Why do dogs and cats eat grass?


This post is as much for the people that you see the cat grass trays in the supermarket or in the pet shop and you wonder what it will be, as for those who see our cats eat grass regularly and we ask things like Why now eat more grass? Why is this the only cat that eats grass? Or you simply have an interest in knowing what causes cats to look for and consume cat grass.

The herb, a complement to the diet

The juice of the herb contains folic acid, a vitamin that benefits the growth and development of the cat and also helps increase blood oxygen levels. If your cat eats grass on a regular basis, he may do so as a result of a deficit in his diet. If he is not receiving adequate nutritional contributions, he can try to supplement his diet with the intake of "extra vitamins."

For its laxative properties

Another theory is that eating grass can help our cat to have regular bowel movements, something that is especially important if there is something obstructing the digestive tract, such as hair. Some types of weed seem to have laxative properties, while others help calm stomach upset.

Clean the stomach (purge)

If your cat has access to fresh grass you will have noticed that it vomits shortly after ingesting it. He does it on purpose. When your cat realizes that something has been wrong, go to the grass plant, so he can vomit whatever is causing him discomfort. Cats do not possess the enzymes necessary to digest large amounts of grass, which makes them vomit. But in this process the stomach is also cleaned of hair, feathers, parasites or bones that can cause more severe damage. Some say that our cats have a sixth sense, something that innately tells them how much weed they should eat. The fact is that surely thanks to this we have saved more than one visit to the veterinarian.

Cats self-regulate the amount of grass they need to eat. However, if you realize that one of your cats continually demands grass, eats large quantities or vomits in excess, consult a veterinarian.

What grass can my cat eat?

If your cat has access to the outside, he will know which herb to choose. However, we must avoid eating grass that we have treated with pesticides or fertilizers (even in our garden). If we want our cat to have an area of ​​grass for him in his cat or in our garden we will not use any chemical.

If we live in an apartment or apartment or in a house but our cats do not have access to the outside we must be careful because if necessary, our cat can try to eat any other plant (beware! These plants are toxic to them). To avoid eating plants that should not be recommended to grow a pot for him or buy a tray of grass already prepared for this purpose (more info here).

A trick so that the grass tray does not get pocha is to trim the tips from time to time, as if we were passing the lawnmower. This will last longer and grow strong.

Please make sure that the plants you have at home are not toxic to your cat and provide grass that is free of pesticides and fertilizers.

Do they need grass? But they weren't carnivores?

From school they have taught us that herbivores they eat plants and carnivores to other animals, but these concepts are not as strict as they seem. In nature, a herbivorous animal involuntarily ingests small insects when it feeds on grass. Not only for them it is not harmful, but it is a rich contribution in protein and other nutrients. Similarly, a wild carnivore, like distant relatives of our cats and dogs, will ingest the whole animal including the plants they had in their stomachs. As in our case, they are not able to digest them completely but they do provide some nonessential nutrients and fiber. This could explain that our pets, since they don't go hunting or eat whole animals, like to nibble on plants whenever they can. However, as we will see next, depending on whether it is a cat or a dog, the reasons may be very different.

Your cat needs those plants, but not for what you think

The need to ingest plants by cats becomes apparent when we see that commercially there are plants that are sold especially for them. To say in passing that these plants do not have any special properties, except that they are usually fast growing herbs so that they are always available for our cats. As we have mentioned, plants do not provide any essential nutrient to carnivores, therefore neither to cats, but they do not ingest it for nutritional reasons. The herb contains a lot of fiber, which is widely known to facilitate excretion. Similarly, a cat consumes grass because it helps agglomerate the hair balls and bones of animals -if he ate any- that are created in his stomach. In addition, plants wake up in cats their regurgitating reflex, helping to expel these balls. It is for this reason that it is recommended to place a plant within the reach of cats, especially if they are long hair breeds.

The herb for dogs: the first thing he found

The explanation for dogs eating plants, according to a study by the University of New England (Australia), is very simple: They are hungry. In fact, as the researchers could see, the intake of herbs decreases as the day progresses and the dog receives more food. The herb quenches very quickly to dogs, even if they don't provide any nutrients. It is a behavior that can be habituated and repeated later, even when they have already eaten. We usually observe that dogs vomit after eating plants, but in reality they do no harm. However, it seems that dogs with Stomach problems They feel the need to take these plants, either to quench their stomachs as the study mentioned, or to facilitate the expulsion of whatever it is that is making them feel bad. That is, they vomit because they are sick and not because they eat plants. It is the opposite: they eat plants because they are sick.

