Why do cats graze? This is a common question among online forums. A cat eating grass may be due to a dietary deficiency, a compulsive behavior or even boredom. Discussed herein are the causes, how to stop it and what to do when a cat eats grass but not food daily or when it is vomiting blood.
Cat Eating Grass
- Cat Eating Grass
- Why do Cats Eat Grass? Cat Eating Grass Causes
- Dietary Deficiency
- Laxative Benefits
- Induce Vomiting
- Compulsive Behavior
- Seeking Attention
- Is a Cat Eating Grass Harmful?
- Cat Eating Grass Every Day
- Cat Vomiting Blood after Eating Grass
- How to Stop a Cat from Eating Grass
- Limit their Access to Grass
- Behavior Modification
- Give Alternatives
- Dietary Changes
Although cats are carnivorous, it is not uncommon to find them consuming grass and other plants. When done in moderation, a cat eating grass is considered normal and does no harm to them. However, long term consumption of large amounts of grass is considered harmful to your feline pet as it results to diarrhea and vomiting which can be dehydrating if allowed to go on for too long. Why do cats eat grass and is it healthy? Find out below.
Why do Cats Eat Grass? Cat Eating Grass Causes
When cats indulge in this unlikely delicacy once in a while, it may be safe to assume they want to clear up their upset stomach. However, where they engage in this behavior frequently, it is important to investigate what the cause may be. Discussed below are various factors that may be causing your cat to eat grass.
The juice found in grass contains folic acid which is necessary for the growth of the cat. It also assists in production of hemoglobin. These help in the bodily function and movement of oxygen in the blood respectively.
Additional nutrients in the grass leaves also help to boost the immune system making cats less susceptible to diseases. When your cat is battling a deficiency in these nutrients, it may seek a boost by grazing.
A cat eating grass may be looking forward to enjoying its laxative benefits. Grass will act as a laxative and when consumed, it helps to counteract any cases of stomach upset and ingestion. Cats will eat grass to help in cleaning up their system especially in cases where there are stubborn hairballs that have moved down the digestive system and are becoming hard to pass.
Shortly after your cat eating grass, they are likely to vomit. This is caused by the fact that they do not have the necessary enzymes needed for the digestion of large amounts of grass. As they throw up, cats clear up their digestive system off feathers, bones, parasites, feathers and any other inappropriate thing they may have consumed.
Cats suffering from obsessive compulsive behavior may engage in consumption of non-food items. They will also consume other plants in addition to grass, nibble on fabrics, electrical cords and plastics. Simply, the cats suffer a compulsion that leads them to chewing unlikely items. To stop a cat from engaging in this, behavior modification sessions are necessary. Contact a behaviorist for the same.
Cats that are not entertained enough may have plenty of time and energy they want to vent out. The swaying of grass leaves in the wind may appeal to them and entice them into playing and biting on them.
Pets seek attention in all possible way. In case they realize that by doing something attention is given to them, they will do it whether it is appropriate or not. If your cat notices that the only time you appear to give them attention is when they are eating grass, they will use it against you.
Is a Cat Eating Grass Harmful?
Generally, it is not harmful for a cat to be eating grass. The only time the grass may do harm to your pet is if they graze on grass that has been chemically treated. To avoid this when your cat goes outside, provide them with potted grass. This will also help prevent them from ingesting other plants that may be dangerous. The common types of grass you may include indoors include wheat grass, orchard grass, barley and common oat.
Cat Eating Grass Every Day
While most cats eat grass, it should not be an everyday indulgence. Most cats will only eat it when they have an upset stomach to aid them in vomiting or to act as a laxative. Where your cat is eating grass every day, it is likely they are suffering a dietary deficiency and need to counteract it.
Another reason why this may be frequent is if they have compulsive obsessive behavior. Talk to your vet so they can have the necessary evaluation done. This will help take the most appropriate measures to stop the behavior.
Cat Vomiting Blood after Eating Grass
The sight of a cat vomiting blood can be scary and just like diarrhea with blood, this is not to be taken lightly. As indicated earlier, cats consume grass to aid in vomiting. If the vomit comes up with blood, it is possible for them to have ingested toxic substances and is experiencing internal bleeding. As such, this should be treated as an emergency. Additional symptoms may include difficulty in breathing, lethargy, diarrhea, pale skin and increased vomiting with time.
How to Stop a Cat from Eating Grass
Where the behavior is of concern, you can intervene to stop your cat eating grass. Here are some things you can try.
Limit their Access to Grass
In case your cat is eating grass and not food or keeps eating grass and getting sick, you will have to limit their access to it. This means keeping them indoors until they can control the urge to ingest grass. At the same time, limit their access to other plants.
This involves applauding the cat for not eating grass and showing them that it is wrong whenever they try to. They should be done using techniques that do not involve scolding, hitting or anything else that may instill fear. Instead, opt for things that will distract the cat from indulging such as a can full of pennies or clapping your hands. By so doing, the cat will learn not to eat grass. Where these do not help, a professional animal behaviorist may help.
To curb this behavior, you could offer your cat some safe alternatives. Offer them grass varieties belonging to the oak, rye, wheat and barley families as a treat or plant them around your home for the cat.
Where a cat eating grass behavior emanates from dietary deficiency, a change in the same would help stop it. With help from your vet, change your cat’s diet so it can be balanced and supplement any nutrients your cat may be missing. Where necessary, opt for premium pet food.