Cats will eat grass in order to induce vomiting. Similar to dogs and for various reasons. In a recent article, I spoke about dogs vomiting by eating grass. However, I didn’t touch base on why cats eat grass though, and it’s for similar reasons.
Animals are instinctual. Humans, we are sometimes. More often than not, when it comes to a fight or flight syndrome. The need to live on. Animals though, they run on instincts almost all the time. Sure, dogs are more domesticated, but they eat grass!
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What are some possible reasons behind this?
The Benefits Of Inducing Vomiting.
I know this sounds terrible, the benefits of inducing vomiting? Why would there be benefits to puking? Well, for us, our stomachs reject certain foods or fluids. Many people experience this when they drink too much alcohol. Basically, your body is telling you, “Enough already!” Now, whether we choose to listen to it after, well, that’s on you.
Animals on the other hand induce vomiting for several reasons. Cats will want to vomit if there’s too much fur in their stomach and they can’t digest it. Or, they’ve eaten something their stomach doesn’t like. Maybe, there’s too much bile in their stomachs. Several reasons, and factors come into play. They may have also eaten too much food.
Often, you’ll see them munching away on your household plants in order to achieve this. Not all plants are good for this though. This is where the cat grass comes into play.
Dogs will find grass when they go outside. Since many cats are strictly indoor cats, they don’t have this luxury. So, they simply eyeball the dog and give them the stink eye. Especially when they know the dog is free and they’re stuck looking out the window.
Grass Contains Fiber.
There is also the benefits of fiber in the grass. See, cats have been munching on grass since they’ve been around. Cats in the wild will eat grass. Domestic cats munch away too, when they can. Almost all animals will eat some form of grass. Maybe they know they need the fiber?
I mean, fiber helps regulate us. In, you know, the fecal region. If you’ve ever had a problem with constipation, the first thing your doctor asks you is, “Are you getting enough fiber?” I mean, where does this stuff come from anyway? Well, vegetation. Yes, like grass.
This doesn’t mean to go out and buy some grass for yourself. No, no. We can find it in more delicious ways. Apples, beans, lentils, avocados, dried fruits, etc. Many of these foods aren’t good for your pets though. So, they get it the only way they can, grass.
Cat Grass May Also….
Along with inducing vomiting and providing fiber, cat grass is also thought to help with digestion. Wait, what? Okay, so we drink or eat probiotics to aid with digestion. If you don’t know what this is, basically, it’s a healthy bacteria. See, bacteria lives in our intestines and helps break foods down.
There are two types of bacteria. The good and the bad. We want the good. When you take antibiotics, the main thing it does is kill bacteria. The problem? We don’t have normal bowel movements, and we can get bloaty. After taking antibiotics, your doctor will usually say, “Be sure to replenish those probiotics.” They’ll even tell you some foods they’re in. Yogurt is a big one.
But this doesn’t mean we can go out and buy yogurt for our cats! Nope. Instead, the cats naturally will eat grass to help their own digestive system out. Cats know when they need something. They’re more in tune with their bodies than most humans! Grass provides the healthy bacteria they need like yogurt does for us.
So when you see your cat trying to eat your houseplants, then it may be time to find some cat grass. Where might you find this stuff anyhow?
Where To Buy Cat Grass.
Cat grass is similar to the grass in your yard. Except, there are some important differences. Cat grass is not going to contain any pesticides. No potentially harmful chemicals. See, in our ground water, there is usually some form of chemicals animals shouldn’t consume.
Not all grass of course. I mean, when my dog is munching on grass in the forest behind my house, I’m not worried about them. I know that that grass hasn’t been treated or sprayed with chemicals. How do I know? Because it’s a forest. Lots of weeds. Lots of overgrowth. Plus, I’ve lived here 21 years and no one touches that part of the forest. It’s my backyard. It also doesn’t see the water from my hose. It’s kind of overgrown already.
Cats though that are indoor cats, they need grass. If you let them out, you’ll find them munching away when they need to. If you have chemical free grass – great! If not, then head to any pet store retailer. Petco has cat grass in different sized containers available. You simply take care of it like any other houseplant.
You can also buy seeds and grow it yourself. Here are some tips on how to grow seeds at home.
Final Words on Why Cats Eat Grass.
I hope this answers your questions on why cats eat grass. Like dogs, they just know they need the grass. Also, don’t get upset at them when they vomit it up. That just meant there was something in their stomach they didn’t like. That, or a very large fur ball came up mixed in with the rest of the stuff. Ew.
It’s natural though. The stomach – it’s what they’re designed to do. Ingest or not to ingest. That is the question. Besides, I’m pretty sure if we had to lick fur all day, we’d get tired of it, too. I’m pretty sure our stomach’s would want that out as well.
That, or they simply ate something that didn’t agree with them. Who knows? I’ve had plenty of male cats get into things they’re not supposed to. Next thing I know, they’re eating the grass. Of course, what follows is fun. They love to hide in a very tough spot to get to. Then comes the hurling noises. Fun, fun. Now to climb under there and clean it up.
Hopefully this helps you to know that cats need grass. So, when you think of your dog eating grass, think of your cat as well.
8 thoughts on “Why Cats Eat Grass”
Hi. We had three cats who have all sadly passed away. They all would occasionally eat grass but they were also all outside cats so no surprise there. We now have a dog and she will eat almost anything. We try very hard to stop her from eating twigs, leaves, and other less pleasant substances. In this regard, there is one thing I don’t fully understand. Both the cats and the dog have no qualms about throwing up wherever they happen to be at that time. Whether they are on our sofa, hovering over an expensive rug, or anywhere. They make no attempt whatsoever to move to a corner for example. And yet all of these animals were what we would call trained and clean. So while they would not dream of pooping or peeing where they sleep or anywhere indoors, they would barely even get up from where they are and move a few inches but will just vomit on the spot. I would have thought that vomit would be really unpleasant for the pet in its bed. Can you explain this?
Most pets, when they feel the urge to vomit, don’t see it the same way as poop and they don’t try to move for it. See, animals will often eat their vomit when it comes up to salvage any food that may have come up with it. Unfortunately, animals don’t see food the same way we do, good versus bad. They’ll eat rotten food and their stomachs will almost always be able to handle the rotten stuff. In the wild, both cats and dogs (hyenas) can be scavengers and eat a decayed carcass when they’re hungry enough. Both dogs and cats that live on the streets will also eat from garbage cans to survive as well.
Vomit to them, when it smells like food is just that, food. So, they don’t see it as soiling furniture or rugs, etc.
I will say, that with Atlas, when she was younger and had a more sensitive stomach than she does now, started the puking process on my bed. I heard the heaving start, and grabbed her real quick and put her in the floor (we have wood). I was able to get her off the bed before she puked on it. About 45 minutes later, she started again and tried to jump down herself, but didn’t make it in time, and neither did I. Some got on the bed. She watched me clean it feverishly, and ever since then, she’s ran for the floor to vomit.
In fact, I think it was soon after this incident that she started heaving in the living room and I was able to get her outside the doggie door in time to vomit outside. I had to think about this because she tries to run outside to puke now. Thankfully it’s few and far between now for her. Her stomach isn’t as sensitive as it used to be as a pup.
Maybe if you try to grab them during the heaving process and get them off the furniture or couch, they’ll see that that’s not the place to vomit. Worth a try for you. I can’t guarantee your dogs will pick up on this que as fast as Atlas, she is the first dog that’s actually ran outside to vomit for me, but she’s very unique. But I would imagine if your dogs are doing this often and you catch them enough, they’ll understand the couch is not the place to vomit.
My two smaller dogs aren’t nearly as smart and they’ll puke wherever it lands. But, alas, Chihuahuas are difficult to train.
Hope this helps!
Interesting article! I have always wondered why cats eat grass, that has answered my question! I figured it had something to do with vomiting but wasnt sure! Thanks for researching that. It is a wise idea to buy cat grass if you have chemicals in your grass!
Thanks Krista, yes, it gives them something more natural to eat to induce the vomiting. Better than houseplants. I’ve seen some houseplants that have the opposite effect and can cause them to choke on the vomit instead. Terrible. Grass allows for the mucous to gently glide the fur or other items out safely and quickly.
Glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for reading!
This is super interesting! I have two cats, but they’re indoor cats. I’ve been very frustrated by them constantly trying to eat my houseplants, but now I actually have a reason that makes a lot of sense! (They do groom each other constantly and one of them has very long hair, so they try to hack up hairballs every now and then and it’s a bit alarming whenever they do).
You’ve definitely piqued my interest in regards to cat grass. Do you just put it out somewhere in your house and let the cats eat it whenever they need?
Thanks for another super informative article!
Yes, leave it somewhere they have easy access to and be sure to water it. It’s just like a house plant, so I might suggest getting a square style pot for the floor of your home and letting it grow throughout the pot. While it’s growing, use clear tape around the dirt though so they don’t think it’s a litter box instead and try to poop in it. I had that issue with my cats and my larger house plants. They would dig around in the dirt and try to use it like a cat box. So I put clear tape all around the dirt parts so they couldn’t jump in. Once it’s more of a grass all the way around, there’s nothing to dig and no pretend cat box to use. 🙂
Hope this helps! Thanks!
Very interesting article and even though I did buy my cat some cat grass I never understood why she wanted it. She goes crazy for it and munches away like there’s no tomorrow. At times I have to take it away to let it grow again. My question is, can a cat eat too much cat grass? Sometimes I really wonder whether the way she loves it so much is normal.
No, the amount she eats is fine. It’s not catnip, though, right? There’s some grasses that are fresh catnip, so be sure it’s just plain cat grass. Given the chance, they would just allow themselves to get high all day on catnip I’m afraid. They don’t have the will to stop….
If it’s just cat grass, it’s full of fiber. So, she may be just hungry and it fills that void, especially if you regulate her food like I did with my cats. I never had an auto-feeder for my cats, cause then they would just lay in front of it and just eat all day. I had one male cat that was very, very fat. I had to put him a diet when he was no longer white, but pink because he was so fat. He was angry with me for a good 3 months to lose the weight, but he got over it.
I didn’t know at the time about cat grass, so I didn’t have any. If I had, I imagine he would have ate that all day to feel satiated.
But your cat should be fine. You do want to take it away like you said to let it grow back once in a while. Cats will sometimes just eat to eat. The wild cats in their nature didn’t always have food, so it’s natural they’d eat just to eat when it’s there. 🙂