Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, one thing is for certain: your feline friend has probably nibbled on grass on more than one occasion. While it might seem like strange behavior -- especially when your cat throws up afterwards -- there's really nothing to worry about. Not only is there no evidence to suggest that grass will harm your cat, but many experts theorize munching on those long green blades can be beneficial for your cat.
Cats regurgitate when they eat grass because they lack the necessary enzymes to break down vegetable matter. Does this mean your cat likes to throw up? Well, while it's doubtful that kitty enjoys the act, this up-chucking sensation may eliminate all indigestible matter from the cat's digestive tract, making it feel a whole lot better. This is important because cats eat their prey as is, including both the edible and inedible parts (fur, bones, feathers, etc.).
It's in the Juice
Much like mother's milk, the juices in grass contain folic acid. This is an essential vitamin for a cat's bodily functions and assists in the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen in the blood. Think of it as a wheat grass shake for your kitty (let's hope they like it more than you do).
Another theory is that grass acts as a natural laxative, counteracting any cases of indigestion. As any cat owner knows, cats regularly throw up and leave lovely, wet little fur ball presents around the house. But when the fur moves deep into the digestive tract, kitty needs a little help to break it down and pass it out the other end. Call it a sixth sense or just intuition, but your cat knows that a little bit of grass may just go a long way in cleaning out its system (and may save you a trip to the veterinarian).
So all in all, ingesting grass is not a bad thing. Some even believe cats eat grass to relieve sore throats. We would like to point one thing out, though. Regardless of whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat, you should make sure that all your household plants are of the non-toxic variety. You may also want to buy a small tray of grass just for the cat, or start an herbal home garden. This will give your cat an alternative to the outdoor grass and landscaping, the eating of which could lead to accidental ingestion of pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals that may have been used to treat your (or your neighbor's) yard.
Image: cobra libre / via Flickr
Returning food that has been swallowed into the mouth; often results in vomiting
A type of medication that is used to loosen stool and relieve constipation
The protein that moves oxygen in the blood
The whole system involved in digestion from mouth to anus
A medical condition in which the digestive process is disturbed in some way from something like too much food, spoiled food, etc.
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