My cat eats grass, what is the big problem?
I have had many cats my whole life. Two things I know for sure is that they are very picky eaters and love to eat grass. What I also know is that they never got sick just from eating grass. It is 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 the first time, apart from being weird it just makes them throw up anyway. Unfortunately, since Kitty cannot speak, we can only observe and theorize on the whys.
What people tend to forget is that they are dealing with a pet, not a feral 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 the grass.
One of my cats loved to catch and eat field mice. He wasn’t very picky about what he ate, so he practically ate everything. There are many parts that he ate that he could not digest. Although some of this indigestible material would follow the course of nature and pass through her system, many could 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, some kind of blockage? They eat grass to vomit. It’s really not a big deal for them. I’m pretty sure they don’t enjoy it, but it’s also part of their natural instincts to do so. It is a cycle of elimination that they go through during the natural processing of their food.
Cats will throw up anything they can’t get through. One of the most important things is to remove hairballs from your system. During the natural cleaning process of his coat, his very rough tongue does a great job of removing not only dirt or mess, but also retaining a lot of hair. It forms large hairballs on the stomach. If they are not removed or passed, the pet is very uncomfortable.
Since cats clean themselves almost continuously, they need to have an outlet to remove these fur balls. In the absence of grass, they need something to take its place. Fur ball additives for your pet food are available for this if required. One of the best things I found to help them get rid of the fur on their stomach is to give them some kind of oil with their food. But many cats don’t like this and even if they do, be sure not to overdo it.
My cat used to eat only dry cat food. He didn’t care about any of the wet products. Although I moistened it to his liking, it did not help to pass the fur that he would ingest. I saved tuna oil and would give it to him. Got a tablespoon every two to three days. This helped him to pass the fur naturally through his system. On top of that, he loved the taste.
The grass will not harm your pet and he may like to eat it. Just be careful that it is not full of insecticides. It could harm them in the long term if it contains toxins.
Like anything else, if it’s an ongoing thing, a completely new behavior, or they are constantly vomiting, this may be a sign of a completely different problem. A trip or at least a phone call to your vet may be in order. They may want the pet brought in or some questions can give you the answers to reassure you.