Why do cats eat grass

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Got a cat munching on the lawn? Or perhaps ruining your plants?

In our previous articles, we’ve established that cats are obligate carnivores who rely mainly on a high-protein, meat-based diet.

So, then why do these little carnivores go up and chew on grass, the answer might surprise you!

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • Can Cats Eat Grass?
  • Why Do Kittens Eat Grass?
  • Can Cats Eat Too Much Cat Grass?
  • Can Cats Eat Normal Grass?
  • Can Cats Eat Zebra Grass?
  • Can Cats Eat Oat Grass?

Can Cats Eat Grass?

Yes, they can!

Grass is considered a healthy treat for your cat as it is not only rich in nutrients but also fiber. Yes, cats are obligate carnivores and don’t thrive on high carb diets, but they do require fiber in their diet.

Fiber is essential as it prevents constipation and diarrhea and it will aid in the coughing up of furballs.

How does it do this?  

Well, if you notice carefully. Cats tend to take big chunks of grass blades into their mouth, they don’t chew it down into bite sizes.

Some speculate that the grass may tickle its digestive tract thus inducing vomiting whilst another more plausible cause of vomiting is the inability for a cat to completely digest plant matter.

When your cat is eating grass, make sure to watch them to see if they try to eating a mushroom or two as these can grow in the yard too.

Why Do Kittens Eat Grass?

Currently, there’s very little research been done that explains the reasoning behind why kittens eat grass , and if they should actually eat grass at all. Thus many of the current theories are postulated by veterinarians and researchers.

One of the common theories revolves around nature vs nurture. Kittens instinctively seem to consume small amounts of grass without any human involvement. Particularly, kittens in the wild who begin feeding on prey meat tend to consume large amounts of bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat.

It seems as though the regular consumption of grass may allow the cat or kitten to vomit food that can cause discomfort or that may not be digestible by the animal.

Thus the first speculation suggests that kittens inherently consume grass as it has laxative effects

Another theory suggests that cats on diets such as raw food or even regular kibble diet may still not be getting essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. because of this, they will naturally be inclined to various grass types as grass tends to be rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B, fiber and folic acid.

This theory makes reference to cats in the wild, where, for example, a wild cat will consume all parts of a prey animal including the stomach and its contents. The stomach contents of many herbivore prey animals are generally partially digested plant and vegetable-based matter.

Regardless of their reasons, make sure that the grass they are chomping around in doesn’t have fleas.

This video summarises the many reasons why cats and even dogs eat grass.

Can Cats Eat Too Much Cat Grass?

Kinda.

Cats will indeed eat a lot of grass particularly if they are trying to self-induce vomiting in order to get out a hairball out or if they are simply trying to clear out their system. They will very often stop consuming grass when they feel sick from it.

Can Cats Eat Normal Grass?

If your cat decides to take a munch at your neighbor’s lawn or your lawn then that’s generally considered fine and will not cause damage to your cat. Nevertheless, cats should not consume lawns treated with chemicals and pesticides as these toxic substances can be fatal. 

This should be common sense, but if you aren’t sure if a lawn or grass area has been treated, keep the cat away.

Can Cats Eat Zebra Grass?

Not likely, cats cannot eat Zebra Grass as it is a type of  Ornamental grass and most ornamental grass can be quite toxic to animals. Thus, it is not recommended to allow cats to feed on Zebra grass.

If your cat keeps trying to eat Zebra grass and you don’t have any alternatives, consider using these seeds to plant grass in your yard or even growing some grass indoors.

Can Cats Eat Oat Grass?

Yes, if you’re tired of your cat chewing on your houseplants or if you simply don’t feel safe with your cat munching on your neighbor’s lawn, then you can invest into purchasing grass especially made for your cat.

Todd’s Seeds is a great normal grass alternative that your cat will surely enjoy.

Cat grass, such as wheat or oat grass provides vitamins A, B, and E and they are a great source of fiber for a cat craving some greens!

So, Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Well, there’s no definite answer as to why cats consume grass, but there are many theories that imply that this is an evolutionary tactic.

Nevertheless, owners should be careful as to what kind of grass they allow their cats to consume as some can be toxic or chemically treated. Always make sure you give them a safe grass that they can consume like that which can be grown with these seeds.

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Simran M.

I began my studies in zoology and realized I wanted to work more in the medical field and so I applied to the Veterinary program at Massey University in New Zealand and was accepted. Throughout my student life, I've worked as a veterinarian assistant in my hometown pet hospital. At present, I work intensively rotating to and from veterinary hospitals, dairy and sheep farms.

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