How Does Eating Grass Help Cats
Do you have a cat? Have you noticed that it often looks for grass you might have inside or outside the home? Grass plays an important role for the health of cats. In this OneHowTo article, we aim to dispel your doubts about this feline behaviour, explaining how does eating grass help cats. If you have a cat or are thinking of having one, our information might be of help to, not just to you, but also to your cat.
Why do cats eat grass?
This is surely the first thing you're wondering. The truth is that there are several reasons, but all are related to the health of your cat, so they are very important:
- It is a supplement for their diet. The juice from grass contains folic acid which is beneficial for the development of the cat and increases oxygen in the blood. Of course, if your cat eats too much grass, it could be a sign that their diet is deficient in something and it looks for other means of supplying these extra nutrients.
- It has laxative properties so it can really help your cat maintain regular bowel movements which is particularly important if there is anything obstructing their intestines, such as food or even hairballs. This can be very troublesome for them and can be so bad as to change their character, making them more aggressive. Grass is very important for them in this sense. Health conditions such as constipation are only really noticeable to humans when the problem has already deteriorated quite considerably. So, if grass is readily available to your cat, it can solve the problem as soon as it arises.
- It cleans the stomach, i.e. it helps them purge. What cats do is consume grass and then vomit. Why? Because the grass in their stomach makes it easier for them to vomit and to expel that what was causing stomach problems. Through grass, the cat can remove food debris, hair, feathers, bones or even parasites that may cause more severe damage in the future.
What grass can my cat eat?
The most important thing is that your cat does not eat grass that has pesticides or other chemical products. If the animal has access to the outside, to the street, it will know what grass to eat and what is best to avoid. If they have access to the garden, avoid using pesticide; if the cat is an indoor cat, make sure that you provide a special tray with grass that is accessible to it.
Grass for cats is not a plant in itself, but seeds which should be planted and grown at home. It is easy to find trays with the seeds and substrate already inside. The grass should begin to grow in 3 or 4 days.
If you do not find this preparation, you can buy the seeds and prepare it yourself. What you need:
- Container (can be a tray or pot)
- Substrate (soil, as natural as possible and, above all, without chemicals)
- Seeds (can be wheat, oats or birdseed)
The steps for planting cat grass are very simple: first you have to put the substrate in the tray or pot, add the seeds and cover with another layer of soil. Add water and cover with plastic (cling film will be fine).
Difference between grass and catnip
Grass and catnip can be easily confused because both are plants and are used to cure or prevent diseases in cats. As we have seen, cat grass enables cats to purge their stomach and helps with constipation. However, catnip (Nepeta Cataria) has other properties:
- It stimulates sweating, so it can treat cases of high fever.
- It is useful against cough, chronic bronchitis, colds and flu.
- It regulates altered menstruation.
- It is used for gastrointestinal disorders (such as diarrhoea), nervous conditions (such as insomnia) and respiratory issues, as well as anaemia, weakness, headache, fever and cancer.
- If it is an ointment, it is used for haemorrhoids.
- If it is an enema, for seizure or hysteria.
In addition, catnip also has aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, sedative, cooling or tonic properties, to mention just a few. Now that you know what both plants can do for your cat, select the best one according to your cat's condition.
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