Cat Eating Grass/Plants – Is This Normal?

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I’m sure you have wondered at least once why cats like to nibble on green leafy plants. Cats are known to be obligate carnivores, but sometimes, they just have cravings for something fresh and greeny.

Sylvia, eating my skinny flowering plant in the balcony.
Sylvia, eating my skinny flowering plant in the balcony.

My mom said that cats (and even dogs) eat grass when they feel indigestion or abdominal pain. She said it’s their form of self medication. Reading through a number of articles online about cats eating grass or plants, it seems that my mom’s theory is very close to what cat experts say about this cat behavior.

While it may look weird that your cat likes to be a goat at times, it’s totally normal for cats to nibble on plants or grass. There are theories that when a cat have indigestion, they eat grass or leafy plants. Cats don’t have the enzymes to break down vegetables (explains why they are obligate carnivores) so by eating grass, it sort of invokes vomiting and thus removes the undigested items in their digestive track. Eating grass also helps them puke out hairballs.

Eating grass does not only benefit the cats by puking, but also helps cats remove undigested particles that has already passed the stomach and is in their intestines  – a form of laxative to poop them out.

Up close and personal : Sylvia enjoys green leafy snack.

So in general, if your cat likes to nibble on plants or grass, you need not to worry – this is perfectly normal. Just be aware that there are plants that are toxic to cats. If you have cats who like to nibble on plants, make sure you keep plants at home that are non-toxic. You can get a comprehensive list of what are the toxic and non-toxic plants for cats from ASPCA website. It would also be beneficial if you get them their own “cat grass” so they stay away from your beautiful indoor plants :).