Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Why do cats eat grass? The reasons for cats eating grass aren't completely understood, but there is an explanation which, though not proven, makes sense.

You may well have noticed your cat, as soon as he goes outside, makes a beeline for a clump of grass then immediately starts wolfing it down.

If he's anything like my cat, he'll then go back into the house and throw up all over the carpet, and it's a race to clean it up before the grass leaves a long lasting stain...

Sounds familiar? Thought so. Sounds logical? Er, no... Why the heck do cats eat grass if it causes a swift bout of cat vomiting?

Grass isn't really digestible to cats, and it's thought it has very little nutritional value. So why do cats eat grass? It's thought they do it to make themselves sick in order to clean out their digestive system. There are a couple of reasons they'd want to do this:

Get Rid Of Cat Hairballs

During grooming, cats swallow a lot of hair, which is indigestible and may clog up their digestive system. Eating grass helps them to throw the hairballs back up and prevent this (nice eh?!)

Get Rid Of Indigestible Parts Of Meals

This mainly applies to cats that kill mice, birds etc. and then eat them. Feathers, bones, fur etc. aren't digestible, but the cat is likely to swallow some during the course of his mouse or bird dinner. Cats eating grass after eating prey may be doing it to throw up the bits of the prey they've swallowed but can't digest (even nicer, huh...)

picture of white cornish rex cat eating grass

Cat Grass

House cats may have an urge / need to eat grass, and there is commercial cat grass available in pet stores which you grow in a tray indoors for Kitty to eat.

It's definitely worth trying this if your cat has a particular taste for houseplants - he may be eating these because there's no grass available. Providing grass for him may give your houseplants a much-needed respite.

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