Eating plants is natural and they are not at risk

The mentioned arrivals are the most probable hypotheses that explain the reasons why cats and dogs consume plants. However, in the case of wild animals, yes there is an investigation that details that eating herbs has a purpose, and this could be extrapolated to our pets. The study conducted at the University of Kyoto suggests that this need is given to facilitate the expulsion of intestinal parasites. The consumption of plants is greater when they are young, since they are more immune to these parasites. As we often mention, pets retain juvenile behaviors when they grow up, which could explain that they continue to eat plants when they are adults. In addition it would also justify that animals with intestinal problems also ingest them. Whatever the reason, all researchers who have conducted studies in this regard do not hesitate to clarify that the fact that cats and dogs consume plants is normal. It is not harmful, nor is it a bad behavior on the part of our pets, so we should stop worrying that occasionally they do.

Reasons why cats eat grass

The fact that cats vomit after eating grass is not a problem according to experts. Nor is it proven that eating grass is harmful to your health, but quite the opposite.

Cats do not have the ability for their body to generate the enzymes necessary to eliminate plant matter that their body does not need. Therefore, the herb, which makes them vomit, allows them to expel from their body all that non-digestible substance.

This is extremely important, because even if your cat is domestic, they always eat prey, whether they are mice, birds or cockroaches, depending on their access to the outside. The pussycat does not know how to differentiate which parts of its prey are digestible or not, so they eat them whole, regardless of bones or feathers. These can create digestive obstructions and create health problems.

The act of vomiting that eating grass causes them to allow all those parts not beneficial to their health to be expelled abroad leaving your body clean and making the cat feel better.

Then, one could say that cats eat grass for the same reason as dogs: to purge themselves.

What effect does the herb have on my cat?

Now, why does the herb cause this in the feline organism? The secret is in the juice of the grass. It contains folic acid, an essential vitamin for your kitty's body to function properly. Further, This substance is also responsible for generating hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to the blood.

It is also believed that the herb plays the role of natural laxative, avoiding digestive problems. In cats it is very common to get clogged by the known hairballs. Although in most cases it vomits them, sometimes some of them can go deeper into the digestive system and make it seem impossible to expel them.

As well, The expulsion of these is not impossible, they just need a little push, and this can be given by the grass. We do not know how cats know that this vegetable will facilitate this work, but we do know that they know it, because a feline will look for grass and eat it when he feels that something out of the ordinary happens in his stomach.

In fact, it has been proven that they know how to control themselves by eating only the amount of grass they need and when they need it.

What if I don't have grass at home?

Having seen this, you will have realized how important grass is in your cat's life. If you live in an apartment where you can hardly access this vegetable, do not worry, there is a solution for everything.

In stores specializing in animals, as well as in some veterinary clinics, you can get a type of seeds that by throwing them on land will make the grass grow in a few days. You will only need a pot that you can have inside as long as it gives natural light.

Above all be careful if you have a garden. You must control your cat's access to plants, since the only one beneficial to its organism is grass. Someone else could harm your health and cause you discomfort.

Herbs have folic acid

Folic acid is an essential vitamin that helps in the growth and development of the pussycat, it is also essential for the bodily functions of a cat. It also helps in the production of hemoglobin, which is the protein that carries oxygen in the blood.

So if you see your cat eating grass it may be because there is not enough folic acid in his diet and he has to go find it elsewhere.

A way to clean the stomach

It has not happened to you sometimes that something has made you feel bad and you have to go to vomit to find yourself better? That's what cats do when they eat a lot of weed. Your body does not have enough enzymes to digest it, so they end up vomiting and take out what has made them feel bad.

I'm going to put some grass in the feeder

Now let's not go to the garden to find the first herb we find to make sure our hairy has enough folic acid in his diet. Cats know how to distinguish which herb they should eat (although in certain circumstances, such as not having access to any type of grass, it may bite some ornamental plant), although it is worth buying some grass seeds for cats (which they sell at any garden center) and plant them in a pot with soil. This way we make sure you eat totally healthy grass.

