Why are cats eating grass? Is it good for them? Is it bad for them? Why are they munching on it?
Chances are you’ve asked yourself these questions at least once.
And chances are your feline friend has felt the urge to nibble on some grass every now and then. But why?
Grass isn’t in any way nutritional for your cat. It does not provide any type of nourishment, vitamins, or other healthy ingredients as it is mainly made of fiber and water.
But if cats don’t have a good sense of dehydration why are they eating grass if it’s not for the water?
Cats eat grass because it can help their digestion. Usually by making them vomit, expelling something unwanted in their stomach, like a hairball.
Cat Digestion And Why They Think Grass Is The Answer
Just because cats seek out some nice green grass when they have belly issues, don’t make the mistake of thinking that grass contains some magical ingredients, which can boost your kitty’s metabolism in some miraculous ways and help it digest anything it may swallow.
Cats are natural carnivores. They need real meat products with loads of protein to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
An indoor cat has special nutritional needs and it cannot catch its prey in the wild as outdoor cats can. Thus, its main source of nourishment is the cat food you’re buying. And if you’re buying high-quality food for your kitty it will be swallowing fewer indigestible ingredients than any wild cat out there.
The outdoor cat will feel the urge to sink its teeth into grass now and then because of the things it’s eating out in the wild.
However, even indoor cats may feel the urge to eat grass.
Grass does not serve as primary food but it does play the role of an additional supplement to a cat’s meal.
Regardless of your cat’s gender, age, and breed, it will swallow hairballs as it is constantly cleaning and licking itself.
Hairballs are completely indigestible and they get built up in the kitty’s stomach. There are two ways to remove them – either surgically or by inducing vomiting.
When a cat feels like it can’t digest something – like the hairballs, for example, it will start eating grass. The grass is also indigestible, but it will eventually make your kitty throw up.
By puking grass, your cat will also vomit the hair and the rest of the indigestible stuff in its stomach.
Outdoor cats will eat grass on more frequent occasions than indoor cats as they swallow various types of prey such as mice, which come with tons of harmful things – claws, hair, bones, and so on.
They get built up in the stomach and if the cat doesn’t puke them they may cause severe damage to the kitty’s insides such as ruptured organs or blocked intestines.
Grass fibers are essential for indoor and outdoor cats.
If you’re one of those cat owners and get frightened by the sight of your feline pal nibbling on grass streaks, stop panicking. Eating grass is not a good sign as it means that the kitty needs to throw up something indigestible, but it will eventually help your feline furball and may prevent the need for surgery.
If your cat is eating grass but not throwing up, it could just be trying to induce vomiting, but its body is rejecting the need. If you still think something is up, please ensure you take your cat to the vet to see if there’s something in her stomach that shouldn’t be.
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If you don’t take your cat for a walk and if you’re always keeping it inside your house or apartment you should definitely consider having supplies of fresh grass. You can buy little patches of grass specifically made for indoor kitties, actually.
Setting up a couple of planters with fresh grass is easy and it’s definitely better than relying on your cat’s urges to munch on your neighbor’s lawn – this way you won’t risk your kitty licking off any herbicide or other harmful chemicals.
Another reason as to why your cat is eating grass may be the lack of vitamin A.
Apart from fiber and water grass also contains vitamin A, vitamin D, and some tiny traces of various minerals. Furthermore, it also provides chlorophyll, which can relieve some pains and infections.
Of course, if your cat is eating grass it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that he or she is suffering from a nasty infection or stomach pains – your kitty cat may have just swallowed a big hairball and could be just trying to get rid of it through puking.
If you’re still skeptical about your cat munching on some grass, consult with your vet.
So, to sum it up – cats do eat grass even though it does not provide any actual nutrition or water substitution. However, they should always have easy access to some clean and fresh grass streaks just in case – either in your house’s yard or in some indoor planters.