Why do some cats eat grass?

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Cats love to nibble on grass and, whether your cat is strictly an indoor cat or spends time outdoors, she may benefit from eating healthy grass.

You might be a little baffled by this behavior and wonder why she continues to eat it, especially when she throws up afterwards. Don’t worry, though—there’s really no evidence showing that it’s harmful, and some even suggest it may be beneficial. Just be sure all your plants are non-toxic and you may even want to consider growing some cat grass yourself, especially if you’re concerned about chemicals, pesticides or herbicides.

Here’s why:

• First, remember that cats are strictly meat-eaters, so they lack the necessary enzymes to break down vegetable matter. That’s why she throws up. She might just be doing this as a form of self-healing because the vomiting may eliminate all indigestible matter from the cat’s digestive tract, making her feel a whole lot better. Why would she have indigestible matter? Well, especially if she’s an outdoor cat, keep in mind that cats eat their entire prey, and that includes also things like fur, bones and feathers—and that’s not digestible.

• Much like mother’s milk, the juices in grass contain folic acid, an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions and assists in the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen in the blood.

• One theory states that grass acts as a natural laxative, counteracting any cases of indigestion. As any cat owner knows, cats regularly throw up and leave lovely, wet little fur ball presents around the house. But when the fur moves deep into the digestive tract, your feline friend will need a little help to break it down and pass it out the other end. Call it a sixth sense or just intuition, but your cat knows that a little bit of grass may just go a long way in cleaning out its system (and may save you a trip to the veterinarian).

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