
Researchers say that grass-eating behavior in cats plays a significant role. Among them is when they feel ill. When cats experience stomach distress, grass-eating helps them in throwing up. Not all cats observed eating grass vomit or after diagnosis by vets results in any illness.
Therefore, vomiting is just a mere side effect of eating grass. The main objective of eating grass in felines comes with a lot of benefits. Surveys base grass-eating behavior among cats on different theories.
Let’s have an insight into each of the theories.
Theories Explaining Why Cats Eat Grass
Feline veterinarians propose that for pets like cats, eating grass is an evolutionary behavior passed from one generation to another. Several theories back up the grass eating behavior observed in cats like:
1. Natural Laxative
Grass has Laxative properties that help your cat maintain regular bowel movements in case of indigestion. When there is any form of stomach upset, cats will regularly throw up, leaving a wet hairball. To some point, fur goes deep into the digestive tract, which calls for a bit of help to push it out.
Through instinct, your cat knows that a bit of nibble on grass will be the solution to making things better and normal. That is one of the few senses your feline friend uses to save you from visiting the vet. Therefore, observation of cat eating grass is one of the health solutions for your cat.
The scientist also concludes that ingesting grass in cats can relieve sore throats. Now that you know one reason why grass ingestion is suitable for your cat, ensure that your indoor or outdoor plant is of non-toxic variety. You can start a proper home garden or visit a plant shop and purchase a tray of grass for your cat.
2. It’s a carnivorous trait!
Felines aren’t the only carnivores that eat the occasional grass. Several other members of the cat and dog families do, too! Cats consume prey in whole; they do not eliminate indigestible matters like feathers, fur, or bones.
You will find your cat eating grass to eliminate the indigestible matter out of the digestion tract. However, cats regurgitate by eating grass, for they lack the digestive enzymes used in breaking down vegetables.
3. Fight Deficiencies
Cats occasionally consume herbs to tackle deficiencies. Like the mother’s milk, the grass is an excellent folic acid source and rich in fiber. Folic acid is essential for it is rich in the vitamin B complex. It contributes to forming new cells, tissues, strengthening the immune system, improving blood circulation, and preventing various cat diseases.
The cat diet is crucial to keeping it healthy. At some point a veterinarian will recommend you to provide a tray of grass indoors or outdoors for your cat will occasionally need it. The high fiber content in the grass will help stimulate intestinal transit.
If your cat has a problem with defecating regularly, you may need to introduce your cat to nibble grass. You can also consider visiting a nearby vet for more diagnosis.
Read Also: Best Cat Treats for Training
Health Benefits of Cats Eating Grass
1. Keep Away Parasites
Cats eat grass when feeling unwell, and grass ingestion helps them vomit. The feline lineup characteristically possesses grass-eating behavior to purge the gastrointestinal tract of parasitic worms due to genetics.
2. Gain Minerals and Vitamins
The grass is rich in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins which is beneficial for indoor cats. Folic acid is best in metabolizing fats and adding oxygen levels to the cats’ bloodstream. Kittens grow fast and healthy when they get folic acid more nutritious like their milk.
Lack of such nutrients in the cats’ bodies can lead to anemia. Therefore, vets recommend the growing of cat grass as a supplement to getting enough folic acid. Unlike humans, cats cannot synthesize vitamin D directly from the sun.
The best source of vitamin D for your feline friend is a tray of grass. Whether indoor or outdoor, the grass is the best supplement to their cat food. Besides, grass provides vitamin A which is essential in maintaining the cat’s coat.
3. Control Hairballs
Indoor cats spend most of their time grooming themselves, which may result in them suffering from hairballs. You will find some cats passing the hairballs with their poop, and some will throw up on the floor.
The best way to deal with such a situation and keep your house clean is by introducing cat grass. Some additional fiber acquired from grass can help you control hairballs. Grass also improves the digestive system by cleaning up the tract. Thus make them not constipate and minimize vomiting.
4. Enough Source of Fiber
The cat family primarily consists of protein dieters, but; a handful of fiber supplements the diet. About 0.5% of cat diet is made up of fiber and is gained from sources like fur from their prey or any undigested matter that happens to be in the prey’s intestine.
