This clears the cat's stomach of other substances that could be causing discomfort. Over the years, there have been a number of theories about why cats eat grass. This excess hair is entering their system, because of grooming. But cats aren't cows, so why do cats eat grass? Purina Cat Chow: Splendid is the Grass: Why Cats Graze. And then finally, stress relief is another proposed reason. One sure-fire way of insuring that the grass consumed by cats is not only safe and healthy, but also eaten in moderation, is to grow your own. One common result of grass eating among felines is vomiting, which to the human observer seems both unpleasant and uncomfortable. So if your cat is eating large quantities of grass it might pay to give it a visit to the vets to find out if there is anything else more serious going on. Some cats eat grass to … This short-term boost to intestinal motility then results in the elimination, or at least control of, intestinal worms and other parasites. Check out the indoor planters here. Eating grass is a really common activity for cats. Just because your cat lives indoors doesn’t mean they can’t utilize the natural properties of grass. Where your cat is eating grass every day, it is likely they are suffering a dietary deficiency and need to counteract it. Norman, Monty and Melody enjoying cat grass. It relieves an upset stomach Cats may eat grass as a way of ridding their digestive tract of something unpleasant or inedible. Pica is the act of eating substances not normally thought of as food, and is often thought of as a marker of a poor diet. This is the protein responsible for transporting oxygen through your blood. Throwing up can bring relief. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA degree in Classical Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York. However, cats are known to constantly clean themselves. Eating grass helps your cat have regular bowel movements, something that's especially important for digestive tracts sometimes clogged by fur. Dietary deficiencies This, too, can provide relief to a feline. So when a cat eats grass, the grass is generally regurgitated. You can place these plants in special areas of your home or yard. In the wild, cats sometimes eat grass after they’ve ingested their prey — and the prey itself likely had grass in its digestive system. Either planting it in your garden or having it in a readily accessible pot inside. There’s a good chance then that your cat is also a grass-muncher, whether you see them eating grass or not! If your cat goes outside, the chances are that you have seen them eating grass. Many cats seem to prefer grass, so they may also say that cats eat grass because they’re sick. Grass is a primary food source for grazing animals such as cows, goats and horses. ). Evidence suggests that most dogs that eat grass aren’t unwell beforehand, or at least they don’t seem so. Grass and catnip can be easily confused because both are plants and are used to cure or prevent diseases in cats. Eating grass is perfectly safe for your cat and a lot of them actually really enjoy eating it too! In the same way a child sucks their thumb, some cats turn to chewing grass as a means of comforting themselves. COVID-19 and Your Pet: is your dog at risk (+ can they spread coronavirus? The Impact of COVID on Pet Healthcare: an owner survey, Why Foxtails Are So Dangerous to Dogs (how to prevent injury), When Pet Owners Attack Vets (and Incite the Online Mob), What To Do If Your Pet Isn't Getting Better After Seeing Your Veterinarian. Here are a number of symptoms that can occur from cats eating grass, as well as some possible benefits. In fact, over 7 out of 10 cats are reported by their owners to regularly enjoy tucking into a meal of the green stuff. However, as Animal Planet and Pet MD point out, there are many reasons cats enjoy a bit of grass after their kibbles and chopped tuna. Vet-Approved Home Remedies to Beat Your Dog's Skin Allergies, The Best Way to Treat Arthritis in Dogs (7 Step Plan), 5 Steps to Avoiding Disease, Optimizing Health, and Increasing Your Pet's Life. Laxative Effects. The high fiber content in plants helps stimulate intestinal transit. Cats eat grass because of an inbuilt behavior, with the result being that intestinal parasites are better controlled. Grass possesses nutrients, cleansing qualities and even texture and taste that cats crave. A prime nutrient in grass is folic acid, which happens to be an important part of the feline diet, according to Kathy Blumenstock of Animal Planet. But that’s not necessarily true. It is thought that this innate behavior developed to help with the elimination of parasites from the gut. The theory with grass is that it could be being used as a source of folic acid, something found in grass juice, which is important for growth and the intestinal digestive process. Additionally, it is important to watch for excess consumption of grass, which could be a sign of other problems and should be reported to your vet immediately. If a cat has an upset stomach, it may have ingested a poison or eaten something it can't digest. It's not fully understood from a scientific point of view, but there are many theories as to why they like eating it. ). Some even believe cats eat grass to relieve sore throats. Their advice is to provide your cat with a safe form of grass for them to eat. Feral cats or wild cats will eat grass most every day. Dietary deficiencies: Some cats will eat their cat litter if they’re anemic, Plotnick says. 6. Most cats, like dogs, do not vomit afterward. ", What are the Symptoms if a Cat Eats a Holly Berry?