Why is your cat eating grass and how can it affect her?
Learn the causes, effects and alternatives to this behaviour and what to keep in mind when your cat is playing outside!
When sharing your home with a cat you’ll inevitably discover the occasional odd behaviours they exhibit. Some may be entertaining, like when they get “the zoomies” and dash through your home like a race car. Others might worry you, like your cat eating grass. Here’s why and what to do about it.
When and why your cat is eating grass
|Have you ever seen your kitty munch on grass only to vomit it up again shortly after? This behaviour is not limited to cats that get to roam free outside. Indoor plants may also fall prey to your pet’s craving for greens.|
|It is not entirely clear yet what motivates cats to engage in this behaviour. But there are a few agreed upon explanations.|
|Grass can’t be digested by a cat’s stomach as it is missing the necessary enzymes to break it down – as a result, cats regurgitate it. By vomiting out the grass, hairballs or inedible parts of prey, such as fur or bones, are expelled as well. Since the grass itself induces vomiting, your pet is spared miserably gagging on the occasional hairball.|
On the other hand, it acts as a laxative, aiding the digestive system in the process by clearing it out. So don’t stress about them having diarrhea. Also, try to not scold them if they accidentally soil your favourite carpet.
Good to know: Grass contains folic acid that helps in the production of hemoglobin. This is the protein responsible for transporting oxygen through your blood.
When to be concerned about your cat eating grass
If your cat is eating grass every day or vomiting blood, there is definitely cause for concern.
Important: Munching on grass every day might indicate problems in your pet’s digestive system.
The more trouble they have digesting their food, the more they will crave grass in an attempt to clear it out. On the other side, your feline might, eventually, stop eating altogether.
Note: When they are also vomiting blood, it is possible that they’ve ingested toxins, for example in the form of pesticides or other chemicals found outside. Should this be the case with your kitty, don’t hesitate and take her to the vet immediately!
Keep this in mind when your cat is playing outside
Even though your cat eating grass on occasion is generally no cause for concern, there are certain steps you should take to ensure your cat’s safety:
- Pesticides: If you have a garden which your cat has declared fair hunting ground, do this:
- make sure not to use any insecticides or herbicides. She might accidentally ingest them.
- check for any toxic plants that you might grow there (see below).
- Cat grass: If the whole neighbourhood is fair roaming territory for your pet, it gets trickier; don’t let them eat anything and everything!
A better option to them ingesting potentially harmful substances when they’re out and about, is providing cat grass at home which you know it’s safe to eat.
Cat grass seeds, usually oat, barley or wheat, are available at the pet store. You can also think of growing it yourself in pots or outside – a five-star gourmet alternative to the greens sprouting next to busy roads or on dog-marked territory
- Toxic plants: If you keep your cat indoors, make sure you provide them with cat grass as well and remove all toxic plants that they might nibble on instead. Ingesting toxic plants can induce anything from stomach bleeding to liver failure and death.
These are the most common toxic plants to your cat
Whether your feline spends a lot of time outside or indoors, it’s useful to go through this list of the most common toxic plants:
- Dieffenbachia (also known as Dumb Cane)
- Heartleaf Philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron)
- Aloe plant
- Sago Palm
The list goes on, so make sure all your plants are non-toxic to cats before bringing your pet home.
Is there an alternative to satisfy my cat’s appetite for grass?
So, even though your cat eating grass and vomiting might make you worry about the poor thing, you can usually rest assured your kitty is just aiding her own health.
However, being on the safe side is always the best way to go, so check out some other alternatives. A better option is to check your local pet store for cat grass, which is definitely safer and can satisfy your feline’s appetite for grass.
Top reasons why your cat is eating grass
So, can you now remember the reasons why your cat is eating grass? Discover the summarized answers here:
Like what you’ve read? Share it with your cat friends!
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