Why do cats eat grass?

Posted by | Mar 25, 2016 |

It is not uncommon to see cats happily chewing grass, no matter how amazing food they have consumed already. It is not only regular in outdoor cat’s behavior, but even indoor felines are tempted to try out the houseplants at some point or another.

I am sure this sounds familiar to you also, as this happened to me many times as well. I have often watched my cat silently sitting in the garden and eating grass for about five-ten minutes. Once she finished, it was majorly followed by her moving to a quiet spot and vomiting. Since it was frustrating, I have always wondered: Did this actually mean that she liked to throw up? Is it good for her? Or is it even necessary? Why does my cat eat grass if it causes her vomiting?

These are the main things that almost every cat owner asks about grazing, and these are the questions that will be discussed in this article.

Why do cats eat grass?

Author Amira

Hi there!

I’m Amira, founder and editor at Cattention.

This website is dedicated to share useful but entertaining information and help You understand Your cat’s actions, behavior and needs.

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Although it is largely known that cats eat grass, the reason (or reasons) for this action is not completely understood. Though not proven, there are many theories and explanations of this behavior that seem to represent the real valuable function. Let’s see some of these feasible reasons.

Getting rid of hairball

We all are well aware that cats do love to lick themselves regularly which is a part of their grooming process. When a cat grooms, her tongue inevitably will carry some of that fur into her mouth and then straight to her stomach. Unfortunately, she has no way to break it down and more and more fur piles up in her stomach forming an offending hairball. Sooner or later this undigested furball can make her feel uncomfortable, so she needs to find a way to get rid of it.

Eating grass causes regurgitation as the cat’s body does not have the enzyme to digest plant material and so it irritates her little stomach resulting in vomiting. Even though it is worrying for you, your cat knows that eating grass helps her vomit, so she does it on purpose to remove the undigested things including the unwanted fur from her stomach. It actually makes the cat feel better and clears the digestive system.

Cat grooming

Using it as natural laxative

Another feasible assumption is that cats use grass as a natural laxative. Unlike humans, cats are not picky in terms of food. When a cat hunts and eats her prey, she does not choose between parts but eats the entire thing altogether including unwanted and indigestible parts like bones, fur or feather. Sometimes even the furball gets stuck deep inside the intestines because of which she cannot throw it up.

This time also, she may instinctively eat grass as a remedy, in order to help the undigested products pass through her digestive system and out of her rear end.

Consuming some nutrients

The most popular speculation is that cats consume grass in order to control their nutritional needs. Even though grass does not have much nutritional value from a cat’s diet perspective, it does contain certain nutrients like moisture, vitamins and minerals which may not be normally available for a cat in her natural diet.

Having a weird chewing habit

In addition to these health issues, there is a theory that some cats have behavior problems and simply like to chew on something. It can be foreign material like a toy, cables, strings, paper, etc. And what else would be better than some attractive greenery?

Simply enjoying the taste

You would have never thought of it, but another valid reason for this behavior could be because they just simply enjoy the delicious taste of grass. Plain and simple.

Cat enjoying grass


If you need other natural laxative for your cat, check out this article:

Can cats eat olive oil?


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