Cats are known for being “obligate carnivores” so they need a steady meat diet to thrive, grow and lead a healthy life however, whether you own an indoor or outdoor cat they will more than likely chomp on the grass when roaming the great outdoors. Whilst your cat may just enjoy that fresh grass taste, there could also be many other underlying issues as to why they feel the need to eat it. If you are curious as to why your cat eats grass, then some of the main reasons are listed below.
Cats are very inquisitive creatures that love to explore so it is not uncommon for a bored cat to look for ways to entertain itself. Leaves that dangle from trees or grass swaying in the breeze can be enticing and curious for playful cats this can encourage them to eat plants and grass. This can occur more in kittens as they like to explore more than an adult cat and it is an instant way to attract their owner’s attention.
Cats often vomit shortly after eating grass although this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sick it just means that they don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest large amounts. Sometimes they eat it for nutrients as the juices from grass contain folic acid which is beneficial for cats as it supports growth and increases oxygen levels in the blood. When kittens, they get their supply of folic acid through their mother’s milk and a folic acid deficiency can lead to anaemia and can affect a young cats growth.
One of the most feline behaviours include licking which can cause excess hair to be in-digested and this will block the digestive tract causing constipation and discomfort. Grass serves as a natural laxative and aids the digestive system, encouraging vomiting. Being sick clears the stomach of feathers, fur and parasites which irritates the digestive tract or could cause a lasting illness.
It is important to be aware that not all grass is safe – there is a risk of it having toxins or pesticides. Make sure all plants in and around your home are safe for your cat and non-toxic. Although it is hard if your cat roams the neighbourhood it is a good idea to supervise your cat and watch what she gets up too as excessive grazing of grass can indicate a health problem related to the digestive system. If your cat begins to eat large amounts or wants it every day, then you should consult your vet.
If you are curious about more of your cats behavioural quirks, then check out our guide here. For those wanting to make sure their cats are exploring nature safely, check out our guides to making your garden safe and allowing your cat to explore the outdoors.