Are you worried that your cat is eating grass again? Let´s check out together some scientific facts about this common cat behavior.
1. All cats eat grass
Not true: Most of them eat grass occasionally during their lifetime, but not all. Seventy-one percent of the animals were caught in the act at least six times in their lifetime, whereas only 11% were never observed engaging in this behavior. If you want to learn more, see the scientific article supporting this data.
2. Cats eat grass because they feel sick and use the grass as a medicine
Not true: write better: According to a recent scientific study, vomiting only occurs in 25% of cats (1 in every 4) right after eating grass. Most cats that eat grass don´t look sick. Therefore, vomiting is merely an occasional secondary effect of eating grass—not the aim of your cat.
3. Younger cats learn to eat grass from older cats
Not true: young cats that do not live with older cats also engage in greenery eating
4. Cats eat grass to expel internal parasites.
Untrue: Modern house cats that receive routine veterinary check-ups and are under deworming schedules also eat grass
5. Modern cats eating grass is an inherited behavior from cat ancestors that required vomiting out parasites
True: (most likely, at least it is what scientists think)
6. Younger cats eat more grass than older.
True: Probably because the inherited mechanism is more urgent in younger animals because their immune system is less mature and need to deal with parasites that otherwise thrive better than in adult cats
7. Grass eating in cats serves the purpose of expelling hairballs from hair swallowed during grooming
Not true: because short-haired cats eat grass as frequently as long-haired cats. Hairy cats should eat grass in higher amounts or more regularly, which is not the case.
Take home message:
Make sure your cat has access to non-poisonous grass and plants.
Vomiting afterward can be a problem sometimes, but luckily it doesn’t happen that often. After all, it doesn’t mean your cat is sick or doing anything wrong. Also, since cats seem to enjoy eating grass, you can provide them with some grown grass if they don’t have outdoor access.
Next time your cat is eating grass, you will understand her well! If you want to know more about what makes cats happy, don´t miss our article on cat enrichment