Why Does My Cat Eat Grass?

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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. 

Why Do Cats Eat Grass? 

For cats, grass can relieve an upset stomach. 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 instinctual. 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.  

Outdoor Cats

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.  

How to Grow Wheatgrass For Your Cat 

Wheatgrass has a lot of health benefits for your cat. 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):  

  • Wheatgrass seeds (check your local pet store or buy online) 
  • A container (reusing a plastic storage container is fine) 
  • Potting soil  

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.  

Consider Investing in Cat Insurance 

Looking for more ways to protect your kitty?  Consider investing in a cat insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.