Gather around, gather around! Cat owners from far and wide, we’ve got some news for you:
Kitty fact: Cats are obligate carnivores with a taste for grass. Doesn’t make sense? Great! Very little about cats does, and that’s the way they like it.
So, why do cats like grass?
Since we can’t actually ask cats why they enjoy odd munch on grass, we’ll have to ask the scientists instead. And, faced with the ever-mysterious feline, not even the top researchers have been able to conjure up a confident answer.
What we have is plenty of educated guesses. Here’s just two to get us started:
cats do eat grass To aid digestion
When it comes to dining, cats apply the ‘go big or go home philosophy. As a result, not a single speck of their prey gets left behind – even the undigestible parts. That’s bad news for any gastrointestinal tract. To solve this problem, wildcats will regularly chow down on some grass which they also can’t digest. Applying a ‘fighting fire with fire’ strategy, the grass triggers vomiting, helping the cat expel all the ‘bad stuff’ while keeping most of the ‘good stuff.’
Another kitty fact: Due to their hardcore approach to eating, cats’ stomach acid is much stronger than dogs (or ours, for that matter.)
cats do eat grass to expel parasites
Since cats leave no morsel behind at mealtimes, they’re no stranger to the odd unwelcome digestive tract visitor. And, while they’re adapt in having up these parasites, the added roughage of grass can be a great help.
Why would a housecat need cat grass?
Not to be crude, but we highly doubt you’re serving up fresh carcass to your feline friend. It’s also up for debate if any housecat would know how to approach such a feast. What we’re trying to say is that we know what you’re asking “why would my cat need to eat grass?” And it’s a great question.
The answer is that there are numerous benefits of eating grass that apply to cats whether they live in a home or in the wild. So great are these benefits, that there’s a type of grass grown just for cats – cat grass!
What is cat grass?
Cat grass is exactly what it says on the tin – grass for cats. But don’t get us wrong, dogs have been known to enjoy it as well (just don’t let the cats know.)
To get to the root of things (pun intended), cat crass is a grass mixture that is grown from seeds, such as wheat, barley, oats, or rye. You’ll often find it growing indoors in a dish or shallow pot, allowing easy access for kitties.
Is cat grass the same as regular grass?
The short answer: no.
The longer answer: cat grass is free of toxin pesticides often found in regular outdoor grass. What’s more, its lifecycle differs from normal grass, with cat grass surviving for 2-3 months, allowing cats to chew it down to 1-2 inches above the soil, enjoying every munch along the way. Relatively tough and sharp in constitution, cat grass is also inflexible compared to grass that graces your lawn.
What are the benefits of cat grass?
1. Full of essential nutrients
Cats, much like us, have a long list of nutrient and mineral boxes they need to tick every day to stay in good health. And, even if you’re only serving up top-shelf cat food – sometimes it’s still not enough. And, extra nourishment never did anyone (or any cat) any harm.
Depending on the cat grass variation, some versions may provide micronutrients, such as vitamins A and D. Cat grass is also loaded with folic acid, which works wonders for the circulatory system and the blood within it.
Wheatgrass is so full of chlorophyll, antioxidants, riboflavin, and folic acid that it has been nicknamed “liquid sunshine.”
2. A happy and healthy gut
As mentioned above, the forces that be may have been sleeping or mildly distracted while creating the cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
So, though they’ll never admit it, they need help in any way they can get it. For example, cats that eat grass routinely may have more regular gastrointestinal tracts and less constipation, and that’s always a good thing!
3. Bye-bye hairballs
So, you’ve tried all the supplements and petroleum-based products. But somehow, a guttural hacking still randomly pierces the carefully-curated peaceful ambiance of your home.
Cat grass can put an end to that. Acting as a supplement to your hairball-busting strategy, cat grass provides that extra roughage your cat needs to bring up hairballs with ease.
4. Minty fresh breath
Yes, it’s true; cats aren’t exactly notorious for their putrid breath. But, if your cat transcends boundaries and has no concept of personal space (read: Every can ever), then have we got news for you!
Cat grass contains chlorophyll. This magic pigment can cure your kitty’s bad breath from the inside out.
Better still, since cat grass sweetens up your cat’s gastrointestinal tract in general, the litter box may also become a lot more approachable and manageable.
Note: If the first paragraph of this section has stumped you, and you’re willing to admit that your cat’s breath is toe-curling – it may be time to take them to the vet for an emergency dental check-up.
5. And last but not least – they enjoy it
If your pampered kitty were to roam the wilderness, they’d naturally be drawn to grass. Since the dawn of the feline species, cats have been tucking into blade after blade of grass.
So, even when a house cat is chewing on cat grass, they’re fulfilling their instincts, which we can only imagine feels satisfying.
Do your beloved kitty or kitties a favor and introduce cat grass into your home ASAP. With no downsides to growing or purchasing cat grass, you and your feline friends only stand to benefit from its many attractive properties. And we can’t deny that cat grass is the perfect addition to any home’s décor. Similar in appearance to most modern-day trendy houseplants, cat grass is the grass that never stops giving. So, open up a world of health, comfort, and enjoyment to your kitty by saying yes to cat grass – you won’t regret it!
Cat grass planter
cat grass seeds
- Image: LisaSympson, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- What is cat grass? https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/evr_ct_how-to-grow-cat-grass
- Why do cats eat grass? https://www.purina.co.uk/articles/cats/behaviour/understanding-cats/why-do-cats-eat-grass
- Freshens breath – https://www.healthline.com/health/chlorophyll-bad-breath#:~:text=%E2%80%9COne%20of%20the%20most%20important,with%20healthy%20teeth%20and%20gums.%E2%80%9D
- Cat grass hairballs – https://archiecat.com/does-cat-grass-help-with-hairballs/
- Good for their gut – https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/where-the-green-grass-grows-grass-treats-for-cats#:~:text=Grass%20benefits%20even%20well%2Dfed,keep%20a%20cat’s%20breath%20fresh!
- Cat grass nutrients – https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/nutrition-feeding/cat-grass-safety-and-information#:~:text=In%20addition%20to%20providing%20enjoyment,includes%20the%20same%20grain%20mixture).