Grass- Eating : A Normal and Beneficial Cat Habit According to Animal Behavior Experts
Not a few cat owners worry when they see their pet feeding on grass, because this unusual behavior leads to vomiting. Some vets and other cat experts though have offered explanations that grass-eating among cats is normal, and that the aftermath is merely an act of regurgitation that allows the animal to orally expel whatever it is that is causing them discomfort.
The explanation though remained unsubstantiated by scientific studies, until the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) reported in this year’s annual convention in Bergen, Norway that eating plants, which includes grass, is instinctual to felines. Grass-eating behavior has evolutionary benefits, directly related to their need to remove foreign bodies like intestinal parasites present in their system.
Ethology by the way is the study of animal behavior. The ISAE report about grass-eating behavior among cats is based on studies they conducted on chimps and other wild animals that do not usually feed on grass as a means of subsistence. Based on theories worked on in their research, the act of throwing up after eating grass or plant, brings them relief.
Grow Indoor Grass to Keep Your Cat Safe
Cats in the modern era, particularly those kept indoors and pampered with cat food and milk, hardly find a reason to engage in the exercise. That is why some cat owners regard their grass-eating activity an unusual behavior. This merely suggests that cats tend to do so by instinct, whenever they feel the need to take something out of their system.
Maybe not parasites anymore, but something indigestible that could be causing them discomfort.
The ISAE team gives advice that since cats do grass-eating by instinct, it would be best for cat owners to buy or grow some indoor grass for their beloved pet. That way, they can reduce some of the risks faced by their cat when eating grass from outside sources.
Potential health harms may include acquiring intestinal parasites, or chewing on some toxic substance or pesticide sprayed on grass grown on some nearby property.