Is cat grass really good for your cat?
It’s hard to understand from a human point of view, but some cats are really crazy about grass. They eat green stalks while walking in the fresh air or do it with grass planted in the apartment. But what is cat grass — and is it good for our kittens/cats?
Cats need to eat meat to stay healthy. Therefore, a purely plant-based diet is not suitable for these four-legged friends — they need animal proteins from meat or fish. «However, they sometimes like to nibble on the greens,» explains veterinarian Dr.Jamie Richardson in “Catster” magazine. Why?
There are several reasons for this. It is obvious that the herb is not only pleasant to the taste of cats, but also helps them indigestion. Regular consumption of grass in food helps cats to get rid of constipation and get rid of objects that the stomach does not digest, for example, balls of wool.
Some scientists suspect that the ancestors of our domestic cats chewed grass to induce vomiting. This could be useful when they couldn’t digest certain parts of their prey. One study also found that the use of cat herb is considered innate. Other theories suggest that the herb may act on cats as a mild painkiller or laxative, keeping their breath fresh.
At the same time, you can give your cat a nice little thing if you provide her house with a pot of grass, which she will gnaw from time to time.
Cat grass is a mixture of different types of grass
But what is cat grass? «This is not a specific type of herb, but a combination of, for example, rye, barley, oats, and wheat.» Dr.Lori Teller, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Cat grass kits can be purchased at pet stores, but you can also plant them yourself.
However, herb is not important for your kitten’s survival: «Cat grass is not a necessary part of a cat’s diet if it eats a balanced diet,» says Dr.Teller. However, she agrees that many cats love herb. And: «In some cases, it may contain some micronutrients, such as vitamins A and E.»
The decision on whether to give the cat herb or not is ultimately entirely up to you. Dr.Teller notes that if you have planted cat herb yourself, it will be more useful than herb that is on the street, it can be contaminated with chemicals or bacteria. This can cause illnesses.
Also important: some cats may be confused by the fact that they can safely eat grass, but not other plants. So make sure you put other potentially poisonous houseplants out of your cat’s reach — or don’t bring them into the house at all.
However, according to the professor, cat grass is generally safe for cats. This can only be a sign of malnutrition if your cat suddenly starts eating too much of it. Then it is best to consult a veterinarian.