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Black cat eating grass

The essentials

  • Cats are considered obligate carnivores — They get their nutrients and protein from meat, not plant matter.
  • Grass is safe for your cat to eat — No need to worry if your cat likes to munch on grass. There are even some non-nutritional health benefits.
  • Younger cats are more likely to partake — Nine out of 10 young cats will eat grass whereas only about half of senior cats do.

While grass may not be an essential part of your cat’s nutrition, it is important for some cats’ diet and well-being. As a loving cat owner, you may want to consider getting a cat grass kit. Talk to your vet to make sure it doesn’t have a poisonous plant or any harmful substances.

3 most common reasons cats eat grass

Cats eat grass for a few reasons: to induce vomiting , as a natural dewormer, or because they simply like its taste and texture.

There are a lot of myths surrounding this habit such as cats getting folic acid from grass juice that mimics the mother’s milk to aid in hemoglobin production. Another one that has no recent support from researchers is that grass boosts our furry friends’ immune systems to fight off an illness.

Cute cat eating grass

1. Cats eat grass to vomit

This may even happen if you haven’t noticed any signs that your cat is feeling unwell. Although research hasn’t found a concrete reason why cats will eat it, it is more common to see an older cat vomit after eating grass. However, if your cat is vomiting every time they eat grass, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible — this behavior may indicate a medical issue.

2. Cats may eat grass as roughage to get rid of parasites

Rough plants are a natural dewormer for other species, so it makes sense that cats use grass this way, too. Because cats’ bodies can’t break down any part of the grass structure, it cleanses their digestive tract of any intestinal parasites and helps maintain the right texture for your cat’s poop. The fiber it provides helps keep it from being too hard or too runny and potentially causing injury or dehydration in your kitty.

3. Cats like the taste and texture of grass

Some studies show that cats enjoy the taste and texture of grass. Cat owners have reported that their cats exhibit behavior similar to when eating a treat. Others theorize that cats will eat grass to help supplement missing minerals or vitamins, an idea unsupported by recent studies.

Cats are carnivorous and do not have the enzymes in their GI tract necessary to break down plant material to get any nutrition. Think of it like chewing gum — the flavor is great, and some people like the act of chewing — but it doesn’t provide any nutrients.

When to worry about your cat eating grass

Seeing their cat eat grass may cause concern in some pet parents, but most of the time, there isn’t anything to worry about. Experts agree eating grass is a normal habit for the majority of cats. What’s important is what’s happening around the grass eating.

Cats will only vomit about a quarter of the time that they eat grass, if that much. If your cat vomits every time they eat, this is a health problem that requires veterinary aid as soon as possible. Another thing to watch out for is evidence of parasites in their stool. You may want to consult your vet about testing to determine what parasites your cat may have.

Kitten in grass

How to stop cats from eating grass

If your cat is a grass eater, there may be nothing you can do to change their mind. This could be a part of their instincts. Restricting their access to grass — particularly if you have an outdoor cat — is the most reliable method to stop them from eating it. If your indoor cat is a plant muncher, an alternative is to provide them with a small tray of grass that is safe to graze on.

Types of grasses for cats

Here’s a list of grasses that have proven to be fan favorites and safe for all pet cats. Watch for allergic reactions, including itching, wheezing, sneezing, or diarrhea.


Wheatgrass is the young fresh shoots of wheat. It looks very similar to the grass you may find in your yard. Many people say it’s easy to grow in the home.

Cat sitting beside wheatgrass

Oat grass

Oat grass is a true grass. It gets its name for the striking resemblance it has to true oats. This grass can also be grown inside. You can find oat grass kits online for a small price.

Container of grass for cats and dogs

Barley grass

Barley grass is the young, tender shoots of barley before they have started sprouting seeds. When searching online, be sure not to purchase the powder. Look for seeds or young sprouts for these cereal grains.

Sprouted grass for indoor cats


Ryegrass is a common lawn grass found in the northeastern United States. It typically grows tall and may provide for other enrichment needs for your cat.

Container with sprouting cat grass

👉Avoid using herbicides or pesticides in your yard if possible. They are poisonous chemicals for cats and can easily be tracked indoors from your shoes and clothing.

Frequently asked questions

Can I let my cat eat grass?

The good news is that grass is safe for cats to eat. However, other houseplants have the potential to be poisonous. Please check before allowing your cat to chew or eat it.

Why does my cat vomit when it eats grass?

Many studies show there’s no one solid answer. Some cats use grass to help with hairballs and other indigestible matter while others can’t process it. Contact your veterinarian if your feline friend is vomiting every time they eat grass or exhibiting other unusual behavior.

Are cats sick when they eat grass?

Eating grass is not a reliable indication that your cat is sick or has a dietary deficiency. A lot of cats eat grass simply out of pleasure.