You’ve probably heard someone say it when they see a cat eating grass: “Oh, they must have an upset stomach.” You’ve probably never thought much of it either. What’s so impressive about a cat eating grass anyway? But then you start to think: could it be bad for your cat, even if the grass might be helping their stomach? You never really thought about the potentially harmful side effects of eating grass until now. So, have you wondered how to stop cats from eating grass?
The best way to stop cats from eating grass is by keeping them indoors. Outdoor cats should be monitored. Adding nutrients to your cat’s diet and providing indoor grass made for cats will help. Modifying your cat’s behavior with deterrents can also help.
Although grass is generally safe for your cat to eat, you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your furry baby. Let’s talk a little bit about why your cat is eating grass, what grass does for your cat, and why it might be helpful. Then you can make the call for what’s best for your pussy cat.
What Attracts A Cat To Grass
The color and texture of grass are what make it attractive to cats. Cats love anything that has a rough texture; scratching pads are an example of this. With grass, however, or even plants in general, cats tend to chew on it in addition to rolling on it.
Like much of what cats do, scientists aren’t sure why cats are so attracted to grass over other things. Your friend’s off-hand comment is probably right, though. Your cat may be looking for grass due to an upset stomach.
After all, it’s not like your cat can go to the medicine cabinet and grab something for an upset stomach like we can, right? As much as you love your cat, you also might not realize your friend’s stomach is hurting. Your cat needs to find a new remedy to make itself better.
And the remedy? Grass.
The grass can also just feel good to cats when they chew it. Once a cat develops this sort of habit, they will continue on with it, so alternatives are important to stop this behavior. More on this later.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass
Cats eat grass to attain essential nutrients they are missing in their food. Cats also eat grass to help calm their stomachs and to satisfy their urge to chew.
In most cases, cats eat grass to help calm their stomachs, but not in the traditional sense.
So we’re thinking your cat is munching on your lawn because it has an upset stomach for whatever reason. The grass isn’t working to calm its stomach. It’s doing something more.
Cats don’t have enzymes to break down grass. So what happens to the grass they’re eating if they can’t digest it? The grass makes your cat throw up. It could be because your cat cannot pass a hairball or because its new food didn’t agree with its stomach.
Whatever the reason, grass can potentially bring some much-needed relief to your feline friend. We don’t recommend letting cats use this method to free themselves from stomach pain, but it’s good to know what the grass is doing for them internally.
Why Does My Cat Not Throw Up After Eating Grass
Naturally, your cat might not be eating enough grass to make itself throw up.
Your cat might have seen some taller pieces of grass that you might have missed weed whacking and chomped it, but that doesn’t mean he’ll throw up. It could have been a bite out of curiosity or playfulness. Eating grass doesn’t always mean that your cat is looking to make itself through up.
Don’t worry, though – a small amount of grass doesn’t mean you’ll be scrubbing throw up out of your living room carpet. Phew!
Do Cats Eat Grass When They Have Worms
Worms are one of the reasons that your cat may be eating grass. It’s concerning and something you need to be aware of.
Grass acts kind of like a natural medicine for your cat. Like clearing up hairballs, grass can also remove parasites from your cat’s body.
However, your cat probably doesn’t say, “Hey, let me eat this grass because I have worms.” Your cat is working on instinct. You won’t know if your cat has worms or just a stomach ache. You’ll need to check your cat’s stool after eating grass to check for worms. This is good to do every now and then, but don’t assume your cat has a parasite just because he’s eating grass.
Can Cats Eating Grass Cause Diarrhea
Your cat might be instinctively eating grass to make itself throw up, but grass also works as a natural laxative. Crazy, right? You’ve probably never looked at the grass that way before, huh?
Your cat may get diarrhea, but it may just be relieving constipation that you didn’t know your cat had. Much like with throwing up, it’s working to move something out of your cat’s system that didn’t agree with it.
The aftermath of your cat might be a little messy (read: “a lot”), but it is doing some important things for your cat’s insides at the same time.
Do Cats Only Eat Grass to Help Their Stomach
This is where you may have to be careful. Your cat is no gardener.
Even though your cat might be looking for grass, it could accidentally bite into something else. If your cat is eating grass near your favorite flowerbed, there’s a chance that your cat can eat a flower or leaf.
Not all plants and flowers are toxic to cats, but some could be. Your cat doesn’t always know the difference.
Why Can Eating Grass Be Harmful
You might not think that eating grass can be harmful to your cat. Still, would you want to take that chance? I know I wouldn’t.
Think about all the things that come into contact with grass. Sure, you may not use weed killers on your lawn, but what if your cat goes into the neighbor’s yard who religiously uses weed killers? Those toxins can be harmful to your cat.
Maybe you use pesticides in your garden. Okay, perhaps your garden isn’t where your cat is, but the wind could blow the pesticides onto the grass that your cat is ingesting.
It’s better safe than sorry!
How to Monitor Your Cat While Outside
It’s not always easy to keep an eye on your cat while outside. Here are some tips:
- Use a leash for your cat. It might look ridiculous, but you’ll be able to keep your cat close.
- Hold your cat while outside, especially if you just want your cat to get some fresh air.
- Create an enclosed area for your cat outside, like on a porch.
The easiest way to prevent your cat from doing something you don’t like outside is simply to keep your cat inside. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have a reason to be outside (even if they love the great outdoors).
What Are Some Things I Can Do to Prevent My Cat from Eating Grass
Well, discipline probably won’t work the best. If your cats are anything like mine, yelling their name a hundred times will do absolutely nothing. And if you chase them away, you know they’ll just loop back around as soon as you turn your back.
- If your cat is outside, redirect its attention. Bring a toy that you can play with.
- Keep your grass cut short. I noticed that my cat usually munches on grass that’s longer, not stubby pieces cut close to the dirt.
- Watch your cat. If it seems like it may have an upset stomach, talk to your vet about prescribed medicine that could do the same thing as grass.
What About Cat Grass
Cat grass could be a good alternative for your cat if you find it likes to eat grass outside. You can purchase cat grass seeds and plant them in a pot that you keep inside. That way, you’ll know exactly what your cat is eating and won’t have to worry about weed killers or pesticides on your grass outside.
Cat grass can give you peace of mind and probably keep your cat inside too.
If you can’t always stop your cat from eating grass, don’t beat yourself up. Your cat is only doing what’s natural. But still, it’s probably a good idea not to let your cat freely eat grass outside. Plus, a nice pot of cat grass doesn’t look all that bad on the windowsill.