Cats have been nibbling grass throughout history. While they are obligate carnivores which means animal protein from their prey is their main diet, a side dish of grass seems preferred by our feline friends. So while we omnivorous humans chomp down on our greens understandably, why do carnivorous cats eat grass?
Cats Eat Grass to Throw Up
Cats throw up when they eat grass because it doesn’t sit well with their stomach. Being carnivores, cats don’t have the appropriate enzymes needed to break down plants or vegetables. So when cats eat grass they start regurgitating, bringing up indigestible matter from their digestive tract. Along the grass, cats can also throw up other inedible and indigestible stuff like fur, bones, feather, etc. Especially with outdoor cats that consume prey, they have to rid of the parts they eat that their body can’t safely process and release naturally. As for indoor cats, eating grass can help against hairball. When cats groom, there are fur that they would consume and those that can’t pass the cat’s system and get stuck in the stomach form hairballs. This has to be removed and by eating grass which activates their vomit reflex, it can help take out hairballs from their digestive tract.
Cats Eat Grass to Ease Digestion
Along with removing indigestible matter by means of throwing up, eating grass can also aid in smooth digestion: this means going down the other end. When your cat regurgitates, some matter still remains especially those that are already deep down the digestive tract. With this, when cats eat grass, this natural laxative can give their GI tract a little push and help clean out their internal system.
Cats Eat Grass to Reap Health Benefits
When cats eat grass, it doesn’t only help with their digestion but it also gives a health boost. Grass have trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in them. Moreover, grass is said to help in oxygenating the blood due to its chlorophyll components. It also contains folic acid that helps hemoglobin production which moves oxygen in the blood. So a little bit of green can definitely help your cat stay healthy.
To sum it all up, grass helps a cat’s bodily functions work well. Nature has always been the best provider of medicines great for prevention and cure. Do note however that there are some types of grass unsafe for cats, especially those exposed in toxic environment. To avoid this, grab some friendly greens for your indoor cat like a catnip or cat grass. You can keep it inside or in your garden to provide your kitty safe and edible greens.