In a previous post we spoke about how cats are strict obligate carnivores meaning that they must get their protein from meat rather than plant sources. But those who live with cats will also know that their Favourite Feline is probably quite partial to having a chew on grass. They will also be all to familiar with a common outcome from grass eating…cat throw-up. They vomit after eating grass because cats can’t breakdown vegetable matter since they lack the enzymes to do so. So if it makes them sick, is it OK for my cat to eat grass?
3 Reasons Your Cat Wants To Eat Grass
- Digestion Aid: Especially if you allow your cat outside, when they hunt down and eat their prey they will ingest not just meat, but bones, feathers, fur as well as the organs of their prey. Even if your Favourite Feline is an indoor only puss cat they will be ingesting their own fur by virtue of self-grooming. With your cat’s response to consuming grass being to vomit, this rids their digestive tract of the indigestible matter they’ve inadvertently consumed;
- Vitamin Supplement: Grass contains folic acid which is part of the B group of vitamins. Most of us will recognise folic acid as a supplement for women which helps to prevent birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord. In cats it will aid the flow of oxygen through their body by producing haemoglobin and helps in avoiding anaemia;
- The Cat Laxative: Inevitably there will still be some indigestible matter that gets further through your Favourite Feline’s digestive system. If it didn’t come out from the top, there’s only one other way that it’s going to get eliminated. It’s thought that the consumption of grass helps smooth the way for your Favourite Feline to excrete what’s not required for nutrition.
What species of grass is Cat Grass?
The most common species of grass that we refer to as “Cat Grass” in Australia is Dactylis glomerata which is also sometimes also known as cock’s foot or orchard grass. It’s readily available from garden centres as seed in packets and in punnets as a mature form. You can plant it throughout the year, give it plenty of sun (it’s grass after all) and keep the soil moist. Your Favourite Feline will probably like the younger shoots the most, so in your capacity as Best Pet Parent in the World, continually sow seeds to have a continual supply of new shoots.
Healthy cats will self-regulate the amount of grass they eat, and if their grass-eating habits change get it checked out by your vet. Make sure that the grass you provide for them doesn’t get contaminated with pesticides or fertilisers as these may be toxic to your cat. A bit of grass consumption is a good natural supplement to a healthy, complete diet for your Favourite Feline. Perhaps just don’t let them near your white carpet straight afterwards, but should you be unable to take evasive action in time click here for the Cat Habitat method to clean up cat vomit.