Cat owners often wonder why their kitty friend munches on grass. The reason is simple, although a bit counter-intuitive. Cats eat grass because it makes them sick, according to PetMD. Grass makes cats throw up because they don’t have the enzymes in their gut to digest it. But when the grass comes up it brings with it indigestible and sometimes harmful substances. Though the cat probably doesn’t enjoy throwing up any more than its owner, getting rid of questionable foodstuff brings relief. All kinds of cats eat grass, be they domesticated, feral or wild, writes Care2.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat to stay healthy. In the wild, a cat eats all of its prey, even parts its system can’t break down easily. Cats also groom themselves by licking, which means they swallow no small amount of their own fur. This is tough for their bodies to handle. When they eat grass, it’s vomited up and out.
The grass that the cat doesn’t regurgitate provides fiber, which is good for the digestive system, according to Life With Cats. Fiber adds bulk to the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract and helps eliminate hard to digest items in the large intestine.
Grass that stays in the cat’s GI tract is also a good source of folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that supports the production of hemoglobin, a protein that ensures the proper infusion oxygen into red blood cells.
For all these reasons veterinarians tell cat owners not to worry about their pet nibbling bits of the lawn from time to time.
The grass needs to be free of pesticides, however. Some vets even recommend that the owner grow a safe, dedicated pot of grass for a cat to chew on. As for the resulting unpleasantness: that’s just part of owning a cat. Grass-grazing, as it’s called, is not dangerous for a cat and is in fact beneficial. Indeed, a cat that doesn’t find grass to eat might turn to some other bit of greenery that’s far more hazardous. Check out this article to learn about garden plants your cat, and dog, must avoid.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →