My cat eats grass, what is the problem?
I have had many cats all my life. Two things I know for sure is that they are picky eaters and they love to eat grass. What I also know is that they never got sick just from eating grass. It’s what they do. So why do they really do it?
There are many reasons why they want to eat grass, and many pet owners feel they must stop or prevent them from doing so. They feel that since the cat is not a cow, why let them do it? They also think that after seeing them do it for the first time, besides being weird, it just makes them throw up anyway. Unfortunately, since Kitty can’t speak, we can only watch and theorize as to why.
What people tend to forget is that it is a pet, not a wild cat. It is a natural instinct for them to graze and then vomit right after eating. This is especially true for cats that are not limited to being a house cat. Outdoor cats will eat just about anything they can catch and this is just one of the reasons they “need” to eat grass.
One of my cats loved to catch and eat field mice. He wasn’t very picky about what he ate, so he pretty much ate it all. There are many parts that he ate that he couldn’t digest. Although some of this indigestible material would follow nature’s course and pass through his system, many would not.
So how does a cat get rid of the materials in its stomach so that it doesn’t continue to cause discomfort or, worse yet, some kind of obstruction? They eat grass to vomit. It’s really not a big deal to them. I’m pretty sure they don’t enjoy it, but it’s also part of their natural instincts to do so. It’s an elimination cycle that they go through during the natural processing of their food.
Cats will vomit anything they can’t get past. One of the most important things it does is remove hairballs from your system. During the natural cleaning process of their coat, their very rough tongue does a great job of removing not only dirt or mess, but it also retains a lot of hair. It forms large hairballs on the stomach. If they are not removed or passed to the cat, a lot of discomfort.
Since cats clean themselves almost continuously, they need to have an outlet to remove these hairballs. In the absence of grass, they need something to take its place. hairball additives for your pet foods are available for this if needed. One of the best things I found to help them get rid of the skin on their stomachs is to give them some type of oil with their food. But many cats don’t like this and even if they do, make sure you don’t overdo it.
My cat only ate dry cat food. He didn’t care for any of the wet products. Despite the fact that I moistened it to his liking, he did not help pass the fur that he ingested. I saved the tuna oil and would give it to him. He got a tablespoon every two or three days. This helped him to naturally pass the skin through his system. Besides that he loved the taste.
The grass will not harm your pet and they may like to eat it. Just check that it is not full of insecticides. It could harm them in the long run if it contains toxins.
Like anything else, if it’s an ongoing thing, a new behavior, or if they’re constantly throwing up, this could be a sign of an entirely different problem. A trip or at least a phone call to your vet may be in order. They may want you to bring the pet or have a few questions give you the answers to reassure you.