One of the more common theories is that dogs, in particular, use grass for medicinal purposes to help them vomit. Powered by Brightspot. Some, like Animal Planet, theorize that cats eat the green stuff because it aids in the removal of non-digestible materials, like fur, assists in relieving constipation, and provides them with nutrients, like folic acid. Take our breed quiz to find your next pet. Why do cats eat grass? It's a good idea to provide safe plants for your cat to eat, such as pet grass or catnip. Eating grass is perfectly safe for your cat and a lot of them actually really enjoy eating it too! Grass juice contains vitamin B9 better known as, folic acid. All in all, the researchers take away was that it’s rather unlikely cats are doing this to cure an upset stomach, or purge hairballs, since most cats aren’t even throwing up at all. If you do use sprays, read the labels carefully to make sure they’re cat safe. According to Poison Pet Helpline, these are the most toxic and common plants that are dangerous to felines: This is not an all-inclusive list, so if you’re curious about a particular type not mentioned, do your research. Indoor-only cats may not have access to grass so they may chew on household plants instead. “Given that virtually all wild carnivores carry an intestinal parasite load, regular, instinctive plant eating would have an adaptive role in maintaining a tolerable intestinal parasite load, whether or not the animal senses the parasites,” the authors conclude in their summary. A common theory is that cats eat grass because they feel unwell and ingestion helps them to vomit, which may help the cat to feel better. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This occurs when your cat is trying to cope with stressors in her life. Most cats, like dogs, do not vomit afterward. If you have a cat that goes outdoors, this may be impossible. Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you. Other researchers think that it may just be part of some cats’ normal behavior patterns to eat grass, just as some people have a preference for certain foods. As many cat owners know, our feline friends often seem to love to eat grass and many household plants. If broader-leafed varieties offer a laxative effect, thinner-leafed grass induces cats to vomit. “The natural diet of cats includes small rodents that eat grasses, grains and other plant material. Most of the time, the plant-eating did not affect the cats, although around 27 percent of cats tended to vomit shortly after. Meet Wendy and Emily – just 2 sisters and cat lovers! All rights reserved. The real answer to why do cats eat grass According to research done by the University of California, ‘preliminary findings suggest that plant-eating is less common in cats than in … One of the theories is that grass contains extra nutrients that your cat needs in their diet, such as folic acid. Your cat may be eating grass and plants because it lacks appropriate nutrition. The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more. The reason cats eat grass and want to vomit it, is because they are actually (pretty intelligently) trying to remove hairballs from their stomach. While no one knows for sure why cats engage in this behavior, there are many theories as to why they do. Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? Sometimes providing a diet higher in fiber or giving your cat other behaviors to focus on, such as teaching her to do some simple tricks through clicker training or keeping her busy with food puzzles that engage her and slow down her pace of eating can be helpful. Though this may look strange, but nibbling on grass is a very common sight and almost all cats do this occasionally. For one cats chew grass because of several of the vitamins and minerals it contains. Putting your plants out of your cat’s … Other cats may appear to have an oral fixation where they “like” to chew on things, such as blankets, strings, shoelaces, electrical cords or plants. make sure that the plants you have in your household are non-toxic, Why Some Cats Eat Food Away From Their Bowl, 4 Ways You Might Be Misinterpreting Your Cat's Body Language. Nobody knows for sure why these furry obligate carnivores like munching on greenery. That’s because my own sister’s cat (that I gave her) died of acute kidney failure secondary to getting into dangerous Asiatic lilies from a bouquet several years ago. A good idea is to get your cat its own special plant – they have cat grass you can buy online or at pet stores, or you could keep houseplants that are “cat safe”. You can read our full bio here. This excess hair is entering their system, because of grooming. Cats eat grass for hairball control. Sometimes it can be hard to tell exactly where the discomfort is coming from. And also increases oxygen in the blood. It turns out that field studies of wild carnivores and primates have found that they regularly eat non-digestible grass and other vegetation to … For indoor cats that munch on your houseplants, there are a few things you could do: If cats eating plants is truly instinctual, it may be better to just provide safe alternatives for them rather than trying to stop it. Another theory is that cats may eat grass for some trace minerals and the vitamins A and D. Grass also contains chlorophyll, which, before the discovery of antibiotics, was a remedy for pain, infection, ulcers, skin diseases and anemia. When a cat eats the intestines of a mouse for example, it ingests this green matter and thus has “a salad with its main dish.” These plants are a source of B vitamins, especially folic acid, for the cat. Grass is a natural fiber that may help with gastrointestinal motility. There’s no exact answer to why cats may eat grass and other plants. Maybe they like the texture. She may be genetically predisposed to experiencing anxiety, but in many cases a lack of early socialization or exposure to early negative experiences can also contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder. In veterinary clinical practice, the traditional explanation for plant-eating in dogs and cats is that there is a dietary deficiency or that plant-eating is a way of inducing vomiting. Catnip is, of course, the plant of choice in the feline world, along with pet grass you can find at a pet supply retailer. There are actually several reasons this could be happening. With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life. But perhaps the type of plants, amount, and speed at which it was eaten (as well as