Grass-Grazing: Good or Bad?

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via cocinella, Flkr Creative Commons

Easter = Baskets = Easter Grass = Cat Grass (see, there is some sort of seasonal logic to this post). And the question of the day is: Just why do cats eat grass?  And is it healthy?

Whether indoors or outdoors, cats enjoy nibbling blades of tasty green grass. Some owners worry about their felines munching this grassy goodness…especially the final act, which typically involves vomiting. The good news is grass-grazing is not only harmless, many experts suggest there may be benefits to the cat.

Because a cat’s system lacks the enzymes necessary to digest the vegetable substance, their body’s response is to throw up the grass as well as anything else in the digestive tract. This may include fur from bathing, mouse bones and fur, and anything else the cat recently ingested. Regurgitating indigestible substances makes the cat feel better and clears the digestive tract.

Grass contains folic acid, which helps with the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen into the blood. This helps kitty’s circulation.

The blades provide a natural source of fiber for cats. This is especially helpful when substances like furballs are not expelled and move further down the digestive tract. Let’s just say the fiber in the grass helps “move things along” — think of it as “Pet-amucil.”

So grass ingestion does appear beneficial to cats. For a few reasons, it’s a great idea to provide an indoor and/or outdoor garden for your cat. For indoor cats, a pot of grass offers a delicious taste of the outdoors. For outdoor cats, a pet-friendly garden provides a healthy alternative to nibbling on the neighbors’ possibly pesticide-laced greenery. Additionally, make sure your indoor plants are all of the non-toxic variety. This time of year, please remember Easter Lilies can be deadly to cats.

Think your cat might not enjoy a juicy blade or two of indoor cat greens? Think again — the cats in this video battle for a bite!

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