Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why Do Cats...

My dearest Heather has asked some good kitty questions. I am assuming this means that she has brought Teva home and is resettling in with her sweet feline.

Why do cats eat grass (esp. b/c they/she just throw it up)?
Will my cat stop eating grass if she gets used to being outside?

This is a very common kitty malady. Or habit, whatever you'd like to call it. Every single time we let our cats outside (which is not often partially due to this situation) they head immediately to the grass to start mowing. So kind of them. To mow the grass for us.

I think there are two reasons for this. One is physiological.Cats cannot digest grass and they will always throw it up. They somehow know this and when they can't get a hairball to pass (gross, I know) they will eat grass or a plant to take care of the situation.

The other reason I believe that cats eat grass is because they can. It's different. It's not something they usually eat. It's a different and interesting texture and taste in their mouth. They are weird like that. Why does a cat climb into a plastic bag or a cardboard box? Because they can.

Unfortunately Heather, Teva will not stop this practice if she becomes accustomed to the outdoors. She'll just have more ready access to it. However, she may be more likely to "get rid of" the grass/hairball outside as opposed to bringing it in for you to clean up. If you see her eating the grass, give her a little time before bringing her back in and you'll save plenty of money on paper towels.

9 comments:

heather said...

Thanks, Anne! So wise! We've been letting Teva roam in the back yard when we're outside, and so far, we haven't found anymore "remains" of grass inside... But David said that just makes him nervous that she's throwing up in a secret place... but i don't think so - she's pretty obvious about where she throws up - she wants you to know. So I think she's growing accustomed to the outdoors...and she's keeping the outdoors, well, out doors. How kind of her.

cory said...

great answer anne. here's something we've found to help as well:

a bunch of companies out there make cat grass you can grow indoors that is better for them and easier to digest than houseplants or the lawn. our cats love this stuff and tend not to throw it up like they do our lawn...

Cats are confirmed carnivores. But they also require greens to help their digestive tracts function normally. Plant fiber helps regulate motility of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract and reduces hairballs formation.

It is normal and natural for cats to crave the dietary roughage their bodies need. But when they don't have access to safe and savory greens, they may turn to the most easily available, but often unhealthy source - houseplants and chemically-treated lawns or landscaping.

anne said...

Thanks Cory! I have wondered about that stuff before. I haven't gotten it because I just assumed it would also make them throw up. So good to know it doesn't do that for yours!

Yeah, Heather, I imagine she's doing it outside. I have never found "hidden" barf in the house. It is always always right in the middle of the carpet. :)

Shawn said...

I've found hidden barf in our house. Just yesterday actually I found some behind a chair in the living room. Although the favorite place lately seems to be on the floor in the bedroom.. right at the side of the bed. Oh, and they do it in the middle of the night so we are sure to find it as soon as we get out of bed in the morning! But I still love my "kids".. barfy and pukey.

v said...

Here's the real solution. Get a dog.

Lol, I couldn't resist. Sorry.

cory said...

v -

i'd rather clean up cat barf every now and again than dog poop daily!!! ;-)

anne said...

Cory, I totally hear you. Course, I'm not the litter box cleaner-outer, so he might have something different to say. Though I believe he prefers that to having to "actually" pick up dog poo. Unlike our neighbors...who don't bother.

Carbon said...

Your neighbors still aren't cleaning up their lawn!?! Gross... Your cat must love going over there if she goes outdoors. Magical kingdom. Ick.

anne said...

Yeah, it's still bad. They's is the worst, but ours still gets hit.

The kitties don't get to go out front at all as it's not gated in. Just out back in our clean, fresh, healthy green grass! :)