Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Cat on floor with live cat grass

All felines are known as obligate carnivores, but that doesn’t mean their diets consist of 100% meat. Cats in the wild hunt for a living, and a large percentage of their prey consists of herbivorous animals whose stomachs contain grass and similar greens.

lynx eating cat grass
Tiani (Rescued Siberian Lynx)
Tiger with grass in the wild
Tiger in the Wild

Most cats—even the big boys and girls—will seek out greens to satisfy a variety of nutritional needs:

  • Cat Grass can be effective at helping cats deal with hairballs, whether as a beneficial emetic, or to act as roughage to aid the passage of fur and other indigestible matter through the digestive tract.
  • Cereal grasses (mainly wheat, oat, barley and rye) contain a long list of vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health and bolster the immune system.
  • Cereal grasses like wheat, oat, barley, and rye, have a surprisingly high protein content. According to the widely recognized book, Wheatgrass: Nature’s FInest Medicine by Steve Meyerowitz, whole-leaf wheat grass powder contains 25% protein, far more than the equivalent amount of spinach or broccoli (about 3%), eggs (12.5%) or chicken (17.5%).

Bringing the Outdoors In!

Aside from the physical health benefits, many indoor cats love having their own personal garden. It enriches their environment in a unique way by adding an element of nature that is fun, safe, and fresh. And that they won’t get yelled at for munching on it!

How to Introduce Your Cat to Indoor Cat Grass:

Because cats are such dedicated nonconformists – it’s why we love them! – you may have to try more than one approach before they take to indoor grass. That being said, your cat may surprise you and dive right in the very first time you present them with a pot, especially those younger, curious types. For the best first impression and ongoing success, try these tips:

  • Tip the container of cat grass on its side, at least initially. The blades of grass, while tender to the mouth, can be a bit off-putting if the tips poke kitty’s nose when she approaches for the inevitable sniff-fest of this intriguing new object. As we all know, cats can really hold a grudge about such effronteries, and starting off on the wrong foot can put the kibosh on the whole venture.
  • Spritz the blades lightly with water. Many cats will lick at the water droplets, then decide to try a nibble of the sweet-smelling blades and realize how much they like it.
  • Pick a couple of blades and offer them to your cat by hand. While the container of grass may look enticing, your cat may not at first realize it is something good to eat. But if extended by the hand that feeds them they will probably make the connection more easily.
  • Snip some small pieces of cat grass and use it as a food topper at mealtimes. A light sprinkling of tasty greens atop your cat’s favorite wet food is an easy way to add these nutritious greens to their diet, even if they haven’t quite gotten the hang of eating it directly from the container yet.

Where to Purchase Cat Grass

A number of options are open to you here, as Cat Grass is available “live” (pre-grown in small pots) and in self-grow kits in a variety of sizes.

Pet Greens Cat Grass is 100% Certified Organic Wheatgrass, grown fresh every week on our farm in Southern California.  It can be found in pet specialty stores nationwide, such as  Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus and Pet Valu . These stores receive fresh shipments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, as do more than 500 independent and smaller chain stores.

Pet Greens also has two varieties of self-grow Cat Grass to choose from:  Garden (100% Wheatgrass) and Medley (Oat, Rye and Barley grass blend) are super easy to grow right from the bag  While these are widely available in stores, many customers prefer the convenience of shopping for these items online: Chewy and Amazon are just a couple of the more popular online sources for these convenient kits.

If all else fails and your cat looks at your offering of fresh greens as just another crazy idea my human had, but you want to make sure the little darling is benefiting from the nutritional properties of cereal grasses, Pet Greens also makes a line of yummy soft-chew treats containing wheatgrass, called Cat Craves.