There is no scientifically accepted theory as to why cats like to eat grass. Like all felines, furry pets are carnivores and have different food needs from omnivores. Grass is absolutely not part of their diet, so much so that their stomach is unable to digest it. But then why does he like it so much?
Between theories and instinctIf your cat has access to a garden or a balcony with pots, you may have seen him sniffing and munching on various plants. Long blades of grass, in particular, seem to attract their attention a lot. And the hypothesized reasons are many, even if they seem to be guided more by instinct than by intuition. It seems that in small quantities the herb can act as a natural laxative, aiding digestion and preventing constipation. Some experts theorize that cats crave grass if they lack folic acid, which the herbaceous plant is rich in. But there’s no concrete evidence to support it. Others think they eat it if they feel disturbed, to induce vomiting or to expel hairballs. But even in this case there is no scientific evidence. A 2021 study byUniversity of California researched the most common reasons and found that less than half of cats who eat grass vomit, which shows that this may not be a key reason.
A good tasteJust like dogs, some cats might nibble on grass just because they like the taste and texture. This habit is not a problem and is more common than you might imagine, and you don’t even need to pay particular attention because cats tend to avoid those that are poisonous to them, such as aloe, calla lily, ivy, the ficus and the poinsettia. If, on the other hand, chemical substances such as herbicides, insecticides, glyphosate or ferrous sulphate have been sprayed on your lawn or on your plants, it is good to prevent the cat from coming into contact with them, not only with the mouth but also with the paws. If your cat may have eaten grass treated with chemical substances, has vomiting or diarrhea, mouth lesions or drooling, contact a veterinary emergency room: these are in fact the first symptoms of poisoning.
Catnip Nepeta cataria is an aromatic herbaceous perennial and offers a safe alternative to chemically treated lawns. Cats like it a lot for its taste, but also for the effects it causes. It was in fact estimated which in about 60% of felines causes behaviors such as rolling over, active play and meowing. This is because it is known for its euphoric effect, although some consider its smell to be extremely relaxing and sedative.
Some cats just sniff it for a long time. Others rub their muzzles on it and then start purring. Active and passive responses to catnip are influenced by the age and sex of the cat, not so much by whether or not it is ingested. And even if some simply show no reaction, be aware that if it is used too often it can be habit-forming. In any case, there are also other kits with edible herbs in pots or seeds – such as rye, wheat or oat grass – perfect for all cats who love greenery but live in an apartment.