→. eating grass is a reflection of an innate, in-built behavior passed down from a wild ancestor who regularly ate grass. As well as cats, this behavior has also been shown in primates whereby eating indigestible vegetation purges the system of intestinal parasites. As grass is so high in fiber, it can also act as a laxative. . One of the reasons cats may be grazing is that they are deficient in the folic acid. The second reason that cats eat grass is as a way of controlling hairballs, which is a common problem for cats. In many cases, the grass causes the cat to … We would like to point one thing out, though. Why Do Cat’s Eat Grass Age-Old Theories. While most cats eat grass, it should not be an everyday indulgence. Instead, the scientists proposed that regular plant-eating by domestic carnivores (that is your cat!) That pretty much blown the self-induced vomiting theory out of the water! In fact, over 7 out of 10 cats are reported by their owners to regularly enjoy tucking into a meal of the green stuff. Ingredients like corn, peas and rice can provide protein, but cats need meat. And last but not least, cats chew grass. Animal Planet advises all pet owners to use fertilizers and lawn-treatment products that are pet-friendly. Other proposed motivations behind your cat eating grass include getting rid of hairballs, most likely through vomiting but also by making any hair pass before it starts to clump in the stomach. Helping your cat to safely express their natural grass-eating behavior may not only improve their intestinal health, but will also lead to them being less stressed and happier. We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. What to Look for on Cat Food Labels. Some, like Animal Planet, theorize that cats eat the green stuff because it aids in the removal of non-digestible materials, like fur, assists in relieving constipation, and provides them with nutrients, like folic acid. Most cats find catnip, an herb, to be the most delightful and alluring treat in the world. Eating grass is a really common activity for cats. In the vast majority of cases, 91% in fact, the owners said their cat didn't appear to be unwell before they ate grass and didn't vomit afterward either. Some cats vomit the grass covered worms however, and because owners observed these cats eating grass also, the old wives’ tale arose that “sick cats eat grass to make themselves vomit.” You can buy cat grass … Luckily, most cats aren't like dogs, who will eat just about anything in sight (although some still do). As cats grow they still need folic acid, and one convenient source is grass. You may also want to buy a small tray of grass just for the cat, or start an herbal home garden. It is very possible that the taste and texture of grass is also appealing to cats -- a nice complement to the moist and dry cat food that we scoop into their food dishes at mealtime. The reason cats eat grass and want to vomit it, is because they are actually (pretty intelligently) trying to remove hairballs from their stomach. Researchers in the same study found that grass-eating is also common in cats, and has nothing to do with upset stomachs or other illnesses. So why would you eat grass only just to puke it out again? Eating plants, particularly by eating non-digestible plants, the result is that the intestines have to work more and contract harder. “Research has not yet shown why cats eat grass, but we have several ideas,” said Carlo Siracusa, animal behaviorist of University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. However, grass acts as a natural stomach cleanser for cats. There’s a good chance then that your cat is also a grass-muncher, whether you see them eating grass or not! Mostly what causes that to happen is the toughness of grass, which results in the injury of the cat’s internal organs, leading to internal bleeding. As it turns out, broad grasses in particular are thought to help a cat’s digestion. Your cat may deliberately eat grass to speed up digestion. However, because cats may eat excessively when they are sick, always check with your veterinarian to be sure there isn't an underlying medical reason for over-consumption of cat grass. The team of scientists investigating the reasons behind cats eating grass even gave some advice to the cat-owning public. And although it’s normal for cats to eat a little grass, eating a lot of plant material may indicate something’s missing from the cat’s diet. Cats, too, seem to enjoy nibbling grass. However, any grass encountered and consumed by cats should be free of chemicals and pesticides. This grass-eating behavior has also been shown in large wild cats through the examination of their feces, which has shown a lot of indigestible plant material to be present in their scats. Regardless of whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat, you should make sure that all your household plants are of the non-toxic variety. If cats aren't able to digest milk from a different species, then you can be sure that they aren't able to digest foreign bodies like toys and hairballs that enter their system. Interestingly, folic acid is one of the main nutrients present in the milk of a mother cat, and it helps with the production of oxygen in the kitten's bloodstream. Can Indoor Cats Still Eat Grass? It’s What They Do. Accessing Veterinary Care During a Lockdown - how to get your pet to the vet. Because cats are carnivores, the