What is cat grass?
Cat grass is a name used to describe a variety of grasses that may appeal to your cat for nibbling on and ingesting, most commonly cat grass consists of rye, barley, oat or wheat seeds. Cat grass can be purchased from most pet stores; this usually comes as seeds which you can grow on yourself. If you decide to purchase cat grass from your local garden centre, just make sure that the grass is safe for cats to ingest.
Why do cats eat cat grass?
The exact reason that cats eat cat grass is not known, however there are a few different theories. They may not eat the grass for one outcome, but many. Below we have listed the top theories for this:
Lack of fibre in diet
Cats are natural born predators; their wild ancestors would hunt their own prey and ingest the whole carcass – including the gut and gut contents of this animal. The gut content of the prey item is important, because this will hold important fibre and other trace minerals and vitamins that the cat would not naturally select to eat itself. For example, a lion will eat the gut contents of a wildebeest that has been browsing on various grasses and grazing foods – foods that the lion would not naturally seek to eat, this is where the lion gets a lot of its fibre. So because we have handy ready-made cat foods such as dry and wet cat food, this takes away the cats need to hunt and thus could be said to cause a lack of fibre in the diet. Cats may seek this out by hunting themselves, or the much easier option would be to ingest fibrous foods such as cat grass.
Another theory is that they eat the grass to help induce vomiting; perhaps your cat has eaten something not agreeable, has a hairball or has eaten some items it is not able to digest such as bones. This could be a beneficial behaviour and prevent your cat from becoming sick.
Help to pass hairballs
Cat grass can act as a very mild laxative which can ease the passing of hairballs.
Grass contains chlorophyll
Chlorophyll has been known to help flush out toxins, promotes healing, and is also known to be good for the cardiovascular system.