Why Does My Cat Eat Grass?

The real reason cats chew grass is largely unknown.
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It's frustrating to watch your cat chow down on grass when you offer the best food money can buy, especially when she throws up the green stuff moments later. Opinions differ on why a cat will graze in the yard, but there may be a method to this apparent madness.


One popular theory is that your cat is craving certain nutrients that are lacking in her pricey store-bought food. Grass contains natural nutrients such as folic acid and vitamins A and D. Even if your cat can't digest the actual grass fibers, she can extract the nutrients contained within the blades before upchucking the rest of the plant. Which she most likely will.

Cleaning the System

It's easy to roll your eyes and shake your head when your cat throws up the grass she so recently noshed on. But she knows that eating grass will make her vomit, and probably did it intentionally. If her stomach isn't feeling well, or she ate something that is not agreeing with her, vomiting up the offending material may make her feel better. Grass can also act as a laxative.


Grass is not the only greenery your cat will help herself to, as anyone who's ever owned both cats and houseplants will tell you. The end result is typically the same no matter what plant she eats—it will end up a foamy mess on your floor. But letting her gnaw on grass and other outdoor greenery could pose a serious health threat, as many lawns are treated with pesticides and fertilizers that are toxic if ingested. Always supervise your pet outside and keep her away from plants and lawns that may be chemically treated.

Safe Alternatives

If your cat must indulge her grazing urges, don't fight it. Instead, offer her safe alternatives that she can nibble in the safety of her own home. Plant a pot of “cat grass” (usually wheat, oat or rye grass, or a combination) and let her chew to her heart's content. Have numerous pots growing so she'll always have a fresh salad bar available no matter how much she munches.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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