If you are a cat parent, you may have observed that they can sometimes be quite partial to munching on grass, and you’re wondering why your cat is eating grass.
It may sound unusual because cats are carnivores, but grass can have many benefits.
All cat owners know that their feline companions enjoy the odd nibble of grass, mostly followed by vomiting at breakfast.
Because of this reaction, it is common for cat parents to think that grass is toxic to their feline bodies, and many people will reprimand them for eating green things.
You may be amazed to learn that when cats eat grass, they can have numerous health benefits, including everything from relieving constipation and relieving natural stress.
In this article, we tell you about some of the reasons why cats eat grass and what impact grass poses on your cat’s body.
Why Does My Cat Eat Grass?
Forcing cats to eat grass is strange, especially since they are carnivores and do not need plants to survive.
As it stands, researchers have not agreed on a definitive reason why your cat likes a taste of your lawn, but there are many theories as to why they can do so. Some of the top reasons are:
1. Grass helps with upset stomach
One of the most common theories behind why cats eat grass is that it helps with upset stomachs.
Usually, cats throw away the grass after ingesting it. And the reason for doing that is because cats lack the proper enzymes needed to digest grass.
Due to this, it has been thought that they may eat grass and then try to regurgitate it back like ruminants.
This process helps them, thus allowing them to clean their system of anything they couldn’t digest, such as feathers or hair and bones from prey. It is also a common cause for dogs to eat grass.
2. Grass juice contains folic acid
Interestingly, grass juice contains folic acid (also found in a cat’s milk), an essential vitamin that helps digestion, supports cell growth, and enhances hemoglobin production.
If your cat feels deficient in these vitamins, it may look for grass to find it. Your cat eating grass may be because of a deficient folic acid.
3. It acts as a natural laxative
Sometimes, your cat can’t digest the things which move too far down to the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, the grass can help break it down, making it easier to get through.
It means that grass can also help clear their GIT system and relieve constipation. In short, grass act as a laxative and also provide a soothing effect to felines.
4. It provides enough juice
Like most breast milk, grass juice contains folic acid. It is an essential vitamin for the body’s physiological functions and helps produce hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the blood.
Think of it as the wheatgrass shake for your cat (let’s hope they like it more than you do).
Some medical conditions such as Pica (due to phosphorous and other mineral deficiency) lead the cat to eat grass and other non-edible things. This is a medical condition and must be addressed as soon as possible.
Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Grass?
When eaten in moderation and provided that it has not been treated with pesticides or herbicides, cats’ grass-eating action is accepted to some extent.
However, if your cat overeats grass, it can get trapped inside its nasal chambers and causes it to sneeze excessively.
If this happens, you will need to contact your doctor immediately for manual removal of grass.
If your cat is in the routine of eating plants and grass, you should make sure that all the plants in your house are non-toxic.
Some popular house plants, such as lilies and Kalanchoes, are toxic to cats and can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. If your cat gets a poisonous plant, always make sure you take them to a veterinary doctor for treatment.
If you want to make sure your cat is eating only safe grass, you can buy cat grass pots to feed your cat. Not only can this meet their needs, but it can also prevent them from chewing or eating on your favorite home plants.
Keep this in mind when your cat is playing outside
- If your cat is usually eating grass occasionally or rarely, this is not usually a concern. However, you should take specific steps to ensure the safety of your cat.
- Pesticides: If you have a garden that your cat has declared a suitable hunting ground, make sure you do not use pesticides or herbicides. It can accidentally intoxicate them.
- Check for any poisonous plants you may grow there.
- Grow cat grass. If the whole neighborhood is a suitable roaming area for your pet, make sure they do not eat anything other than cat grass.
- Cutgrass is a better option for replacing potentially harmful substances present outside. You can provide cat grass with cat food at home, which you know is a safer option, and complete the cat’s grass needs.
- Cat grass seeds, usually oats, barley, or wheat, are available at any pet store. You might even consider growing these in pots or outside in an open field.
- Poisonous Plants: If you keep your cat indoors, make sure you remove all poisonous plants that they can use and provide them with cat grass instead. Eating toxic plants can cause anything from stomach bleeding to liver damage and sudden death.
Whether you’re feline spends a lot of time outside or indoors, it’s helpful to go through this list of the most common toxic plants:
- Sago Palm
- Dieffenbachia (also known as Dumb Cane)
- Aloe plant
- Heartleaf Philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron)
How To Stop Your Cats From Eating Grass?
Below are five ways to stop your cat from eating grass.
1. Make your backyard a waterpark!
Make a DIY sprinkler in your yard, and let your feline go nuts! Invite friends and have a party. By doing this, you can distract them from eating grass.
2. Help your cat get outside quickly and safely
It’s not just dogs that have fun outside in the summer. Cats can also experience outdoor entertainment by walking with you to a safe place like a sun porch or going for a long walk.
Grow cat grass near your kitties sunbathing area and let them enjoy that
3. Have a good treat for your kitty
Provide your cat with good meaty or salty treats and snacks to help stop them from eating grass.
Use those treats having juices or fluids when the cat eats them. Folic acid treats are best if used in moderation.
4. Provide cat trees and outdoor toys
Give free access to your kitties to play in outdoor toys and roam free in cat trees. You can also use a cat treadmill to distract them.
5. Give them enough phosphorus and calcium
Phosphorus deficiency leads to a medical condition known as Pica. In this, cats can eat anything, including plastic bags, grass, etc.
So give them an adequate amount of phosphorus and calcium to keep them stay healthy.
Can Cats Eat Grass When They Have Worms?
Insects are one of the reasons your cat is eating grass. It is a concern, and you need to be aware of it.
Grass works like a natural medicine for your cat. Just like hair cleaning, grass can remove parasites from your feline’s body.
However, your cat may not say, “Hey, let me eat this grass because I’ve got worms.” Your cat has good instincts, and mostly she knows when and what she needs.
If you want to know that your cats have worms or just a stomach ache, you need to check your cat’s feces after eating grass.
It’s okay to do it repeatedly, but don’t assume that your cat has a parasite just because it is eating grass.
Can Eating Grass Cause Diarrhea in Cats?
Your cat may be eating grass so it can throw up, but grass also acts as a natural laxative, as we discussed above.
Your cat may have diarrhea, but it can relieve constipation you didn’t know your cat had. Like throwing a lot, it moves something out of your cat’s system that does not fall in the category of a regular thing.
The result after eating grass may be a bit messy (or “a lot of messy”), but the grass is doing something meaningful for your cat at the same time.
Alternative To Eating Grass
Try oat or wheatgrass; this cat grass is far more tender than regular lawn grass, and it’s available in most pet supply stores, some already grown in pots ready to serve.
Add probiotic powder to your cat’s wet food, and some cats tolerate Greek yogurt well without intestinal discomfort.
You can also use treats and snacks to distract the cat from eating grass. Or use outdoor toys with inquisitive things to keep your cat away from eating grass.