Most people know that cats are carnivores, or meat-eaters. However, many cats like to chew on or eat plants. Obviously, this can be very dangerous, depending on the type of plant. If you know or even suspect your cat has chewed or eaten a plant, consult your veterinarian to be safe.
A Normal Behavior
According to the ASPCA, eating small amounts of grass and other plants is actually normal for cats. It is so normal, in fact, that one in three do so regularly. Feral, or wild, cats also engage in this behavior. In the wild, they nibble on plants for extra nutrients or fiber. They tend to prefer young, tender vegetation.
Cats tend to nibble on houseplants more than any other greenery. This is due in part to accessibility, as many people have both cats and plants in their homes. The problem with this is that many common houseplants are poisonous to cats. There are so many poisonous ones, in fact, that they cannot all be listed here. If you have houseplants and a cat, find out whether they would be harmful to your kitty if he ate them.
Outdoor or Garden Plants
Outdoor cats might also munch on plants in yards or gardens. If the plant is treated with pesticides, it can be poisonous to a kitty, even if the plant itself is not. If you have indoor-outdoor or strictly outdoor cats, be sure they cannot or do not eat any plants in your yard or garden.
Reasons for Eating Plants
There are a few reasons other than extra fiber that cats might eat plants. Cats living inside with houseplants might observe the leaves moving in the air from a nearby vent. It can resemble a bird or toy, triggering his hunting or playful instincts. Some cats may nibble on plants because they know it will get your attention. And kittens or juvenile cats might simply be looking for something to chew on.
- Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images