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Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

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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.

 

Carnivorous Rex

 

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).

 

Nature's Laxative

 

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

 

Comments  1

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  • my cats love kitty grass
    06/26/2013 02:48pm

    my cats used to be outdoors and eat any grass they came across, and they puked it most of the time. They are indoors now but I make sure they always have a supply of cat grass, now that I buy the grass to grow it or the already grown one at pet stores, they do NOT puke it, and they look for it through the day, specially before being fed their wet food. I read on some of the labels that you can add the tips of the grass cut to their wet food, my cats love this!! One of the cats has really long hair, but NO hairballs at all, I think is because he eats good quality canned food but also because of the cat grass, I think is great additive for cats; also remember how easy cats can get kidneys infections, I think grass makes the food more moist therefore less chance of kidneys infections.
    These are some of the brands I use:
    http://www.kittygrass.com/
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4438502

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