We’ve all seen it. The cat goes out in the yard and goes straight to the grass. He munches it contentedly for a few minutes and then…whoops! Why would a cat eat something that he knows will make him throw up? Is it bad for him?
Well, the answer is a bit complicated. There is nothing to suggest that grass will harm a cat, but cats are carnivores. They lack the necessary enzymes to digest vegetable matter. So, what goes down is likely going to come right back up. But, that is a good thing.
In the wild, cats eat their whole prey, including bones, feather and fur. Many of these “parts” are indigestible. So, eating grass helps them to regurgitate and eliminate those things from the digestive tract and makes them feel better.
Your indoor kitty also has a “fur” problem. Fur balls occur when your cat grooms himself. That’s why you see little wet fur presents around your house. But, sometimes, the hair moves on further into the digestive tract and a laxative is needed to help pass it along. Grass is a natural laxative that cats seek out when they have an upset stomach. Their instinct to go to the grass may save you a trip to the vet.
When your cat eats grass, not all of it comes back up. The juices in the grass contain folic acid, which is a vitamin that is essential for kitty’s health. It’s as good for them as greens are for us.
Some experts even believe that grass helps relieve a sore throat in cats. So, grow a little cat grass in a pot for your indoor kitties and let your “in and out” cats indulge in grass when they feel the need. But, do be careful that your cats avoid grass that has been treated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. And, there are many houseplants that are poisonous for cats. So, do your homework and make your home and garden a safe place for your cat.