If you’ve noticed your kitty sat outside chewing on the green stuff, and thought “why do cats eat grass?” you’re not alone. It’s a common search term according to Google, so there must be lots of perplexed cat owners wondering why their fur kid would choose grass over…well…anything else.
Oh, and if you’re a dog parent, find out why dogs eat grass here.
Why is my cat eating grass?
Turns out, there’s no single reason why cats eat grass. There are a few things that could be the culprit. And it wouldn’t be the first strange things cats have eaten – from toxic plants to bananas and tomato sauce, cats certainly don’t seem fussy about what they sink their teeth into.
Here are some of the reasons why cats eat grass.
One of the main reasons why cats eat grass is to settle their digestive tracts. In the same way humans sometimes crave salads (maybe not as much as we crave chocolate, but still!), cats sometimes turn to grass for digestive health reasons.
This can be to help settle their stomachs if they’ve eaten something a little off, for example. Or if they’re constipated or have overeaten.
This is a natural urge for cats, who eat grass due to the fibre content. In this way, it can help them to loosen stools, quicken bowel movements, and induce vomiting. This can help them pass non-digestible items too…like the shoelace they chewed, or a mouse they hunted.
If this is a regular problem, you might consider making kitty an indoor cat.
Cats, grass, and nutritional deficiencies
If your cat’s diet isn’t providing enough nutrients for them, they might seek out grass. Experts believe this is because it has folic acid. Without enough folic acid, cats can develop anemia and can also suffer from a lack of oxygen in the blood.
If you’re not sure about your cat’s diet, consult your vet. They can help you find a feeding plan that satisfies all of your cat’s nutritional needs.
Some cats eat grass due to anxiety
Yet again, humans and cats have something in common! Anxiety isn’t just for those with two legs. And like you might bite your nails or polish off a bag of chips when you’re stress eating, cats sometimes chew grass. It isn’t due to hunger or a nutritional deficiency, but an oral distraction can feel satisfying.
Basically, anxiety and stress often need an outlet. Pets express this in different ways. Dog owners will know that separation anxiety can result in destructive behaviours like chewing toys, for instance. But your cat might be turning to chewing grass as their outlet instead.
So if you’re wondering why cats eat grass when they seem otherwise healthy and happy, think about whether it happens mostly during or after stressful events. If so, it might be a sign that you need to address their anxiety rather than their grass-eating problem.
Is it safe for my cat to eat grass?
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they have to eat meat to survive, unlike humans who can live (and even thrive!) on vegetarian or vegan diets. But that doesn’t mean they can’t eat some greens too. Though it’s typically better to offer them catnip or something cat-friendly.
However, if the grass snacks are occasional and not causing any problems, you probably don’t need to worry.
But if your cat is regularly eating large amounts of grass, it’s probably best to chat to your vet. They can do an evaluation to find out if something is wrong or needs treating. You should also keep an eye out for sneezing fits caused by blades of grass stuck at the back of the nose. If this happens, a vet may need to physically remove the grass.
And remember, if your cat has a penchant for grass, don’t treat their greens with pesticides and other potentially toxic or harmful things. Ingestion of herbicides or similar could cause serious health problems and even death in cats.
In some of these instances, having pet insurance would be a huge relief. Something as simple as eating grass could land you with an unexpected vet fees for diagnoses and treatment. If you have one of our cat insurance plans, it’ll help you pay the bills.
Given insurance is affordable and can be easily taken out online (with one month free at the time of writing!), why wouldn’t you want one of our plans for your grass-loving furkid? Go on, get a quote now.