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Why Cats eat Grass

Updated on April 30, 2012

Why is my Cat eating Grass?

‘Why is my cat eating grass’ is a very common question that is comes along with another related question ‘Why is my cat eating grass and throws up or vomits’ I would like to highlight and guide cat owners in this Hub publication on possible reasons why their cats are eating grass or are eating grass and vomiting. If you are a careful cat owner you should by now be aware of the normal behaviors of cats and for the sake of those who are new to cats, or have not had previous experience as cat owners I would like to take you through some important parameters and behaviors for normal cats. The list below may not be a conclusive but you can learn more from my other publication on ‘Sudden behavior change in Cats’

Is Cat Eating Grass Normal ?

Cats are amazing pets that can be very friendly and easy to manage. Cat breeds are not popular like dog breeds unless amongst cat breeds enthusiasts, personally I think Himalayan Cat Breed is the most beautiful cat breed that you can acquire as a pet. I find them to be very fine-looking and very easy to get along with all family members. When cats are hurting you there may be no obvious signs other than vomiting. In most cases you may observe this perturbing behavior helplessly. Unless you have some basic facts about normal Cat behaviors you may not do much to help identify the cause of this possible cat health or emergency problem.

I would like to briefly highlight some important cat parameters and behavior before we discuss some reasons why cats eat grass and vomit.

Cat Normal Parameters

Parameter Normal Range
100.5º to 102.5º F (38º to 39.2º C)
Blood Pressure
140 / 90
Heart Rate
120-200 beats per minute
Respiration Rate
20-30 breaths per minute

Cat eating Grass

Cat eating Grass is it a normal behaviors in felines?

Cats are physiologically able to adapt to diverse environments and may be able to get along with your family members without showing any serious abnormal behavior that are easily noticed. Cats are carnivorous by nature and just like other carnivorous this behavior of cats eating grass may not be as stranger in this species as you may think.

Other Carnivores Eat Grass too

If we examine examples of other carnivores that have been seen to exhibit this behavior.We can begin to understand the possible reasons why cats eat grass. It is now evident that dogs also eat grass as cats do, tigers eat grass and lions have also been reported to eat grass. It is therefore a common behavior among carnivores to eat grass. We should therefore take time to understand some of the reasons possible why cats eat grass

Reasons Why Cats Eat Grass

While there are many theories that seek to explain why cats eat grass, I would like to share some of the scientific facts of the possible reasons why your eat is eating grass. There are possible truths in the myths that have been used to explain why cats eat grass but certainly there must be good scientific reasons why cats eat Grass. I would like to share my thoughts on the possible reasons why cats eat grass.

Myths and Possible Reasons Why Cats Eat Grass

Whilst there are many theories that seek to explain why cats eat grass, I would like to share some of the scientific facts of the possible reason why your cat is eating grass.

Evolution of Cats

While people believe that this is an evolutionary phenomenon since other species eat grass, I would like to highlight the following reasons as the most possible causes of cat eating grass.

Irritation of the GIT

Cats eat grass to eliminate an irritant in their throats or in the gut. Some time the inflammation of the throat may be interpreted as an irritant forcing the cat to eat grass in attempt to get rid of this irritant.

Foreign Body and Inflammation in the Throat

A second reason could be a foreign body like a bone stuck in the throat which could possibly cause the inflammation as well as the irritation. You should therefore examine your cat or ask your veterinarian to help examine if this is the cause of your cat eating grass.

Nutritional Reason

As many people believe that cats eat grass due to nutritional reason I would not openly dispute this because it is obvious that conditions that are characterized by lack of certain nutrients trigger such behaviors.

Deficiency of folic acid that is abundant in grass or leafy veggies can be the most probable cause if you are thinking about any nutritional deficiency causing the cats to eat grass. Since folic acid is an important precursor in the synthesis of hemoglobin it could be a major reason nutritional wise why cats eat grass periodically. Remember red blood cells are synthesized periodically.

It is also advisable that you feed your cat with a more balanced diet that has enough fiber to avert such a problem, if this is the cause of your cat eating grass. Some nutritional experts also advice that cats should also be provided with a well balanced diet that is specially, formulated to cater for the nutritional needs of a feline.


Indigestion is also cited to be another common cause of cats eating grass. Most experts argue that cats eat grass when they experience severe indigestion and this prompts them to eat grass to ease digestion. While this remains a subject of debate it has been observed that cats suffering from diarrhea eat grass frequently.

Why Cats Eating Grass Vomit?

A common observation my majority of cat owners and people researching on the possible reasons why cats eat grass have shown that most cats that eat grass often vomit or throw up immediately after eating grass. The reason for vomiting is that the grass causes irritation in the cat’s gastrointestinal system and this causes severe body reaction that is followed by throwing up. Simply the blades of the grass cause irritation to the mucosa lining the gastrointestinal systems and this causes a reflex of vomiting. Remember Cats are carnivorous and the enzyme responsible for digesting plants cellulase is absent in their gastrointestinal system.

Dangers of Your Cat Eating Grass

While this may seem to be an ordinary phenomenon, cats eating grass can be potentially harmful to their health. Most of the grasses are treated with fertilizers if not herbicides or pesticides. These chemicals contain potentially harmful substances that could harm and worse kill your cat.

Summary of the Most Published Reasons Why Cats Eat Grass

I would like to briefly summarize the most common reasons cited why cats eat grass. They include the following;

  • They eat grass for it to act as a laxative for the purpose of removing stubborn swallowed hair balls from their gastrointestinal tracts.
  • They eat grass to induce vomiting of these very same hair balls that are stuck in their esophagus, as well as throw up any poisonous food or bait they may have eaten.
  • Alleviate pain and irritation caused by the inflammation of part of the gastrointestinal tract and the most common area is the throat.
  • To obtain dietary insufficiency and in particular folic acids that is important for hemoglobin biosynthesis.

Closing Remarks on Why Cats Eat Grass

I would like to appreciate your further suggestions on the possible reasons why cats eat grass and I hope that this publication has at least helped you get an idea on why your cat is eating grass. Please do not hesitate to share with me your feedback through the comments as well as add onto what I have here in this publication.


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