the sensitivity of the feline’s stomach) all play a part in this as well. The information on this site is not intended to replace veterinary advice. Although the prevalence of plant eating in domestic dogs and cats has not been documented, wild canids and felids in nature are known to eat grass and plants—plant material has been found in 2% to 74% of scats and stomach content samples of wolves and cougars.1-6 This is the protein responsible for transporting oxygen through your blood. If your cat exhibits anxious behavior, work with your veterinarian to determine the triggers for the anxiety and together develop a plan to alleviate them (as well as preventing access to items that might be dangerous to chew). It turns out that field studies of wild carnivores and primates have found that they regularly eat non-digestible grass and other vegetation to purge parasitic worms from … Asides the three explained above, your cat may also be eating plants because he is feeling nauseous. Some even believe cats eat grass to relieve sore throats. If your cat exhibits this behavior daily, several times a day or several days of the week, then please have your cat examined by your veterinarian and make sure a medical work-up has eliminated a medical problem. The cat is not … Nausea can be due to an illness, change in food type, or medication. While there are many reasons/theories behind why cats engage in this behavior, the newest studies suggest that the behavior to eat grass (and other plants) is by in large, instinctual. There are plenty other reasons why cats eat plants. Because cats are carnivores, they don’t need and aren’t evolved to eat plants. We would like to point one thing out, though. A 2008 study on dogs and cats eating grass showed similar findings. Many plants have leaves that wiggle from a breeze of vibrations in the floor. The researchers concluded that this is unlikely, and a more logical explanation is that grass consumption is an instinctive behaviour to purge the gastrointestinal tract of parasitic worms . Since cats themselves can't say, experts theorize that cats eat grass as a natural laxative. Please seek help from your vet for any medical or behavioral concerns. 91% of the time, the cats were reportedly acting normal with no signs of illness before they ate the plants, and only 27% of the cats that ate plants were reported to regularly vomit afterward. 2001-2020 There is also a potential risk of contracting internal parasites. ... that are safe, and even good, for her. Is it bad for them? Out of sight, they say, is out of mind. Since cats themselves can't say, experts theorize that cats eat grass as a natural laxative. Because this new research proves that grass and other plants are actually still able to make its way through their systems, at least in the majority of cats. Grass is a natural fiber that may help with gastrointestinal motility. This causes immediate expulsion in many cats. The study, which you can learn more about here, showed only 27% of the observed cats that ate plants actually regularly threw up. It turns out that field studies of wild carnivores and primates have found that they regularly eat non-digestible grass and other vegetation to purge parasitic worms from their systems. Read our complete disclosure here or more information. Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Let us know! If the video doesn't start playing momentarily, Will it Make Them Sick? Researchers in the same study found that grass-eating is also common in cats, and has nothing to do with upset stomachs or other illnesses. Filed Under: Cat Health and Care, Food and Diet, Your email address will not be published. Like this article? While broad grasses seem to have a laxative effect, narrow grasses are suspected to help a cat settle an upset stomach. Even the slightest wiggle can activate your cat’s hunting instincts. As we all know, gastrointestinal disease can cause discomfort, whether it is pain in the stomach or intestines, and it can be difficult to bear. One of the main reasons cats eat grass is to throw up. Please consult your veterinarian to discuss any possible risks to your cat. Pet Central looks at why cats eat plants and what you can do to prevent it. Also, stay away from using any chemical sprays (like pesticides/insecticides) in your yard that could be harmful as well. Vetstreet. I can’t keep plants around the house because he will gobble them up, and he never misses a chance to escape out the back door and eat grass. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for some cats to regurgitate plant matter. To cope, some cats may exhibit over-grooming or excessive vocalization when they are anxious, while other cats may try to engage in a different activity to soothe themselves, such as finding something to chew on. Even the slightest wiggle can activate your cat’s hunting instincts. Cats also eat other plants as well. My cat Charlie is a plant junkie. We each have well over 20 years of experience with cat ownership and are here to share our knowledge with you. Another possibility is that your cat is one of those felines who thinks she is starving all the time! Most cats, like dogs, do not vomit afterward. The thing is, he ALWAYS immediately pukes it all up afterward. Researchers have certainly found intestinal parasites wrapped around blades of grass in the scat of wolves. Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, chances are he has already put his paws on grass, ate it, and threw it up. I’m very passionate about educating cat owners on the dangers of houseplants for cats. This vitamin supports a cat’s growth. But unfortunately, certain species of plants can be dangerous or even deadly to felines. Happy Cat Corner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. © 2001-2020 There’s no exact answer to why cats may eat grass and other plants. You may also want to buy a small tray of grass just for the cat, or start an herbal home garden. Not sure about food puzzles? If your cat occasionally eats grass and vomits, I would not be too worried. To alleviate any discomfort she may simply be seeking other items to ingest and grass or may... Obligate carnivores but it 's not fully understood from a scientific point of,! Days sleeping, but there are plenty other reasons why cats love eating grass may possibly reduce... 2 sisters and cat lovers this excess hair is entering their system, of. And what you can read this list to get more ideas not have access grass! 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