If you nourish cats and when paying attention to them, you will find that these cute ones do a lot of strange things in their life. One of their actions hard to understand is eating grass. If you see a mess of green on your carpet one day, I am sure that your cats have just eaten grass then vomited out. 

Have you ever questioned the reason why your lovely cats sometimes go to the garden to gnaw grass yet? It is not that everybody has the answer to this question even though many cats’ bosses know this fact. You will be surprised if you notice cats, no matter what kinds of they are, indoor cats or wild cats because they usually eat grass. Sometimes, they can gnaw grass like cows. What is the ridiculous thing happening? Here is why do cats like to eat grass?

Why do cats eat grass?

What is the reason for cats to do this strange thing? Cats need a stable meat diet to thrive because they are predators. They do not need a salad for dinner, and even their bodies do not have plant digestive enzymes.

Because cats are predators, they need meat. Our cats cannot live if they only eat cereal. Nevertheless, there is still an exception; that is catnip (cat grass). Cats will eat voraciously if we feed them with catnip. Actually, not only catnip, sometimes they still gnaw grass as much as possible once we take them to the yard. And to cats, chewing grass brings many benefits. 

Are there any cat owners who can explain cats’ behaviors? Let’s think about the following reasons if you have not had the answer yet!

Stomach aid

Cats like hunting very much as they are predators. And depending on the way you teach them, they can immediately eat the prey they catch, even the fur and bone parts. As a result, their digestive tracts are affected easily, for instance, indigestion. Chewing grass will help them eliminate this problem. 

Sometimes, having grass helps cats deal with some problems with digestive disorders, which they are facing.

Grass is a kind of natural laxative

You will sometimes see that cats release tiny pinches of fur. However, they need a “medicine” helping them vomit those pinches of fur out if fur pinches enter their digestive tracts.

And you can consider grass as a natural laxative helping cats’ bodies quickly release residues out through the digestive system.  

Intensification of nutrients

Science has not explained yet why cats can automatically identify the shortage of nutrients and then gnaw grass. This is a quite an interesting fact. Is this their superpower?

Vitamin B and folic acid are super essential nutrients to cats. You should know that grass and other kinds of plants attain a lot of amount of these nutrients. Cats can catch anemia if they do not have enough folic acid, and; this can seriously affect their bodies’ development. 

Like breast milk, grass juice contains much folic acid. This is a necessary kind of vitamins for functions. It supports cats’ bodies manufacture hemoglobin, a type of protein helping to promote blood circulation. To cats, grass juice is actually like fruit juice to us. 

Grass helps cats treat diseases about digestive disorders

Wailani Sung, a doctor of veterinary medicine from the University Of Georgia (USA), said: “Having grass is a solution helping cats’ bodies reduce uncomfortable symptoms in their intestinal tracts.”

Indeed, eating grass can help cats treat several diseases about digestive disorders, such as food allergy or inflammatory bowel disease. It is certainly not wrong when people say that grass is a miraculous medicine.

Signs of stress

The doctor of veterinary medicine, Wailani Sung, shared that: “You need to know what put your cats under such pressures. In a lot of cases, because of having little touch with the outside environment earlier, they are often stressed when facing difficulties. Sometimes, this can lead to anxiety disorders.  

The places where cats live may cause too much stress. And eating grass continuously is the signs showing that they want to move elsewhere. Additionally, cats will try to participate in some activity to be calmer, for example, looking for something to chew. Moreover, cats often scream or show their emotions outrageously to counteract against stresses. 

Research about cats eating grass 

In a study at Davis Institute of Veterinary Medicine at the University Of California (USA), researchers implemented a survey of1,021 cats’ bosses. Bosses in this survey will spend three hours each day observing drinking and eating habits related to plants and playing with their kittens at home. Researchers analyzed and had remarkable detections.

The survey result showed that only 11% of kittens that have never eaten green plants in their life, while 61% of the ones eating green plants at least ten times, and 71% of the ones eating green plants at least six times. In most of the cases, although about 27% of cats tend to vomit right after eating grass, it does not affect their health.

Health problems

The most popular explanation for cats eating grass is that cats feel sick earlier, and they would feel better when having a kind of plant which causes vomiting out indigestible materials like clotted fur or hair. Or, kittens see old cats having grass then they imitate; and they do that through many generations. However, the group of researchers doubted other things and seemed to disagree with the explanations above.

Interestingly, up to 91% of cats were very normal and healthy before eating grass. Their owners said that they usually worked and did not have any signs of illness. This means that they did not eat grass because of illness.   

39% of cats under three years old and just 27% of cats over four years old eat grass. This shows that kittens’ behaviors are not an imitation of older cats. Their actions are congenital. Additionally, there were not any noticeable differences between cats that did not chew grass, and the ones that ate grass, excepting for their ages.

Natural instinct

Scientists referred to lots of studies about predators and other wild primates to explain why cats eat grass. Researchers concluded that the habit of kittens eating grass is their natural genetic behavior from their ancestors before, and it accompanies their evolutionary benefits.

Researchers said that cats’ ancestors would eat green plants to clean parasites remaining inside their intestinal tracts because of eating mice. Their digestive tracts will have to work more strongly to satisfy the grass digestive process as grass attains much fiber. Not only grass but also parasites in the intestinal tracts will be pushed out. This indicates that eating grass is an instinct of cats.  

To stimulate their digestive tracts to work, they eat grass. This will help them to eliminate harmful parasites for their intestinal tracts. Researchers also said that cats having grass instinctively and regularly can restrict parasite quantity as almost wild predators have intestinal parasites. In other words, eating grass can help them clean their digestive tracts and maintain a better intestinal tract.

Moreover, it has the role of assisting cats in adapting to maintaining the endurance of intestinal parasites. Having too many parasites in kittens’ bellies can affect their growth. Additionally, their immune system is still weak and has not been able to fight with parasites. Therefore, they have more grass than old cats do.

Gut cleanse

Now kittens do not need to eat grass to clean parasites anymore since most of the owners feed them carefully. However, the behavior of having grass is still genetic. Therefore, they still have the habit of eating grass. 

As a result, researchers argued that eating grass at cats is a natural part of their life, no matter what the reason is. So, their owners should not worry too much.

So, is it great for cats to eat grass comfortably?

To help cats eat grass safely and leisurely, implement their healthy instincts, owners should spend time planting or buying a pot of plants as well as several types of non-toxic grass in the house to serve cats. 

If their cats often chew surrounding grass, owners should make sure that lawns are non-toxic and do not chemicals. Cats lacking grass will sometimes find something to replace, such as eating and swallowing bonsai or toilet paper. You can deal with this by letting them try a few grass branches. 

As long as you feed them with non-toxic grass, don’t worry too much when they vomit after eating!


Cats have lived with humans for thousands of years. We even serve them as “big bosses” in the house, but after all, they are still a type of creature with many mysteries.

Why are they afraid of cucumber? Why are they so arrogant and do need us despite our fondness for them? And in particular, why do they eat grass? Through this article, I think that now you have understood more about that behavior of your cats!


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