WHY IS MY CAT EATING GRASS?

silhouette of black catDoes your cat eat grass?  My cats have always eaten grass.  When the weather was wet and nasty and I didn’t want to let my cat out, I would go out to my lawn and find a handful of grass for him.

Then I would feed him the grass, one blade at a time.  He would gobble it down.

He had favorite spots outside where the grass grew tall, and he would munch on them regularly.

Okay, so you haven’t told me — why is my cat eating grass?

Like the bear, who knows what plants to eat to improve his health, the cat ate grass not because he wanted food, but because he wanted the help the grass could give to his digestive system.

Your cat lacks the necessary enzymes to break down vegetative matter.  This is one reason why a vegetarian diet is not good for your feline.  He needs the specific nutrients in meat to keep him healthy, and his system is designed to digest it.

Grass helps your cat digest wild game

When the cat eats grass, quite often it is because he has eaten wild prey and cannot digest all parts of that meal.  Eating grass will cause him to regurgitate, and all the indigestible things in his stomach will come up with the grass.  Gross, but still smart on the cat’s part to know how to take care of the problem.

cat eating grassThe juices in the grass contain folic acid, an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions.  The juice helps to produce hemoglobin, which is the protein that moves oxygen in the blood.

Also, the grass can act as a natural laxative and can help relieve indigestion.  When fur that the cat has ingested moves to the digestive tract, the cat needs help to break it down.  Your smart kitty somehow knows that eating some grass will help this digestive process.

It is thought that eating grass may also relieve a sore throat.

Check your house plants for toxicity

One thing you want to insure is that all of your houseplants are non-toxic.  Then, in the winter when there is no grass outside, grow a little container of grass for the cat.  He will be thankful for it, and will not try to eat your houseplants.

This information is from PetMD, a good online cat information source.

Prior to domestication, wild cats often ate their prey in its entirety.  Then, because some of what they ate they couldn’t digest, vomiting became part of the digestive process.  They, too, would know instinctively to eat grass to induce vomiting.

Grass as a stress reliever

Sometimes cats eat grass to relieve stress.  If your cat seems anxious, or is withdrawing from family members, or showing aggressive behavior, you might contact your vet to see how you might help your kitty.

How to supply your cat with winter grass

You can grow grass for your cat inside your house.  I always kept a container growing in the winter.  If we were totally out of grass, I would have to put the container somewhere where the cat couldn’t get to it.  As soon as the grass blades started pushing through the soil, the cat would smell it, and wanted it NOW, not in a few days.

Be prepared — you might find you need more than one container so you can get a second one at the ready while the cat is decimating the first one.  Start the second one growing shortly after the first one is fully grown.

It’s a digestive food your cat enjoys

My cat liked to nibble on three or four stems of grass regularly, but didn’t throw up very often.  I think he liked the flavor.  Also, the juice may have helped him digest his food quite effectively, to the point that he didn’t need to vomit.

If your cat eats a little grass, don’t worry.  However, if he starts eating it excessively and vomits frequently, take him to your vet, as he may have a more severe problem.

To avoid the danger of pesticides or herbisides, you can grow grass for your cat as a safe alternative. Here are some cat growing kits from Amazon that you may find helpful:

The Cat Ladies Cat Grass Growing Kit

Containers of grass; seed; soil pellets

Cat grass growing kit

This product is a three-pack of organic seed, soil, and BPA free containers

(non-GMO).  All seed is locally processed by pet owners.

Price:  $14.97 with Prime shipping

This choice is good because it has three containers of seed, and soil for each.  You can grow all three and put in different places in your house, or you can grow them one at a time and have two in reserve for when the first one is finished.

This grass is a certified organic blend of wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flax.  This grass provides a source of carbohydrates plus vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and also essential minerals and nutrients.

Cat looking at grass in container

Catit Senses 2.0 Grass Planter

Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Grass Planter

This is a neat container for your grass.  It is one the cat cannot knock over.

Container only.

Price $9.99 with Prime shipping

 

 

 

Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Grass Kit (Set of 3)               

Shipping box

Cat grass seed kit

With this grass kit and the 2.0 planter, you can     

plant grass three times, thus giving you lasting

use.  The grass will wilt, or the cat will eat a lot

of it, and you will need to replant.  With this

container and kit, you have a couple of “reloads”

available.

Price:  $9.99 with Prime shipping

To sow:

  1. Soak the seeds overnight
  2. Put them between damp paper towels and keep moist until they sprout
  3. When sprouted, spread them over the planting medium
  4. Put the grid on and water every couple of days.  Put the grid on tip before the seeds start to grow, and they will grow through the top.
pot of grass and bag of seed

Organic cat grass seed

100% organic cat grass seed (non-GMO)   

by The Cat Ladies

Easy-to-follow instructions and premium seed.  Eight

ounces of seed, about 25 plantings.  Certified organic

blend of wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flax.

