If your cat goes outside then the chances are that you’ve seen your cat eating grass you may have even seen grass in their vomit but cats aren’t cows so why do cats eat grass.
Eating grass is a really common thing in cats with over 70% of cats actually being reported as eating grass on a fairly regular basis so chances are your cat is one of them.
and over the years there’s been a number of theories about why cats eat grass from nutritional deficiencies especially folic acid which is found in grass juice which is important for growth and intestinal digestion through to eliminating hairballs for also for cats who are feeling unwell to make them vomit and even eating grass for stress relief but potentially the mystery has been solved.
In a recent study to look at why cats eat grass.
Actually, in 91% of the cases, the owners said their cat didn’t appear to be unwell before they ate grass and then didn’t vomit either.
so that kind of refutes the theory about cats eating grass to make themselves vomit so it’s been proposed that regular plant-eating by domestic carnivore so that’s your cat eating grass is a reflection of an innate behavior from a wild ancestor who regularly ate grass.
and this has been shown in the large cats by examining their feces which has shown a lot of in digested indigestible plant material in their cats.
it’s thought that this innate behavior was to drive actually the elimination of parasites from the gut so by eating plants by eating especially undigested non-digestible plants that actually cause the guts the intestines to contract more to work harder and that eliminates parasites.
And this has been shown in primates that eating indigestible plants actually purges the system of intestinal parasites so it helps to eliminate parasites and reduced any worm burden that’s going on there so it’s thought that this regular plant-eating behavior that your cat is exhibiting is actually a way for them to without knowing it just helped to reduce any intestinal burden within their intestines whether they sense that or not.
now as for helping to get rid of hairballs well
it’s certainly possible that this does help as well although that wasn’t mentioned in the study but if we think that if by eating plants that are going to increase the workload of the intestine it’s going to increase intestinal contractions then that absolutely is going to help to eliminate anything else within the intestine so if there’s hair building up then that grass may very well help to just eliminate that hair and stop it blocking up and stopping hairballs being produced.
actually the team of scientists who were investigating this their advice for cat owners was actually to provide your cat with a safe form of grass for them to eat so that could be something like a ryegrass and you could actually buy kits of safe grass for cats to keep inside just to help them fulfill their natural desire to eat grass so you’re helping could have provided there the needs for their behaviors that they want to express so that actually will lead to a happier cat as well.