Why Cats Eat Grass – Here Are What Experts Are Saying


Whether your cat is an outside or indoor pet, he has probably eaten a bit of grass in his lifetime. To a human, this is rather strange behavior, particularly if your cat throws up right afterward. However, there really isn’t anything you can do about it since it won’t hurt your cat and many experts find that it can actually be beneficial for him.

A cat will eat grass when he actually lacks the stomach enzymes that are needed to break down and also digest grass. And, sometimes, all of this will come back up on him along with other things the cat wasn’t able to digest like inedible parts of his prey like bones or fur or even hairballs. While this may seem gross, it’s actually good for a cat.

We all know that when you have a cat, he’s going to do a few things that are questionable. Among these questions are, why does he eat grass? While many of your cat’s quirks will be super cute, this one is just odd. However, it is safe and completely normal.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t worry if your cat eats grass and also a few alternatives to eating grass for your kitty.

Grass Eating Is Safe for Cats

what are the benefits of cat grass

Well, it’s good to know that the majority of cats in the world have probably eaten grass at some point in their lives. The typical reason given for cats eating grass is that it helps them to vomit if they are sick to their stomach or have eaten something poisonous.

However, this isn’t always the reason. It’s actually been found that most felines do not throw up after they eat grass and don’t show any sign of illness. A cat can actually be perfectly healthy but still eat some grass. So, that still brings up the question – why does a cat eat grass?

What Are The Benefits Of Cat Grass?

If you are wondering why do cats eat grass, it is simply because it is natural to them, and it is able to support their health. Kind of like eating leafy green vegetables will help humans remain healthy.

Here are a few benefits why a cat will eat grass:

  • There is fiber in grass that actually supports digestion and can also help a cat to relieve constipation.
  • Stressed or anxious cats are often found eating grass to calm their nerves. You can think of it as chewing gum for a cat.
  • A cat can also eat grass in search of minerals and vitamins, like folic acid that they might not be getting from their diet.
  • Eating grass can also help a cat to get rid of an internal parasite.
  • Grass is a plant that contains fiber and other types of nutrients that can benefit a cat.

When Should You Worry About Your Cat Eating Grass?

If you have a cat that eats grass each day or is vomiting blood, then you have a need to be concerned. Eating grass each day can indicate that there is a problem with your kitty’s digestive system.

The harder it is for a cat to digest food means that they will crave eating grass even more. But it’s possible that your cat can even choose not to eat anything at all.

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Why Won’t Your Cat Eat?

If you have a cat that is vomiting blood, then it may be possible that he has eaten some toxins like pesticides or some chemical that was found outside. If he has, then you need to your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips To Keep Your Cat Safe When He Eats Grass

While your cat may only eat grass occasionally, you generally don’t need to be concerned, but there are a few things you can do to make sure that your cat stays safe:

Be Careful of Pesticides

For cat owners with gardens, you want to make sure that it is a cat friendly one and do not use pesticides at any time throughout the year.

Don’t Use Herbicides or Insecticides On Your Lawn

Make sure that insecticides or herbicides on the lawn, and you should also check to make sure that there aren’t any toxic plants growing in or around your lawn.

Do Indoor Cats Need Grass?

Do Indoor Cats Need Grass

It is not compulsory for indoor cats to include grass in their diet.[Source] if your indoor cat likes to roam the neighborhood, it can become harder to help him/her avoid pesticides or other types of dangers.

And here’s a good tip, do not let your cat eat anything and everything he comes across. While that is easier said than done, you may want to consider the better option of giving your cat grass at home to eat, which you will know is actually safe for him.

You can find cat grass seeds, which are typically wheat, oat, and barley at most local pet stores. It’s also possible to grow cat grass in your yard or in a pot on your porch. This is a fairly fancy alternative to greens that sprout next to a busy road.

How To Keep Your Outdoor Cat Healthy And Safe

Keep Your Kitty Away From Toxic Plants

If you are able to keep your cat inside, then you need to make sure that you provide him with something called cat grass. You should also remove any toxic plants from your house to prevent him from eating them.

And, whether you have an inside or outside cat, it is always useful to know this list of toxic plants that are commonly found in homes:

  1. Sago Palm
  2. Aloe Plant
  3. Lilies
  4. Amaryllis
  5. Dieffenbachia, also called Dumb Cane
  6. Amaryllis
  7. Heartleaf Philodendron, also called horsehead philodendron

There are more that we could include on the list, so it’s important to make sure that every plant you own is non-toxic for a cat to eat before you bring the plant home. Eating a toxic plant can cause anything from liver failure to stomach bleeding, all of which can be deadly.

[Related Article: 10 Simple Ways To Stop Cats From Pooping In Plant Pots]

Safe Cat Grass Kits

Catit Senses 2.0 Grass Planter

After you understand why your cat is eating grass or needs to throw up grass, you know that your cat is really just trying to keep himself healthy. But it’s always important to be safe, so you may want to consider alternative grass for your cat, which can be guaranteed to be safer as well as satisfy a cat’s appetite for grass.

Cats that have a tendency to wander far from home will also look for food, so it can help to keep track of them using a GPS cat tracker. With this tool, you will be able to see where your cat has been on a map, which will also help you find the areas that you need to watch out for that can be dangerous for your kitty.

Why Do Cats Eat Grass Then Vomit?

It’s pretty simple really. A cat will eat grass just because it is a natural instinct for them. This instinct is ingrained into him by his ancestors. Plus, eating grass will actually have a few health benefits that can help you understand why our domestic cats will always like to eat some green grass.

So, why do they eat grass then vomit? Throwing up will actually eliminate the indigestible matter that a cat has in the digestive tract, which can make him feel a lot better. This can be helpful for cats that eat their prey whole, including the edible and inedible parts like feathers, fur, and bones.

Cats are able to regurgitate the grass that they eat since they lack any of the necessary enzymes that are needed to break down this vegetable matter.

It can be hard to believe but there is juice in grass that actually contains folic acid. This is an essential vitamin for a cat, which assists in producing hemoglobin, which is the protein that can move oxygen in your cat’s blood. You can think of it like a wheatgrass shake that your cat may enjoy more than you.[Source]

There is also the theory that grass can act like a natural laxative that counteracts any type of indigestion. Cat owners are very aware that a cat can regularly throw up leaving wet little balls of furs around the house.

However, when fur is found deep inside your cat’s digestive tract, your cat may need some help in breaking food down and passing it. Somehow, your cat knows that some grass can help to clean out his system, which can often save you a trip to the vet.

Wrap Up

Overall, eating grass is not a bad thing for a cat. There are even those that believe that cats will eat grass to relieve a sore throat. It’s important to point out that regardless of whether your cat is outside or inside cat, you will need to make sure that your inside plants are non-toxic.

You should also buy a little tray of grass that is meant just for your cat or event start an herbal garden at home. These alternatives to grass will be healthier than your outside grass or landscaping, which could lead to accidental ingestion of herbicides, chemicals, or pesticides if your cat eats them.

Sarah Jones

Sarah is a passionate pet lover who owns several pets on her own. She loves to share her experience doing part-time writing to impart some useful tips to other pet owners.

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