The other day we bought some grass seeds for cats and in a few days we will prepare a tutorial on how to do it yourself. 🙂

If you want to know more about why cats eat grass we leave you a couple of links: The crazy cat and Mascotaking.

Why does your cat eat grass and vomit?

One of the reasons why cats eat grass is to purge, relieve digestive disorders and detoxify your body. If your pussy has eaten too much, ingested any inappropriate food or any toxic substance, you may eat grass to cause vomiting and eliminate these unwanted or harmful elements from your body.

In these cases, we will see that quickly after ingesting the plant, the cat starts to gag and vomits. Although nature is very wise, if you notice that your pussy vomits, has symptoms of digestive problems or intoxication, do not hesitate to take it quickly to the veterinarian to verify his state of health.

However, felines do not always consume plants to purge, as they say popularly. If that were true, cats should have arcades and vomit every time they consumed herbs, something that doesn't always happen. In this way, the cat can also eat grass to accelerate your intestinal transit and improve your digestion, since the plants provide a high contribution of fibers to your body. In these cases, it is not common for the cat to vomit but it is possible to increase its amount of bowel movements and eventually you will be able to observe the presence of grass in its feces.

Does your cat eat grass for nutritional deficits?

If they do not have complete and balanced nutrition, cats can consume herbs to supplement your diet and combat these nutritional deficiencies. In addition to rich in fiber, plants are sources of folic acid, a vitamin of the B complex that participates in the formation of cells and tissues, improves blood circulation, helps strengthen the immune system, prevents anemia and many other diseases.

Remember that cat feeding is a key aspect for your health and the development of their cognitive, emotional and social abilities. Therefore, we always recommend the guidance of a veterinarian to offer the best diet to your pussy, considering their age, size, health status and the specific needs of your body.

Cats eat grass as a laxative

The high fiber content of plants stimulates intestinal transit, helping to combat and prevent constipation in cats. If your cat has difficulty defecating regularly or her feces are very hard and difficult to evacuate, she may eat grass to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms and pain she feels from being constipated.

Normally, cats defecate every day and their feces are neither dry nor soft. In general, you can consider that your cat is constipated if it passes 2 or more days without evacuating. Therefore, if you notice that your cat has not evacuated in 2 or 3 days, do not hesitate to take him to the vet.

Is it bad for cats to eat grass?

Many tutors wonder what happens if a cat eats grass and if this is bad. At first, eating grass is not a bad thing or harmful to the health of felines. Vegetables are natural sources of fiber, vitamins and some minerals that help strengthen the immune system of our cats, improve their digestion and prevent constipation. The cat's organism is prepared to consume grass in specific situations to protect its well-being and preserve the balance of its metabolism.

However, we must be attentive, look at the motive which leads our cats to eat grass and see if this behavior is accompanied by other symptoms. If your pussy is thin, appears hungry or eats grass regularly, we recommend you consult a specialized veterinarian to see if your diet is appropriate to your nutritional requirements.

On the other hand, if you perceive that your feline does not go to the bathroom regularly or observe alterations in the feces of your feline, it will also be better to take him to the veterinary clinic to verify the cause of constipation and rule out the presence of parasites or hair balls in your gastrointestinal tract.

Logically, the consumption of toxic plants for cats is strictly forbidden for all the cats, in any circumstance. To ensure that your cat can eat grass safely, we recommend you always have catnip or natural malt in your home, or grow some beneficial vegetables for cats, without the use of pesticides or pesticides that can poison your body.

Remember that the articles of the Animal Expert are informative and in no way replace specialized veterinary care. Therefore, when observing any change in the behavior or appearance of your feline companion, take it quickly to the veterinary clinic.

Good plants for cats

In addition to catnip or catnip, cats can eat plants such as Valerian, dandelion, chamomile and even more aromatic plants such as basil or rosemary. All of them provide different properties and benefits that can help you improve your health. Of course, as we said, this type of vegetables should never establish your diet, they are supplements added to your usual diet.

And if you have observed that your cat eats the plants in your garden and you want to avoid it, or teach it to ingest only the plants that are for it, do not miss this article: "How to prevent my cat from eating the plants".

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do cats eat grass?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.