Grass has insoluble fiber that helps maintain a healthy cat’s digestive system. It also prevents your cat from constipating or having diarrhea. When choosing your cat foods, always consider purchasing foods with low fiber content. You can supplement the cat food with a tray of indoor grass where your cat can choose to eat when it needs.
Tips to Keeping Healthy Grass for Healthy Cats
Owning a pet like cats will need you to understand tens of behaviors. Your indoor cat will always insist on going outside, despite the weather. It is for health benefits. A scientist considers munching and nibbling grass observation in cats as healthy and genetically inherited behavior.
How do you ensure your cat does not eat the wrong grass? Or get hurt by grass blades when chewing. You can quickly fulfill this by getting the suitable cat grass sold in your nearest plant shop. Cats need freshly grown grass accessible whenever they need it.
Buying a tray or pot of cat grass can be suitable for your cat. You need to keep the grass at an open and accessible point for your cat. Having it within one or two grass pots for your cat can minimize or stop the cat’s undesirable eating grass behaviors.
1. What is the Best Grass for Cats?
You can choose from various cat grasses to grow indoors. Grasses like wheat, barley, rye, or oat species will only require water and brightness, mainly where the sun is accessible. Also, there are plants like catnip that can be an option to grow indoors for your cat.
2. How to grow cat grass
You can either opt to buy sprouted grass or seed from your local pet store. Pet owners can also get the seeds or grass from plant shops within your locality. Also, you’ll need to purchase or improvise planting containers.
Remember to choose plastic or non-fragile containers that cannot easily break when knocked or pulled by your pet. Make some drainage holes at the bottom of the container and fill it with well-drained soil. Plant your seed an inch deep and water to make the soil moist but not soggy.
Wait for two to three days until the seeds sprout. At that point, reduce watering, move your seedling pot next to the window or any bright spot within the house. You can introduce the grass to the cat in about a week or two by placing it at an inaccessible point.
Growing indoor grass is the best way to keep your cat from harmful pesticides, fertilizers, or poisoning. That will also reduce the appetite for chewing outdoor grass when freed for an outdoor adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is eating grass bad for cats?
Grass eating in cats is healthy. Do not stop or lock your cat indoors for observing it nibble garden grass. The only situation you can stop is when you suspect the green leaves of grass are covered with dangerous farm chemicals.
With the help of instincts, you will occasionally observe cats eat grass to throw up. They may have some stomach upsets or indigestion, making their stomach hurt. Some cats do it to throw up the much far consumed when grooming.
Eating grass is one way of self-medication in cats. That will save you time and money visiting the vet. The gross is messy for your floor but happens once in a while. Some eat grass in search of digestive enzymes. Little quantity of grass is enough to kick start and clean the digestive tract.
The idea of whether cats enjoy eating grass remains unknown. Probably the many instances a cat is observed eating grass would mean it enjoys the flavor. However, domestic cats rarely do the hunting, making them in higher demand of fiber into their meals.
It is advisable to visit a veterinarian in instances where your cat overeats grass or remains in distress. Health issues like constipation can be severe and need medical attention. Therefore, it is not bad for cats to eat grass.
What does it mean when a cat eats grass?
Cats are well known for their puzzling behaviors. They are eager to explore their surrounding environment. Scientists speculate that some behaviors in domestic cats are genetically obtained. When you see your cat eating grass, there are so many things that cause the behavior.
As previously discussed in this article, some possible issues that would make your feline friend eat grass include health benefits, among others. Eating grass is expected behavior with cats. If you observed your adult cat or kitten nibble grass, it would mean self-care.
If there are some health issues, severe vomiting or diarrhea should make you visit the diagnosis vet. Cats try to express their illness with unusual behaviors which attract attention. Some do get aggressive and dull all day with fewer activities.
How often should cats eat grass?
The urge to eat grass is self-driven as most owners leave the cat grass openly for cats to visit when they desire. Excessive cat eating grass can signify illness or stomach aches. In such an instance, consider visiting a vet for diagnosis.
Does cat-eating grass signify sickness?
Cat-eating grass is healthy behavior, but excess eating can signify a sick cat. Such instances will include vomiting. There are specific varieties of cat grass owners can grow for their cats indoors.