Have you ever purchased cat grass? It’s an inexpensive treat that cats tend to enjoy, but why? Most of us don’t think of cats as being animals who want to eat vegetables,
“Although cats are obligate carnivores (which means they need to get the majority of their nutrition from meat and fish-based sources), they do occasionally enjoy nibbling on some green stuff,” says Dr. Jamie Richardson, Medical Chief of Staff at Small Door Veterinary.
Here’s what you need to know.
In addition to being a tasty treat for cats, cat grass can be healthy and beneficial. Dr.
“Eating certain types of grass or plants can aid cats with their digestion,” says Richardson, adding that regularly nibbling on cat grass can help relieve constipation, and assist in the removal of non-digestible materials (like furballs). It can also provide them with some nutrients, such as folic acid.
Meaning eating it can improve your cat’s overall health. It can also be a lot of fun for cats. Enrichment is extremely important to your cat’s physical and emotional health and cat grass gives cats something to explore and nibble at.
From pet stores to farmer’s markets cat grass available widely available but what is it?
“Cat grass is not a specific type of plant, but typically a grass mixture,” says Dr. Richardson.
It generally involves wheat, rye, barley, and oats. In addition to being able to purchase fully grown cat grass, you can also often find seeds which you can then plant in a container of your choice and grow at home.
As not all grasses are safe for cats it’s always a good idea to review the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants before bringing any plant into your home regardless of if you intend for your cat to eat them. This will help you ensure that any plants in your house are safe if your cat chooses to nibble on them.
A common concern many cat guardians bring up with cat grass is that they find their cat vomits after eating it. But as alarming as that can be Dr. Richardson confirms that it’s a common and normal occurrence.
“This is usually because they ingested the grass to help them vomit up a furball or another non-digestible item,” says Dr. Richardson.
It’s important to pay attention to how much your cat vomits after eating it.
“ If they only vomit once and there are no other concerning signs (such as lethargy, unwillingness to eat, etc.), there is not usually any reason to be concerned,” says Dr. Richardson.
But if your cat vomits repeatedly, or vomits every time they eat it you should get them checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.