Price:  $9.99 with Prime shipping

You may order these items by clicking either the image or the blue-highlighted item title.  You will be taken directly to the Amazon site, where you can purchase.  Please note, that as an affiliate of Amazon, I receive a small commission on your purchase.


10 Responses to WHY IS MY CAT EATING GRASS?

  1. justin says:

    Hey i really enjoyed this article, it was very interesting.  I dont let my kitten outside so i wouldnt know if she ate grass or not but i didnt know if it would be good for them or not.  My cat tries to eat weird things and i try to keep everything away!  I did not know it helped to digest food!

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Yes, it certainly does.  If you still have grass in your yard, pick a few blades of it and give it to you kitten.  See what it does.  If it is a kitten, perhaps it has no digestive problems at its age.  It may find grass helpful later.

  2. Matiss says:

    I’ve always found it odd that the cat wanted to eat and do the grass. I certainly wasn’t taught that in biology in school when we talked about animals. In that sense I had absolutely no idea that the grass eating was to actually improve digestion.

    My parents always associated that with bad weather and this is what they told me and in so taught me that as a child. Ridiculously wrong they have been. But I must admit that I somehow suspected this correlation to be completely inaccurate.

    Nonetheless, it’s invigorating to finally get to the bottom of this. On top of that I absolutely had no idea that vomiting is just a natural part of cat’s digestive cycle. I bet my parents do not know this either. I’ll forward this to them.

    Overall a really educational article! Thank you, I learned a lot! I appreciate it!

    Cheers and have a Great One!Matiss

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Thanks, Matiss.  Yes, it is helpful to know that the vomiting is a natural part of digestion for the cat, and does not necessarily mean it is sick.  It’s just cleaning out the kitty stomach.  Too bad we can’t teach them to clean up their mess!  And, my cat seemed to head for a rug when he was going to be sick.  When I heard the start of the upchuck sound, would have to rush to remove him from whatever rug he was on.  Good to know it is just a part of his cat bag of tricks.

  3. Shane Black says:

    Hi Fran, 

    Thanks so much for sharing this article on why cats eat grass!

    As a cat person, I’ve often wondered why my cats would eat grass. I always assumed that it was because they were sick and that eating the grass would somehow make them feel better. It was very informative to learn some of the other reasons why cats may eat grass. 

    Thanks again Fran. 

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    • Fran Kelso says:

      You are welcome, Shane.  The cats know instinctively what’s good for them.  My cat sure loved his grass.  He really wasn’t sick that much.  I think for him it was mainly a digestive aid.

  4. Telma says:

    Hey Fran, how are you?

    This is a wonderful information for all cat lovers. Yes abosolutely agree with you, whem a cat eats grass is because someting wrong with they diggestion. Is something in the grass that attract then so much, you can see that they fill like they are in paradise. I had a cat name Meme, that everytime a planted a grass for her, she would eat first and then she would get into the vase and lay down on the top of the grass staying there for long time. Do you think the smell of grass helps as well?

    Because I have a indoor cat, names Ty,(short for tigre), I give hin allots cat dry catnip plant. He eats and also love to laying  down and hub his body on the dry catnip; is like relax him. What I do is put in my hands and king masssage little bit to actioneted the smell.

    I miss Meme, she passed way last year in junho on the same day I came from 2 months in a hospital. She was a 15 year old golic giant cat. She was so beautiful, kind and loved to sleep with me. She had to fill any part of my body when she was in bed, no metter how many times I would put she out of my bed, she would come beck. 

    Back to talk about grass, I did not know that grass is a stress relieve for the cats as well. 

    Thank you for a such good information,

    Cheers to your success,

    Telma 

    • Fran Kelso says:

      Telma, thank you for your thoughtful reply.  Cats are such wonderful companions, and it is good when we can do something for them that they enjoy.  Actually, it makes sense that catnip is a stress reliever for cats, as we humans can drink catnip tea to help relieve stress.  And, yes, I do think the smell of the grass was at least attractive to the cat.  Perhaps the smell helps them, too.

  5. Yoko says:

    Hi Fran

    Took a look at your Literate Cat website and I think it is a wonderful website… congratulations.  Although I’m more of a dog person, purely because I am allergic to cats, I still love cats (basically I love animals).  When I relate your cat content to a dog lover like myself, the content is absolutely so fun and very informative as well.  I think this is a perfect example of a website done out of passion.   

    Keep the good work going !!

    Yoko

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