If you see your cat “grazing,” it is not necessarily cause for alarm, in today’s veterinary blog, why cats eat grass and if owners should be concerned.
Cats often exhibit quirky behaviors. Whether your kitty is hiding in the closet, squeezing into a small box, or howling at the moon, believe it or not, many of these behaviors are normal and not a cause for worry.
One quirky behavior occurs as summer inches upon us. and lush, green grass appears. Sometimes, cat owners may see their pet “grazing” or eating grass. We asked WestVet’s Feline Behaviorist, Dr. Hazel Carney, why cats eat grass and she offered this explanation:
“The natural diet of cats includes small rodents that eat grasses, grains and other plant material. When a cat eats the intestines of a mouse for example, it ingests this green matter and thus has “a salad with its main dish.” These plants are a source of B vitamins, especially folic acid, for the cat. Some pet cats with chronic GI diseases that induce a loss of vitamins will eat grass in an effort to replace the nutrients. For wild cats, grass can act as a parasitidal agent: it wraps around GI parasites and stimulates the cat’s gut to purge the worms usually in the stool. Some cats vomit the grass covered worms however, and because owners observed these cats eating grass also, the old wives’ tale arose that “sick cats eat grass to make themselves vomit.” No scientific data supports this theory; in fact, research showed that cats inherit the habit of eating grass or learn it from their queen and the removal of GI parasites was a fortunate coincidence.”
As always, if your cat exhibits pain, lethargy or other unusual symptoms, seek veterinary care right away. Vomiting may also indicate social issues, which can be simply addressed with a change in the environment. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Carney today!