Have you already noticed that many cats use to eat grass? For those who don’t have cats or for who don’t know them very well, it is not an expectable habit, since cats are not herbivorous. But it is a natural behaviour they have. So, why do they do that? Is there any advantage for cats on eating grass?
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
There is not a definitive answer for these questions, but one thinks that grass-eating is a good thing for cats, lions and other “cat relatives”. Let us try to understand why.
As we said, cats are not herbivorous. Hence, grass has not a great nutritional importance to a cat’s health and balance. Frequently, when cats eat grass they throw up afterwards. Although vomiting is frequently linked to sickness, this is not always true. Therefore, you should not be very worried if that happens. In fact, eating grass may help cats when they eat something they cannot properly digest, because it makes them regurgitate and, sometimes, they vomit.
In such cases, cats graze because they are feeling bad and need to get some relief. They may be feeling nausea, stomach discomfort or difficulty in defecation. There is scientific evidence that cats that eat too fast, and sometimes they eat too much food at one meal. If this happens, they try to vomit to relieve fullness.
Eating grass ends up being useful to cats in other way. Cats are extremely clean and they lick their own fur many times a day. So, when they eat grass and vomit, they are eliminating the fur which was inside their stomachs and could be harmful. In fact, if fur balls become very large they can be impossible to remove unless you take your cat to the veterinarian in order to perform a surgery. The excessive accumulation of fur in their tummies can turn impossible for them to eat which can lead to serious health problems.
Cats don’t have in their systems the necessary enzymes to digest grass (this is the reason why they vomit after they eat it), and when they vomit they free their stomachs from fur they swallowed, bones (or other parts of the animals they eat, which can be impossible to digest) and other stuff they can eat unintentionally. If they didn’t do it, they could be very sick.
It is possible that your cat eats grass due to the stress of living in a closed room. This situation also occurs with other felines in the wild because they live in captivity. These conditions may lead to additive behaviours that include eating plants.
Although grass is not exactly what cats need to stay healthy, because it lacks some of the most important nutrients for them, it is good for them because it has some minerals and vitamins, as well as chlorophyll, which was once used as a remedy to some kinds of pain, infections and diseases. Maybe cats began to eat grass instinctively, due to its properties. Eating grass may be cat’s way to improve the quality of their diet, as you do when you buy vitamin supplements.
As we see, eating grass seems to be a healthy habit and you should not prevent your cat from doing it. Nevertheless, it is very important that you know what plants you have at home, because it is very likely your cat tries to eat some of them. Make sure they are not poisonous to your little friend.
The act of eating grass seems to be a good thing. While there is no evidence that it harms cats, it is useful because helps them to digest and brings them relief when they eat something that is not well digested. Don’t worry if your cat eats grass, because it is natural and valuable to him. Just try to pay attention on the plants your cat eats, because some plants may be toxic. If you suspect your cat ate one of those, take him to the veterinarian as soon as you can. If you know that some of your plants are toxic to cats it is better to put them in another place where the cat doesn’t go. There are also plants especially conceived to being used as a cat snack. You can buy one of those and then you will be sure that you are providing a safe plant to your friend.
More important than the fact that your cat eats grass is that you try to find out why he is doing it. It might be that he is simply feeling bored. It is possible that he ate too much. But if you suspect that your cat is vomiting frequently and you are sure that he didn’t eat grass, you must take him to the Veterinarian. Always keep in mind that you are the best person to help your cat and to understand his needs and also that he can’t help himself. Our pet’s behaviour is the key to make sure that they are feeling well or not. If you pay attention to the signs your cat sends to you, it can make a huge difference on his quality of life, health and well-being.