Why do cats love to bite on grass? Or just to not vomit it ostentatiously later? Well, no! They have several other reasons. Cat grass is healthy, but… not every one. Find out why cats need grass in their diet for and what’s best for them.
Why do cats eat grass?
The eating of grass by cats is not a new thing. This has been happening since the beginning of cat history. Although cats are predators, which means they can live a healthy life by eating only animal protein, cat grass has many positive properties. So why do cats eat grass? There are several good reasons for this tendency.
Grass helps to get rid of… grass and more.
In nature, cats use grass in a rather unusual way. They eat grass to get rid of it from their bodies. What’s the point? We already explain… When a cat swallows its prey, e.g. a mouse, it probably already had grass in its digestive system. Since the cat is a carnivore and it is difficult for it to digest plants, it wants to get rid of them. However, it lacks the necessary enzymes to break down the plant matter.
However, freshly eaten grass stimulates the cat to vomit, which is a natural way to get rid of this plant part of the prey, which is not easily digestible for our little predator. This is an instinctive behaviour, simply inscribed in the cat’s nature.
It can be said to be a kind of a cat’s herbal medicine. Grass stimulates the cat’s digestive system. It allows you to get rid of not only indigestible grass, but also other undesirable elements such as fur, bones, feathers, etc., as well. It helps to remove excess mucus, bile and other impurities. Sometimes it also helps to deal with worms. But that’s not all!
Decoupling – an important issue
Another reason is, of course, the decoupling. The cat, washing itself, swallows a large amount of hair. The tongue of cats has tiny, hook-like structures that act like a brush and grab loose hair, which then goes into the cat’s belly. They often get entangled in the stomach, forming “flocs”, or hair balls. The cat instinctively wants to get rid of them. As we already know, grass activates the vomiting reflex, which allows you to free yourself from irritating residues.
Our Advice: Regular cat brushing significantly reduces the likelihood of flocs forming in your cat’s stomach.
Vitamins and minerals
Cats can also benefit from the other benefits of grass. They don’t just use it to cleanse their bodies, but also to enrich them. Can cat grass also have value in itself? Yes, it is. Cats eat grass instinctively – for nutritional purposes.
Grass contains trace amounts of vitamins A and D, as well as niacin. It also has chlorophyll, which helps oxygenate blood, relieves pain, helps in the treatment of infections, skin ulcers, and also fights anemia. In addition, you will find folic acid and protein, which support the production of haemoglobin.
When to start giving grass to cats?
A cat with access to the garden is able to decide when to start picking grass on its own. However, cats that do not have this choice (and this possibility) are deprived of it. It’s up to us to decide when and if to start giving it to our pet at all. Cats of almost any age can benefit from grass, but let’s be moderate in kittens. Gradually introducing it to the cat’s menu is proposed only after 4 months of age. During this time their digestive system is sufficiently developed.
Attention! Cat grass can be dangerous.
Many cats can’t pass by indifferently, next to any green plant, raging at the sight of bouquets and greens. This often leads to poisoning after consuming those that have toxic properties. Not every type of grass is safe for cats. Check which plants it is better to avoid in your cat’s home. Outdoor cats are not able to control 100%. And outdoor grass is exposed to toxins from pesticides. Therefore, in case of any symptoms of poisoning, rush immediately to the clinic!
At home, make sure that all plants are non-toxic. Organise a real herb garden for your cat. Your cat will certainly be delighted with it. This will give you control over the type of plants your cat bites on. When you have a jungle in your home, your cats will reduce the amount of accidental weed in the backyard.
Grass for cats – features
- a natural laxative,
- the decoupling device,
- eliminates undigested parts of the food,
- facilitates and improves intestinal function,
- cleans the stomach,
- helps to remove excess mucus, bile and other impurities,
- has a lot of vitamins.
As a carer, make sure your cat has access to fresh and healthy grass. Eliminate the possibility of your cat eating inappropriate plants. The most popular and easily accessible grass for cats is oats, but you can sow both rye and barley – be careful with wheat grains, as some animals are particularly sensitive to them.
Loving carers should sow oats or other crops to keep their pet healthy and happy. Decoupling pastes aren’t enough, because eating grass is more than just helping your cat to digest and decoupling. They just like to do it!