Why Do Cats Eat Grass? Is It Safe?

Cat eating green grass. Shallow DOF.

(Picture Credit: Salima Senyavskaya/Getty Images)

Why do cats eat grass? You may be asking this if you’ve seen your own cat chewing on a blade of grass from time to time. Or maybe you’ve seen outdoor cats eating grass.

In a survey, over 70 percent of cat parents reported that they saw their cats eating grass at least six times in their life.

You’ll be happy to know that eating grass is fairly normal behavior for cats, and it’s usually not harmful. Eating, and often regurgitating, grass can be messy, but it’s not necessarily dangerous for our feline friends.

In fact, some believe it actually has some benefits. However, you should still take precautions if your cat loves to munch some greenery. Here are a few things you should know about cats eating grass.

Why Cats Like To Eat Grass

There are plenty of theories out there as to why cats eat grass. But the answer may be that it’s beneficial for cats, in many cases, to do so.

Here are a few reasons your cat may be chewing on grass:

  • Cats can’t digest certain parts of their meals — think hair, feathers, and bones. Eating grass helps eliminate the indigestible matter before it goes through the cat’s intestinal tract.
  • Grass is also a natural laxative, so it helps fur that gets into the cat’s intestinal tract pass out the other end.
  • The juice of grass contains folic acid, an essential vitamin that helps the cat’s body produce hemoglobin, which moves oxygen in the blood system.

So, if your cat has an urge or need for grass, grow or buy some for them as a nice treat.

Words Of Caution

Photo taken in Neu-Ulm, Germany

(Picture Credit: Thorsten Nilson / EyeEm/Getty Images)

There are a few cases where eating grass can be dangerous for cats. It’s important to take precautions. And, if you have any doubts about your cat’s health or safety, get to the vet for a checkup and advice.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if your cat is eating grass:

  • Grow or buy grass specifically for your cat instead of letting them eat grass from outside. You never know what kinds of pesticides or other chemicals and toxins are on lawns.
  • If your cat eats other non-food items, such as cloth or plastic, they may be suffering from a compulsive condition called feline pica. Your vet can help you address this.
  • Some cats vomit after eating grass, and that can be normal. However, if vomiting becomes severe or persists, you should call your vet.
  • Be careful about which plants you bring into your home, as many are toxic for cats. If your cat likes to chew grass, chances are they may also try to eat other plant material.

Does your cat ever eat grass? Why do you think they do it? Let us know in the comments below!