Have you ever wondered – why do cats eat grass? And even more importantly – is it OK for cats to eat grass?! As a kitty owner, if you’ve never seen this behaviour before, the chances are you’re kind of freaked out at your little toe beaned baby playing cow in the backyard.
If this is you, don’t worry. For once, and quite unusually with cats, there is actually a straight-forward and reasonable explanation behind your kitter making fronds. Let’s take a closer look:
What Does It Mean When Cats Eat Grass?
A cat is something called an obligate carnivore, which means that their diet is mostly meat, because that is how their body is made. They don’t need vegetation with their meat in order to thrive, in fact, they can’t actually properly digest many plant forms well at all, which is why a cat can never be a healthy vegan.
With that in mind, you may worry about your cat eating grass, after all, their bodies aren’t designed for that planty munching life.
Luckily, cats actually chow down on grass for the same reason that we eat greens. It helps to remove indigestible parts of what your cat takes into their tummy, such as fur. It also helps stir up their bowels to naturally relieve constipation, and can provide some nutrients they require. In the wild, doing this would be a natural part of a cat’s behaviour. In a domestic setting though, it is worth checking your cat isn’t doing it for reasons that are of concern to you.
Do Cats Eat Grass Because They Are Stressed?
Some cats can eat grass because they feel stressed. It is unlikely to be the primary reason, but there is every reason that a cat or dog could rely on grass chewing to relieve frustration and stress, if they have easy access to it.
If your pet seems to be chewing grass obsessively, and you know they are in good health, it could be worth checking they are as happy as they can be. Are they stimulated mentally and physically? Are there aspects of their home life causing them stress? If their grass chomping behaviour comes at the same time as other behaviours, like obsessive self-cleaning or a change in attitude towards you or other pets, it could be worth checking in with your vet.
Do Cats Eat Grass Because Of Health Reasons?
Chewing grass every now and again isn’t a cause for concern when it comes to your cat’s behaviour. If they seem to be doing it a lot, it could point to some potential health issues that you should pay attention to including:
Eating grass helps your cat to stay ‘regular’ when it comes to their pooping habits. Thicker, wider grass may suggest that cats are looking for help relieving constipation. Thinner grasses could relate more to a tummy that doesn’t feel so great overall, for example; the cat feels nauseous.
Grass contains folic acid which is a vitamin that boosts your cats blood oxygen and their growth. If your cat is grazing a lot, it might be that they are struggling with a nutrient deficiency and know where to get more vitamins from.
Excessive stress can cause cats to chew, clean themselves and otherwise act differently. If your cat is grazing excessively, it could be because of stress.
When it comes to the issues above, the likelihood is that a great nutritious diet will ensure that physical health is taken care of. If you need advice on this, you can speak to your vet about the best diet for your cat’s individual needs. If the problem is stress, there are multiple actions you can take.
If you can figure out the source of the stress for your cat, you can act accordingly. For example, if they are frustrated because they are bored, new toys and more playing will help. If they are stressed because of a new pet, the correct introduction process and separation processes will help. We love these amazing Youtube resources for guidance on these issues:
If you are struggling despite your best efforts at home, your vet will be able to provide you with a ton of advice specific to your cat’s needs.
Should You Provide An Indoor Cat With Cat Grass?
Cats do enjoy having access to some cat grass indoors, which is very easy to grow. This might be a helpful step to take if your cat seems obsessed with eating your houseplants, as it gives them something they are allowed to harass. If your cat does continue to bother your houseplants despite you getting cat grass, checkout this Betsy Begonia Youtube video on the topic for some guidance.
Usually, Cats Eating Grass Is Nothing To Worry About
The good news is, your cat noshing on those lush green blades of grass in your garden is usually nothing to worry about. If you’re in doubt, or the behaviour seems too regular, or to happen in conjunction with other behaviour, speak to your vet for further advice.