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If your cat eats grass, he isn’t alone. Many cat owners can catch their felines nibbling on blades of grass from time to time. And more importantly, they often notice their cat throwing the grass back up just a few minutes later.
It may help to know that there’s a reason behind this behavior. Since eating grass isn’t always safe for your cat, due to chemical treatments like herbicides and pesticides, there are things you can do to help your cat satisfy this instinctual need more safely. Let’s talk a little more about why cats eat grass and what you should do about it.
For cats, grass can relieve an upset stomach6. Since many cats ingest their own fur (when they groom themselves), their digestive tract can sometimes get slightly clogged. The grass can help everything move along. Or sometimes, eating grass helps relieve your cat’s upset stomach by causing the cat to throw up — hairballs included.
And according to researchers who conducted a study on cats eating grass, sometimes cats don’t have a specific reason (such as an upset stomach) for eating grass — they simply do it because this behavior is instinctual7. The scientists explained that eating grass can help animals get rid of intestinal parasites. However, most domestic house cats today don’t have these parasites. Eating grass is simply an instinctive behavior, and it sometimes makes the animal throw up.
If your cat is an outdoor cat, it’s not safe for him to eat grass on a regular basis. The grass might have chemical treatments on it, such as pesticides to kill bugs or fertilizer to help the grass grow. These treatments can be potentially toxic to cats8. To offer your pet another option, try growing some indoor, grass such as wheatgrass, to give your cat a safer option to munch on.
Wheatgrass has a lot of health benefits for your cat9. Wheatgrass (which is just what it sounds like — leaves from a wheat plant) has fiber, vitamins, and amino acids that are good for your pet. To plant wheatgrass, you’ll need the items on this checklist (or you can purchase vet approved wheatgrass that’s already grown):
Plant your seeds in the soil, water them regularly, and you should have wheatgrass in less than a week! Keep the container of wheatgrass somewhere where your cat can easily access it. Most likely, your curious feline will quickly discover the wheatgrass and enjoy nibbling on it instead of the potentially harmful grass outdoors.
Are you looking for more ways to take care of your cat? Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets.
PetFirst Pet Insurance1 can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.
1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.
2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.
6Purina: Why do cats eat grass?
7Science Mag: Mystery solved? Why cats eat grass, August 8 2019, David Shultz
8Pet Poison Helpline: Fertilizers
9Better Homes and Gardens: Grow a quick pet treat: Wheat grass