Why do cats eat grass?
There is not much research on why cats eat grass, says Dr. Pete Lands, DVM, Director of Emergencies and Critical Care at St. Francis Veterinary Center in New Jersey. But there could be several different reasons to answer the question “Why do cats eat grass?
Cats often have several underlying gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome. So eating grass can be a way for them to calm their gastrointestinal system, either to help them move forward a little faster or to help them throw up hairballs, Lands says. Curious to know the behavior of other cats? Find out why cats purr.
The grass contains a lot of fiber, which can help with constipation. “Cats are notoriously poor water drinkers, and sometimes adding fiber to the diet just helps them poop a bit more easily,” says Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT, a holistic veterinarian based in Boulder, Colorado.
And some cats can eat grass to compensate for nutritional deficiencies in their diet, such as folic acid, which contributes to the formation of hemoglobin. “If their home diet is devoid of certain vitamins, minerals or nutrients, they may try to find them elsewhere,” says Lands. “So, a place where they could find folic acid would be to eat grass if they missed it.” You will also want to make sure you do not commit these dangerous mistakes as a cat owner.
Is eating grass linked to stress?
That said, eating grass can also be a sign that your cat is stressed. Find out what you are doing that your cat secretly hates.
“Some people say that if a cat lives in a stressful environment, he can eat with stress, just like the stress or mood of men to help them relax or calm down,” says Lands. This can be the case with wildcats.
Is it good for cats to eat grass?
Eating grass can help your cat digest. But too much could lead to medical complications. “In America, most of our cats spend the night inside the house. Therefore, if they go out and eat grass, you should probably phone and talk to your veterinarian, “says Lands. In some cases, if a cat eats too much grass, it can get stuck in the stomach and require surgery. A visit to the vet will help you identify the underlying conditions that could cause your cat to eat grass.
But some cats, just like the taste of grass, can provide valuable fiber in small amounts. Krause has a cat with gastrointestinal problems and she is growing catnip for her cat. “He will eat grass until he vomits, no matter what type of grass,” says Krause. “And so with him, when I grow grass for him, I see how much he has at his disposal because he will simply shear it if I grow a ton.” Now that you know the answer to the question “Why do cats eat grass?” Check out 10 Signs Your Cat Is Secretly Mad at You.