You may have seen your cat nibbling onto the grass on various occasions. Though eating grass is considered normal for a cat, there may be various reasons she is doing it. Some theories also suggest that grass is actually good for your cat.
Here are some possible reasons as to why your cat is munching onto those blades of grass.
#1. Grass Acts as a Natural Laxative
It is believed that cats eat grass as a natural laxative. It helps in the cat’s regular bowel movements. Sometimes the cat fur may interrupt the digestive tracts and clog them. As the hairballs don’t necessarily get vomited back, eating grass causes a laxative effect which helps the cat fur out of the digestive tract through the other end. It helps the fecal matter pass more easily.
#2. Upset Stomach
Your cat may eat grass to relieve an upset stomach. You may have seen your cat eating grass and then throwing it up.
This is a natural method used by cats to get rid of the unwanted matter in their stomach.
Inducing vomiting and eliminating the unwanted relieves the cat of discomfort and pain in the stomach.
Grass contains nutrients and eating grass may be fulfilling the cat’s needs for various nutrients. Folic acid present in the grass is an essential vitamin for a cat. It helps in the production of hemoglobin which increases oxygen levels in their blood. Eating grass may also help in providing vitamins that are missing in a cat’s diet. This may be his method to get a vitamin boost after battling in dietary deficiency.
It is also believed that a cat may eat grass to cope up with stress. A cat can have anxiety which may have resulted as a lack of socialization. Some negative experiences may also have contributed to anxiety.
In such cases, a cat may exhibit some displacement behavior. This could lead to over-grooming or excessive chewing.
Chewing grass may be one such habit which may have resulted due to overstressing.
Grass also reduces a cat’s intestinal parasites. This could either be by physical entrapping of worms around grass blades as the cat ingests it or by throwing-up the grass along with the worms.
Eating grass can be a method to reduce hunger. A cat may simply be seeking something to ingest due to hunger. Grass being a handy item may be an easy alternative. A cat may also chew grass out of habit or boredom. It could be a normal behavior or a preference for chewing grass.
Is Eating Grass Safe?
Cats self-regulate the amount of grass they eat. So eating grass may not be a harmful thing for cats. However, it is very important to make sure that the grass that a cat is eating is non-toxic. It should be free of any pesticides or herbicides. It is highly recommended to supervise your cat’s grazing while she is outside as the grass outside may be chemically treated.
A healthy alternative is growing your own grass indoors. Special grass kits designed for indoor use can be found easily. Also, make sure that your houseplants are non-toxic. You can keep a tray of grass, especially for your cat’s use.
Most importantly, note your cat’s grass-eating habits. If she is eating excessive grass it is always a good idea to consult a veterinarian.