Why Do Cats Eat Grass? (The Truth Behind This Weird Habit)

why do cats eat grass
A pet cat eating fresh grass, on a white background.

Why do cats eat grass is a question many pet parents ask. If you’ve ever seen your cat munching on a blade of grass you may have wondered if kitty has gone a bit eccentric! After all, you provide her with tasty treats every day, and her food bowl is always full at meal times. In this post you’ll discover the truth behind this weird grass munching habit, and if it’s good or bad. We’ll also cover how to grow cat grass at home, and why it’s safer for your kitty.

The real reasons your cat eats grass

If you’re wondering if it’s safe for your cat to eat grass, the answer is yes. Providing its not covered in pesticides your cat can safely munch away! There are a few reasons why cats love grass so much. Firstly, it tastes good. (to a cat that is!!) Think of grass as a portion of greens on your cat’s plate.

Though cats are carnivores, and unable to digest vegetables, grass seems to be beneficial to them. In the wild, cats live on raw meat. Whether a cat’s prey is a pigeon, mouse, rat or grasshopper, it will end up eating a mix of bones, feathers, and meat. This indigestible matter that can’t be broken down and is usually passed out in feces. However, some will end up moving further into the digestive tract.

You can only imagine how much discomfort this would cause. Grass, though also indigestible, actually helps remove all remnants of undigested material by making the cat vomit. However, in your cat’s case, the only reason she’d catch mice or birds is honing her hunting instinct.

Modern cat food is designed to provide all essential nutrients your kity needs, without the inclusion of bones or feathers. So why does your cat still have the need to eat grass?

Tummy upsets

If your cat feels out of sorts and has an upset tummy she may nibble a few blades of grass to feel better. Eating too much or too fast can make us feel bad, and it’s the same for your kitty. Whereas we can take an antacid tablet, your cat has to find other ways. Whereas we can take an antacid tablet, your cat has to find other ways. Grass eases discomfort and also helps constipation. Chewing grass also helps remove plaque, so encouraging your cat to eat it may also help prevent dental disease.

Essential nutrients

Cat grass is loaded with immune boosting vitamins and minerals. These include folic acid which is essential for your cat’s well being. Kittens in particular need sufficient amounts to help with growth. Folic acid is present in the mother’s milk, but lack of it can cause stunted growth, as well as anemia.

Fibre to help digestion

As previously mentioned, cats only eat meat, and though in the wild, fiber is obtained from bones, your cat’s only source of fiber would be from eating grass. This is fine if your cat goes outdoors, but she’s kept indoors it’s important to include it in her diet. Hair from grooming is passed through the gut more effectively with added fiber. As cat parents we’ve all found little hairballs in the home at one time or another.

While you can get food specifically for indoor cats, providing your kitty with a box of tasty grass will be much appreciated! Not only will this distract her from your houseplants, you’ll feel happier knowing she’s eating grass that’s free from toxic chemicals.

Cat grass can be grown easily on a balcony, windowsill, or any place convenient for your cat. It’s actually very easy to grow and your kitty will be able to graze whenever she wants!

How to grow cat grass

cat eating cat grass

If you’re wondering what cat grass is, it’s simply a mix of barley, rye, wheat, and oats. You can buy a cat grass kit to get you started. You will need to a planter separately though, as it’s not included. Alternatively, just buy seeds, germinating soil, and sow them in a pot!

Simply fill a pot about 2 inches from the top with organic soil. Scatter a mix of each seed type and lightly cover with a thin layer of soil. Spray with a very fine mist of water, but don’t overdo it. Next, cover the top of the pot with clingfilm and store in a warm place. Within a few days you should see your seeds starting to sprout. Remove the plastic wrap and keep somewhere out of your cat’s reach until the grass is at least 4 inches tall.

You could have 2 pots on the go. One with growing seeds, and the other with grass ready for your kitty to munch on! It’s fun growing herbs from seed, and you get the satisfaction of eating your own produce. In this case however, it’s your cat that enjoys the fruits of your labour!

As well as grass are there herbs that cats can safely eat?

If your cat can safely eat grass, are there any other herbs cats can eat? You may be wondering, if it’s safe for your kitty to munch on grass blades, are there other herbs she can eat. The answer is a resounding YES!! Not only will your cat enjoy her culinary treat, but they’re good for her as well.

Herbs that cats can eat include, catnip, valerian, and cat thyme. They’re completely safe and won’t cause your cat any harm. Catnip is often used to stuff toy mice, and one whiff of it can drive some cats crazy! It’s part of the mint family and known for it’s calming properties.

To some kitties catnip is the equivalent of smoking marijuana, though the effects only last about ten minutes. No one knows if it gives cats hallucinations, but it certainly seems to give pleasure! However, it’s unlikely you’ll see your cat rolling a bag of catnip into a big joint and smoking it anytime soon!!

You can buy catnip ready to use, or grow your own from seed. If you decide to grow your own, I recommend organic non -GMO catnip seeds for a healthy, high yield crop.

The scent of cat thyme is very soothing to cats. It’s similar to catnip but as the plant is slow growing you may want to buy some in a pot. You could always sow a few cat thyme seeds as well, as that way you’ll always have some on the go.

Valerian is a herb widely used by people to treat insomnia, and has a similar effect on cats. If you have a stressed kitty treat her to some valerian. You can get natural valerian root especially for cats. Only sprinkle a few bits as it’s quite potent. This is often a good
alternative if your cat doesn’t respond to catnip.

Grass and herbs for a happy and healthy cat

A pot of cat grass and a few pots of catnip and thyme will make for a very happy kitty! As you’ve discovered, they’re very easy to grow and completely safe. You’ve also learnt why grass is so good for your cat, and the essential vitamins it contains.

We’ve also looked at a few herbs to soothe your cat and promote well-being. If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please share:) Also, feel free to ask any questions or share your experience. Please leave any comments below 🙂

Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂
Kathy

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