Does your cat eat grass from time to time?
While cats are picky when it comes to food sometimes, they surprise you by munching on something questionable like grass! It really makes you wonder what was so wrong with the chicken that your cat rejected the other night.
So, this made me wonder, “why do cats eat grass?” Here’s what I found.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass: A Closer Look
As you may already know, cats are categorized as “obligate carnivores” which means that they need their meat to thrive.
A cat’s body isn’t capable of properly processing vegetables or salads so, eating grass doesn’t make a lot of sense in that case. However, cats do like to munch on grass and other greens.
According to the experts at Animal Planet, cats eat grass and other vegetation because it helps remove nondigestible materials and helps relieve constipation and provides them with nutrients, such as folic acid.
Psst, this is also one of the main reasons why cats eat fur…
On the other hand, some experts feel that munching on grass also helps cats alleviate stress.
In the following sections of the blog, I will go into everything in detail.
Munching on Grass and Your Cat’s Digestive Needs
As I mentioned in the earlier section, cats don’t need grass or any other type of vegetation to survive.
According to the panel of experts at Animal Planet, cats like to munch on grass to “settle their stomachs, much as humans pop an antacid tablet.” So, you can find your kitty munching on grass if she’s overeaten or is blocked up.
Cats instinctively seek out grass when they have tummy troubles.
Does your cat like munching on the toilet paper roll?
Since toilet paper, too, is full of fiber, your cat munches on it when she has tummy troubles to relieve them. No, your cat doesn’t just like the taste of toilet paper.
Thank God for that!
Your cat also needs vitamin B9 or folic acid to help with digestion as well as support healthy cell growth. Kittens get folic acid from their mom’s milk sp, they’re covered. However, if your cat doesn’t meet her folic acid needs, she may get anemia.
According to some researchers, cats think of grass as a somewhat of a supplement of folic acid but, they don’t have definitive evidence to prove so. If you feel that your kitty has a nutritional deficiency, you should talk to your vet before attempting to treat this on your own.
Anxiety and Eating Grass: What’s the Deal?
Have you ever ate an entire tub of ice cream when you were sad?
Emotional eating affects everyone.
Even your kitty.
Some researchers feel that cats, too, indulge in “stress eating” or “emotional eating,” which means that your kitty eats grass to not relieve hunger pangs but to relieve anxiety or to satisfy an oral fixation.
According to Vetstreet, when stress hits, your kitty needs an outlet:
“A cat that constantly eats grass or plants also may be exhibiting signs of a displacement behavior,Some cats may exhibit over-grooming or excessive vocalization when they are anxious, while other cats may try to engage in a different activity to soothe themselves, such as finding something to chew on.”
If your cat has been going to town on that grass or your household plants, this could be a sign of stress or anxiety in cats. Other symptoms include displaying aggressive behavior and withdrawing from family members.
If you notice any of these signs in your kitty, you should call your vet to see how you can help her out.
Keep Your Kitty Safe: Prevention is Better than Cure
When you cat munches on untreated, plain grass, she is probably going to be safe. However, if your cat munches on grass or other plants that have been treated with chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides, she may need medical attention.
The reactions to eating toxic vegetation can be mild to severe, and can even cause death.
So, it is essential to know which grasses and plants are safe for your kitty. Keep in mind that toxic grasses, plants, and flowers, such as lilies, can be found in many popular floral bouquets.
Summing Up: Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
Cats can be picky eaters.
While we can’t be certain as to why cats eat grass, there are a few theories that people have come up with. These include:
- Cats eat grass to get relief from constipation
- Cats eat grass as a supplement to folic acid
- Cats like to much on grass when they’re anxious
It is completely fine for your cat to eat untreated grass, your cat may need special medical attention if she decided to munch on plants treated with chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.