I have owned many cats throughout my life. Two things I know for sure are that they sure are picky eaters and they love to eat grass. What I also know is that they never got sick just from eating grass. That’s what they do. So why do they actually do it?
There are many reasons why they want to eat the grass, and many pet owners feel they have to stop or prevent them from doing so. They feel that since the cat is not a cow why let them do it. They also think that after seeing them do it the first time, in addition to being weird, it just makes them throw up anyway. Unfortunately since kitty can’t talk, we can only watch and theorize as to why.
What people tend to forget is that this is a pet, not a natural cat. It is a natural instinct for them to graze and then throw up right after eating. This is especially true for cats that are not just a house cat. Outdoor cats will eat just about anything they can catch, and this is just one of the reasons they “need” to eat the grass.
One of my cats loved to catch and eat field mice. He wasn’t particular about what he ate, so he pretty much ate the whole thing. There are many parts he ate that he could not digest. Although some of this indigestible material would take its course and pass through his system, much could not.
So how does a cat get rid of material in its stomach so that it does not continue to cause discomfort or worse, some form of obstruction? They eat grass to make themselves throw up. It’s not really a big deal to them. I’m pretty sure they don’t like it, but it’s also part of their natural instincts to do it. There is a cycle of removal they go through during the natural processing of the food.
Cats will throw up what they can’t pass. One of the most important things is to remove furballs from the system. During the natural cleaning process of their coat, their very rough tongue does a good job of removing not only dirt or spills, but retains a lot of hair. It forms large balls of fur in their stomachs. If not removed or passed the cats pet a lot of discomfort.
Since cats almost continuously clean themselves, they must have an outlet to remove these furballs. In the absence of grass, they need something to take its place. furball supplements for their pet food are available for this if needed. One of the best things I’ve found to help them get rid of their belly fur is to give them some type of oil with their food. But many cats do not like this, and even if they do, they must not overdo it.
My cat used to only eat dry cat food. He didn’t care for any of the wet products. Although I moistened it to his liking, it didn’t help pass the fur he would ingest. I saved tuna oil and wanted to give it to him. He got a tablespoon about every 2 or 3 days. This helped him pass the fur naturally through the system. Besides, he loved the taste.
Grass will not harm your pet and they may actually enjoy eating it. Just make sure it’s not full of insecticides. It can harm them in the long run if it contains toxins.
Like anything else if it’s an ongoing thing, a completely new behavior, or if they keep throwing up, this could be a sign of a completely different problem. A trip or at least a phone call to your vet may be in order. They might want to bring the pet in, or a few questions might give you the answers to ease your mind.