Even though they are carnivores, cats seem to like a bit of greenery in their diets. Most cat owners are aware of their pets' propensity for eating grass or houseplants. Cats in the wild usually eat their herbivorous prey's intestines first and seem to get their "green fix" from this.
Why do cats eat grass?
Note: We may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page.No one is exactly sure WHY these normally carnivorous creatures eat grass but there are several theories. Some researchers think that cats have a need for certain enzymes and/or nutrients, found in greenery or that green grass contains some sort of a "stomach-cleanser" with the plant fiber helping the cats' digestion process. Eating grass thus promotes the passage of hairballs, either through stools or vomiting. Others think that some cats simply like the taste/texture of crispy crunchy green leaves and stems.
Safety first - avoid poisoning!
You can see grass-eating more often in outdoor cats, as they have more opportunities. If you have outdoor cats, be careful when using fertilizers, weed and pest control products on your lawn as these can prove extremely toxic to cats.
Many indoors-only cats will snack on any available greenery as well. With many common houseplants being toxic, it's important to screen the plants in your home. Avoid keeping plants that are a potential risk and make sure you offer your cat a suitable alternative to munch on. The most dangerous plant for cats to ingest is lilies. Take a minute to read this: Cats & Lilies: Avoid The Danger Lurking In Your Home.
How to safely provide grass for your cat
The best way to safely satisfy your cat's' taste for greens is to provide a pot of fresh homemade cat grass. Cat grass is readily available from most seed companies or pet supply catalogs and can also be found already growing and potted at many pet stores. If you want to provide some variety, there are several types of grass, acceptable for feeding to cats: oats, wheat, Japanese barnyard millet, bluegrass, fescue, rye, ryegrass and alfalfa sprouts.
It is quite simple to provide Kitty with his or her own salad bar. Place a 2-inch thick layer of potting soil in the bottom of a pot or planter and add enough water to moisten the soil. Completely cover the soil with a thin layer of seeds. Lightly cover the seeds with a handful of soil and then loosely cover the pot or planter with plastic wrap - this creates a greenhouse effect. After three to four days, the seeds will sprout and you can now remove the plastic wrap. As the grass grows, water as needed, to keep the soil moist (not soggy) and mist daily with a spray bottle. Trim as desired. Once the grass is about 2 inches high, place it where your cat can "graze".
Grass can induce vomiting in some cats. If your cat is prone to vomiting, avoid providing grass too soon after a meal. If your cat still vomits after eating grass, consult your veterinarian before letting her have anymore.
Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!