first ingredient you want to see listed on commercial cat food is a meat source, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and author. As a Natural Laxative. Grass nibbling may be of particular importance to outdoor cats who eat prey in order to get rid of any inedible parts that get swallowed (feathers, bones, etc. If your cat seems to be eating too much grass, they might have an underlying medical issue and should be checked out by a vet for safety. is thought to be trying to rectify this deficiency by eating something peculiar. AAAHA Healthy Pet: Can Cats and Houseplants Just Get Along. Most cat owners will tell you if Fluffy noms on grass and then throws up, it must mean that kitty is having a bit of tummy trouble. When a well-fed cat is observed chomping leaves of grass in the backyard or inside the house, it can seem a bit odd and even unnerving. However, grass acts as a natural stomach cleanser for cats. This is especially good for indoor cats who would not otherwise have a chance to experience the pleasures and benefits of "grazing. Food Allergies in Dogs: What you Need to Know! Cats aren’t able to digest a large quantity of grass because they do not have enough enzymes to do that. In most instances, after eating grass if you are keen, you will notice blood in your cat’s pukes. However, catnip (Nepeta Cataria) has other properties: It stimulates sweating, so it can treat cases of high fever. Although pet food eaten by domestic cats is designed for easy digestion, so they do not necessarily need a digestive aid, it is a natural instinct of the species to eat grass. But feline grass gobbling is natural, and sometimes even necessary. For wild cats, grass can act as a parasitidal agent: it wraps around GI parasites and stimulates the cat’s gut to purge the worms usually in the stool. It is true that many cats chew on grass when they can get it. One of the theories is that grass contains extra nutrients that your cat needs in their diet, such as folic acid. When cats eat other plants, it could be simply because this is … Whether they eat grass or not, my cats hurl all the time. Good to know: Grass contains folic acid that helps in the production of hemoglobin. In a scientific survey looking into grass eating, 80% of more than 2,500 cats that took part ate plants in one form or another. This will give your cat an alternative to the outdoor … Lockdown Library: Essential Reading for Every Pet Owner! Although not mentioned in the study, it would make sense that the increased intestinal contractions are also going to help clear out anything else that happens to be within the stomach or intestines. If your cat is eating grass every day … Why Do Cats Eat Grass? because it’s what they do. If your cat begins to refuse to eat!! . You may have even seen grass in their vomit. In fact, fewer than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before eating grass, according to their owners. One of the main reasons cats eat grass is because they instinctively know they can't digest it and that it will make them vomit. As it turns out, cats may munch on grass for some of the same reasons that people incorporate greens into their own diets. Grass consumption causes your cat’s belly to tremble and expel any material that can not be absorbed completely and passes safely through the intestines without creating a dangerous obstruction. As for helping to get rid of hairballs, it is certainly possible that eating grass does also help with this as well. For a wild cat without human … When to be concerned about your cat eating grass. A recent study specifically looked into why cats eat grass. “In the wild, cats eat grass after they have eaten their prey. We still do not know why cats eat grass, researchers from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine ran a web-based survey asking 1,021 pet owners to observe their cats for three or more hours each day. It is perfectly fine to allow cats to nibble grass on occasion, according to feline information sources such as petMD and the ASPCA. Getting Rid of Hairballs. One of the biggies is eating grass, often to throw it up just a few minutes later. Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt - is it safe + how to stop it? Purging the stomach comes next with some thinking that a cat who has eaten something they shouldn’t innately knows to eat grass to make themselves vomit. As hairballs can potentially cause harmful blockages and cannot be digested by the stomach, the best way to get rid of hairballs … As we have seen, cat grass enables cats to purge their stomach and helps with constipation. Jeff Katz has been a professional librarian, educator, historian, writer and editor for almost 20 years. Most cats will only eat it when they have an upset stomach to aid them in vomiting or to act as a laxative. This means that can eat grass to combat and prevent constipation in cats.If your cat has difficulty defecating regularly or its stools are very hard and difficult to pass, your cat may eat grass to relieve uncomfortable and painful symptoms of constipation.. Cats defecate daily and their stools are neither dry nor soft. Less common in terms of theories could be that a reason why cats eat grass is simply because it is something to do, meaning they could be bored, or it could be force of habit. Cats do a lot of weird things. Cat grass also works as a laxative to help push out hairballs or bits of food that she's ingested. So there you have it! 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