Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Eat Grass? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons

Why Do Cats Eat Grass? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons

cat eating grass

Vet approved

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you own a cat, you already know they beat to the rhythm of their own little drums. They are unique, quirky, and at times can be a bit strange. One of the most common behaviors cat parents are confused about when it comes to their feline pals is the fact that they find them in the backyard munching on grass on occasion.

Why would such an intelligent, curious creature eat grass out of the yard, especially when they turn around and throw it up again? Never fear! We have the answers for you below. In this blog, we’ll give you a list of reasons why your cat seems to enjoy eating the grass out of the yard and much more.

divider-cat

The 4 Reasons Why Cats Eat Grass:

1. The Cat Needs to Throw Up

Cat Vomit
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

It’s important to note at this point that as true carnivores, cats require meat in order to survive. Many pet parents are surprised to find out that their cat doesn’t possess the digestive enzymes necessary to metabolize most plants very well. When a cat ingests grass, he or she may do so in order to “self-medicate” as a means to purge the system and throw up indigestible material, such as hairballs, bones, and feathers. It is possible that the grass is acting like a natural laxative to the cat because of the fiber included.


2. The Cat Is Stress Eating

cat not eating food
Image Credit: Kitirinya, Shutterstock

Believe it or not, cats stress eat in the same way that humans do, only they eat grass, not food. Your cat eating grass could be a form of pica, an eating disorder that affects humans and animals and can be caused by a number of things. Pica is a compulsive eating disorder that makes animals or humans eat materials that aren’t considered to be food items.

The reasons for your cat having this disorder could be a folic acid deficiency or even that the cat is responding to some emotional distress. This often happens if your cat is bored, stressed, or was weaned away from its mother at an early age.

This isn’t to say that your cat eating grass once is a sign that the cat is stressed or has pica. If you catch your cat eating grass frequently, or it’s constantly happening, it might be time to get your cat to a vet for further testing, diagnosis, and treatment.


3. The Cat Needs the Added Vitamins

Veterinarian gives a pill to a cat
Image Credit: Piskova Photo, Shutterstock

Cats need their vitamins, just as humans do. Grass contains folic acid, which is a vitamin your cat needs to be healthy. Kittens usually get folic acid from their mother’s milk. It’s essential for the cat to have enough folic acid in their system to keep its red blood cells healthy and the cat itself from getting sick.

If your cat doesn’t have enough folic acid, then it can develop anemia. There are experts that say if your cat is lacking in folic acid, it will eat grass to increase its folic acid intake. However, there’s no certainty in those opinions. If you think your cat might have a folic acid deficiency, it’s best to make an appointment with your cat’s vet so he can test the cat to be sure and remedy the problem through medications and treatment.


4. The Cat Likes the Taste

Cat eating grass
Image Credit By: Alexas Fotos, Pixabay

The final reason that your cat might be eating the grass in the backyard is that it simply likes the taste. Some cats like the taste and the texture of the grass in their mouths. There are some cats that think they are always hungry as well, and they’ll eat grass to make them less hungry.

As we said before, if your cat is eating grass constantly and then throwing it back up, it’s time to contact your vet, as it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and happiness of your feline companion.

divider-cat

Conclusion

Of course, as a pet parent, you worry whenever your cat throws up or seems not to feel well. As you can see from the list of reasons above, it’s not something that you should be severely concerned about. The grass isn’t going to hurt your pet. However, with that being said, it’s better to keep organic grass and grass that isn’t treated with any pesticides in your yard if your cat is prone to dining on the grass.


Featured Image Credit: Kadres, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets