It is common knowledge that cats love to eat meat. This means that they need only to eat meat to survive. They won’t eat any sort of plant-based food or vegetation for their survival. In fact, their body doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to properly process vegetation. It is a surprise for most people when they see their favorite furry friend chewing on grass. This is sometimes followed up by the cat vomiting. This further adds to the confusion of the pet parents who only want what’s best for their cats. This confusing behavior begs the question of why do cats eat grass. Since cats can’t speak for themselves, scientists have tried their best to determine why cats actually eat grass. There are a variety of theories behind this habit of our feline friends. Some of the most accepted ones will be discussed in this post
Why Do Cats Eat Grass? 5 Reasons
1. Relieves Stomach Upset
Cats sometimes have undigested items in their stomach. These items may be their own hair or feathers and bones from their prey. These undigested items cause an upset stomach for their cat. Since, cats vomit after having vegetation, eating grass is a great way for them to ensure that they bring those undigested items they have swallowed back to their mouth. So, eating grass helps the cat to regurgitate its system and it also helps with an upset stomach.
2. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Another theory for why do cats eat plants is that they eat grass to get folic acid. Folic acid is a substance that is found in the cat’s mother’s milk. The lack of this vitamin can cause anemia in cats. So, if the cat has vitamins in its system then chewing on grass is its way to counter that deficiency. This is one of the most talked-about theories of why do cats eat grass.
3. It is a type of Laxative
Just like us, cats too can get constipated. Sometimes the things a cat can’t digest may cause problems in the bowel and its digestive tract which may result in those things being stuck. Eating grass would break those compounds and make it smoother to digest those items. So, if you were wondering do cats eat grass when they have worms, the answer is yes. Eating grass adds fiber and bulk to their diet and this helps them to pass worms or their own hairball through their digestive tract. So, grass for cats and helps them relieve constipation. However, a healthy cat should be able to digest items without the help of eating any grass at all.
In the past, wild cats used to feed on the grass to get rid of unwanted parasites in their digestive tract. Grass munching increases the activity in their digestive tract which helps them expel the unwanted parasites. Even though these unwanted parasites are not around anymore, especially in the case of domesticated cats, their biological impulse to munch on grass has stayed with them that they have got from their wild ancestors.
5. Stress Eating
Yes, it can happen to cats too. Just like us, they may be subject to emotional eating. So, your cat may be nibbling on the grass to relieve anxiety or to satisfy an oral fixation. If you are seeing your cat do this accompanied by over-grooming themselves or by excessive vocalization, your cat may have behavioral issues. Seeing these symptoms in your cat can a good reason to be alarmed, and then the best action you can take is to the vet and find out different ways to make your kitty more safe and secure.
Is Eating Grass Safe for Cats?
If the plants your cat is chewing on hasn’t been treated with any pesticides, then it can eat the food if it does so in moderation. This is with the exception of some plants that are known to be poisonous to cats. Many house plants are actually poisonous for cats and it may cause an adverse reaction to your cat. Apart from these two plants, most other plants are safe for your cat if they are consumed in moderation. However, if cats eat grass a lot, then it can wound up getting stuck in the nose of the cat. You can tell if this happens because you will then find your cat sneezing excessively. If this happens, take your cat to a vet where he will safely remove the grass from the nasal area of your beloved cat.
What Can You Do?
Your cat might love to munch on grass and you want to satisfy its cravings to an extent, the first thing you can do is make sure that all the plants in your household are non-toxic. If your plant eats poisonous plants like Kalanchoes and Lilies, take it to the vet immediately to determine the severity of the reaction and to make sure that it gets the appropriate treatment. Doing this will help them be okay and also protect your other household plants from being munched on by the cats.
Now you got your answer to why do cats eat grass. While there are many theories surrounding it, we can all agree that they do it because they need it. This habit is of course a strange one for us to understand as they are moving too carnivores and they don’t really need grass for nutrition. But we saw the reasons why your furry friend actually loves to chew on grass. We have also discussed what you can do if you see that the cat has a fixation on chewing on grass. Hopefully, you are educated now about why your cat loves to chew on grass and what you can do to deal with that. Use this information to ensure the safety of your cat and take great care of it.