It is a common phenomenon in humans to crave different cuisines from time to time. We love variety in our diet and thus munch on different things, from pizza to burgers, salads to oats. It excites us to tingle our taste buds by eating foods that have different flavours. Feels normal, doesn’t it?
But on the other hand, it surprises us when our pets do the same. We bring the best munchies and treats for our furry buddies, that are packed with essential elements which are necessary for their diet. Yet, it fascinates a cat owner when its feline goes running around in the park, climbing trees, and chasing mice, and suddenly sits down, only to start munching on grass!
How? Why? What makes an outright carnivore indulge in eating greens? Has our dear meow, lost it? Has it chosen to turn vegetarian? Was the natural diet of meat too much to handle for them, or was it the laziness of hitting the gym?
Well, let’s try and understand the ‘science’ behind such an unusual behaviour portrayed by our furry buddies:
1) Helps meow get rid of uneasiness in the tummy!
Just like humans, who have tummy issues from time to time, cats too experience an uncomfortable feeling in their stomachs, that could have happened because they diet consists of meat, which may be consumed raw at times. Kitties have delicate tummies, and it takes a lot to break down the meat, causing trouble in the digestive tract. Many cats tear their prey apart and gulp every bit, which can include things like fur, hair, small bones, hard muscles and much more. These things can be hard to digest, resulting in the feline feeling uneasy and lazy. Munching on blades of grass comes naturally to them, as they are aware of its benefits. Greens help in the disposal of such hard-to-digest things and clear their tummies.
2) I am an anxiety-prone animal, so let me nomm nomm!
It is a commonly known fact that humans who have anxiety problems often end up munching anything that they can get their hands on in order to dissipate the excess energy in their bodies. The same happens with meows. They are one of the most anxiety-stricken species, and they have an abundance of energy. This could also explain why cats get hyper and have mood swings. Eating grass is known to calm them down by making them spend the extra energy that has led to their anxiety. Since grass is easy to chew, they love to indulge in biting the top parts of grass blades, soothing them, and calming their minds. It lowers their heart rate and makes them more peaceful, relieving any kind of stress that may be bothering them.
3) I am the best, and I need all the nutrients to keep going!
We have all learned in our early school days that green veggies contain a lot of nutrients that are essential for our body and well-being. The same holds true for other animals as well. The grass is known to contain vital nutrients, especially the B vitamin, called Folic acid. This vitamin is present in the cat’s mother’s milk that supports digestion. Tiny kitties obtain loads of this vitamin from momma's milk, helping in the growth of inner cells and muscles, thus making them agile and flexible. It plays an important role in producing haemoglobin which is required for the smooth functioning of every bodily attribute. In addition to the provision of vitamins, grass works as an antacid for cats, taking care of the excess gas production in their tummies caused due to their natural diet of meat.
4) I need to be hydrated as well, hooman!
Besides providing essential nutrients and vitamins, the grass is also beneficial for cats by being a source of natural fibre. They are highly active animals, ones that jump around a lot. This requires their digestive tract to be clear and free of blockages. Even though fibre is a difficult type of fat for a kitty’s intestine to digest, it is an important nutrient for their body as it eases the flow of food bulks through their system. Their digestive system has specific types of bacteria that are capable of breaking down the fibre, making it easy for the wastage to pass through smoothly. It results in better passage of stool, clearing the system completely. A cat’s need for fibre can also be understood when they enter the bathroom and destroy the toilet paper roll completely. It can be mistaken for fun and annoyance, but in reality, they tear down and chew on it with the sole purpose of quenching the need for fibre.
5) My jawline is amazing, and I need to keep it clean!
Meows are proud animals, who love themselves more than anything. They are known to be conscious about their looks, explaining why they groom and clean themselves all the time. Similarly, they also care for their dental hygiene, and this is also one of the primary reasons why your meow would indulge in chewing on grass blades. Thin grass blades act as floss, that removes any leftovers stuck between their teeth. Kitties may often get irritated or annoyed with food stuck in their gums, which can lead to other dental problems, like boils and cavities. Grass blades aid in the removal of such cavity-causing particles, while also cleaning their teeth by natural oils that are present in them. Who wouldn’t want a clean mouth, especially when one loves itself the most?
There are many activities that kitties may carry out, leaving us completely surprised. Cat owners are usually left worried at the sight of such erratic behaviour like eating grass, as they feel it may be a result of mental imbalance. It is therefore imperative to learn all the possible facts about your dear meow, before assuming and concluding anything. Every weird behavioural act may not be a problematic one, such as eating grass, which happens to be beneficial for cats rather than being harmful. It is important to understand your meow, coz, who else will, dear hooman?
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