WHY DO CATS EAT GRASS?
Source: Metro (Extract)
Posted: May 7, 2022
Ever watched your cat enjoying a peculiar munch of some blades of grass in the garden?
Though our feline friends are obligate carnivores (meaning they need meat to thrive and survive), it’s not totally uncommon to spy your kitty sniffing, licking and try to chew on grass.
Oftentimes, the grass doesn’t seem to affect them at all, and they carry on with their day. Some pet owners, however, may notice their cat will cough up or vomit afterwards – or even show signs of suffering from hayfever.
So, what gives? What’s going on? Why do cats keep chowing down on grass, and is it safe for them?
Here’s what could be behind it.
Why does your cat eat grass?
There are a few potential reasons why your cat is drawn to blades of grass as a mid-meal snack.
Firstly, the behaviour is part of a cat’s natural instinct, according to research cited by Science.
Apparently, the act of grass-chewing comes naturally to them as, once upon a time, it would have helped cats get rid of intestinal parasites, causing digestive distress.
It seems the behaviour (not the parasites) has passed down from ancestors and still occurs today.
Secondly, it could be that your beloved kitty is facing a different kind of digestive trouble.
If your cat is trying to dislodge a hairball, has an upset tum or can’t quite poop, they might eat grass to help them get their, er, systems moving and resolve the issue.
Cats can’t really digest grass, as they don’t have the enzymes needed, says Purina, which can explain vomiting.
So, if your cat is the type to vomit or cough up after eating grass, this could potentially explain why they do it.
Thirdly, your little kitty may just be after some extra nutrients from grass’ juice – namely folic acid.
Is it safe for cats to eat grass?
Whatever the case, you can rest assured that it’s not unsafe for your cat to eat grass.
In fact, you might even notice that they quite enjoy a nibble, or trying to get the blade of grass into their mouths.
However, it is important to make sure your cat is eating ‘normal’ grass – and is kept away from chemically-treated grass, such as lawns treated with pesticides, etc.
You should also ensure there are no plants that are toxic to cats in your home or garden.
Animal charity Blue Cross recommends bringing some ‘indoor grass’ into your home. This could be a nice option for cats who are kept indoors at all times to do what’s instinctive to them.
You should also keep your eyes peeled for any changes to your cat’s health, such as if they start vomiting more than usual after eating it, or are suddenly eating grass excessively.
On extremely rare occasions, kitties can get grass or a seed stuck in their nose, PetPlan says, which could cause lots of sneezing.
If you’ve got any concerns at all about a change in your cat’s behaviour or health, speak to your vet.