If you spend time with your cat outdoors, you have probably noticed that your kitty enjoys munching on grass and then….weirdly, vomits.
Poor thing. Seems to be a hard time, if you’ve watched your cat upchuck. So, why on earth would they eat something if it makes them sick, right?
Actually, it is believed that your cat is eating grass in order to vomit. What? Who’d want to do that? First of all, know that your cat is not sick, but since it’s body cannot digest the plant, (grass is mainly fiber and cats lack the necessary enzymes to break it down) therein lies the beauty of the dilemma. Since it can’t be digested, back up it comes and whatever else that may have been sitting in the cats stomach. Vomiting the grass then becomes a way of ridding their digestive tract of something that is unpleasant or inedible.
For example, when cats groom themselves, since their tongues are equipped with little hooks, they wind up scooping up and swallowing loose fur. Hair is not digestible either and it can bundle up in the stomach to create hairballs. You’ve seen them before on your floor or may have stepped on those wet little clumps. Ick. Wait, this is a good thing. They need to get them out, so that they don’t become a problem in the cat’s body.
In addition, grass nibbling may be of particular importance to outdoor cats who eat prey. Since cats tend to swallow a mouse or bird whole, once the meat has been digested, the hair, feathers and bones remain in the cat’s stomach. Problem – getting those undigested mouse or bird parts out so that the cat doesn’t have to pass the spikey little bones through their intestines that could puncture or block their gut. Solution: eat some grass, it will wrap around those mousy parts and voila, back up through the mouth it all comes.
Another theory is that grass juices contain folic acid, which is an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions, so a cat may benefit from this nutrient and its possible that they even may enjoy the taste.
So, ingesting grass is a good thing for your cat. Be aware however that the lawn your cat is grazing from may have been treated with chemicals and your cat could accidently ingest pesticides or herbicides. You can make sure your feline has clean grass by buying a small indoor tray of it and many pet food stores sell special little containers of cat grass.
This is helpful for stopping your cat from wanting to eat other household plants, many of which are toxic to your feline.
Ever notice this symbol on our pet food? Wonder what it means? Check out our next blog. It’s the key to what makes our pet food different from all the rest.