Why do Cats Eat Grass?

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image Dreamstime

Why do cats eat grass?

Whether your cat lives indoors or outdoors, I’m sure you’ve probably seen her nibbling on a few blades of grass in your yard at some point. Chances are you’ve seen her throw it up right after eating it too! Why do our cats seem to enjoy eating something that obviously makes them sick? The reason for this behavior is not completely understood.

No need to worry though! Eating grass is normal and typically not harmful. Many experts suggest there may be benefits to eating grass. Grass is a natural source of fiber for cats and helps “move things along” in the south end if you know what I mean. We’re talking fur and hairballs, feathers, parasites or bones, which can irritate the digestive tract or even cause more lasting illness. Regurgitating indigestible substances makes the cat feel better and clears the digestive tract.

If you have an outdoor cat though, you wouldn’t want her eating grass that has been chemically treated. The safest grass for your cat is grass that you can grow for her. Just buy a kit from your local pet store or grow your own using rye, wheat or oat seeds. If you notice a sudden increase in grass-eating behavior it could signal intestinal distress and it should be monitored. Be sure not to confuse grass-eating with plant-eating. All houseplants are toxic to cats and most are poisonous so it’s best to keep plants out of your cat’s reach.


  1. Why do animals yawn? Why do cats eat grass? and more. Presented by Dr. Benjamin Hart. 2010 AVMA’s annual convention (Atlanta, GA). http://westwoodanimalhospital.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Why-do-animals-yawn-Why-do-cats-eat-grass-and-more-from-AAHA.pdf

  2. http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-do-cats-eat-grass/