Cats are strange creatures. Though they are often regarded as aloof and independent, when it comes to some of their odd habits, they can be downright perplexing. One prime example is their penchant for eating grass. Why do cats eat grass? What benefit do they derive from it? And is there anything that we cat owners can do to dissuade them from indulging in this behavior? Let’s take a closer look at this peculiar habit and see if we can’t get to the bottom of it.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
There are a number of theories as to why cats eat grass. For one, it could be that they’re simply trying to fulfill a nutritional need. Some experts believe that cats consume grass in order to get access to certain vitamins and minerals that might be lacking in their diet. Additionally, grass contains chlorophyll, which is known to have detoxifying properties. So eating grass may help cats cleanse their system of any toxins or impurities that they may have ingested.
Another possibility is that grass-eating helps relieve digestive issues for cats. If a cat is feeling nauseous or has an upset stomach, ingesting some grass may help settle things down. The act of vomiting can also rid the body of any hairballs or other indigestible material that may be causing discomfort.
It’s also worth noting that in the wild, cats typically eat the entire animal they’ve hunted – guts and all. So consuming grass may simply be a way for domestic cats to simulate this natural behavior and help them feel more like their wild counterparts.
Whatever the reason behind it, eating grass is perfectly normal behavior for cats. If you notice your cat indulging in a spot of grass-munching from time to time, there’s no cause for alarm. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not ingesting any pesticides or other harmful chemicals that might be present in your yard or garden. And if you’re concerned about their diet, talk to your veterinarian about adding some green foods to their bowl.
Is There Any Nutritional Benefit to Cats Eating Grass?
Though the jury is still out on this one, some experts believe that there may indeed be a nutritional benefit to grass-eating for cats. As we mentioned, grass contains chlorophyll, which is known to have detoxifying properties. Additionally, grass is a good source of fiber, which can help with digestive issues. And as any cat owner knows, a healthy digestive system is key to a happy, healthy kitty.
A Word of Caution
While eating grass is generally harmless for cats, there are some things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, be sure that the grass your cat is eating has not been treated with herbicides or pesticides. These chemicals can be toxic to cats and may make them sick if ingested in large quantities.
If you’re unsure about the quality of the grass in your yard or garden, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep your kitty away from it. You may also want to consider growing cat grass indoors.
What Can You Do To Keep Your Cat From Eating Grass?
If you’re really not comfortable with the idea of your cat eating grass, there are a few things you can do to try and dissuade them from doing so. One option is to provide them with alternative sources of greens, such as catnip, wheatgrass, or even just some fresh, clean cat grass from the pet store. You can also give them toys or scratch posts that will help satisfy their natural hunting and scavenging instincts.
Ultimately, whether or not you allow your cat to eat grass is up to you. If you’re not comfortable with it, there are ways to discourage it. But if you don’t mind, then there’s no need to worry – eating grass is perfectly normal behavior for cats.