If you are the happy owner of a cat, you might have encountered your pet chewing and smelling some of your house plants. This taste for our plants seems to be quite normal. There are some explanations of why our cats do eat grass.
The reason why cats eat plants is not just one, it could be because of the need for fiber, the texture of it, out of boredom, and the most reasonable one is because they need to stimulate vomiting to clear their stomach of the hair they ingest out of grooming.
We need to be careful as some plants might be toxic to our pets.To find out which plants your cat can ingest without issues keep on reading.
Your Cat’s Routine
You might relate to this story I’m about to share. We all think we have the most spoiled cat on the face of earth, who eats only the best in the market for cats, you might even also feed him with tenderloin. He sleeps in the bed he likes the most of your house, sorry his house, overall a happy cat. And like almost every cat it eats the plants that you have been taking care of for so long and are so beautiful, it is a cyclical routine for sure. He has his favorites, once he eats them he might of course vomit.
You might be curious about your cat’s routine since you feed him super well and with the best food, but still he purges himself.
As many owners, you might have never asked the vet why he does that, you just assume it’s his way of clearing his stomach, in fact you probably will find it funny when he eats your mom’s plants not so much when they are yours.
In this article we will explain some of the possible reasons your lovely cat eats grass.
One of them and the most common one is because they need to purge, as you know cats groom themselves quite often and all the hair that doesn’t fall on the floor ends up in their stomach. It’s a large amount, in fact there are some products for cats to eat and help them purge all that hair. Nevertheless, their instincts are to purge themselves naturally and eating plants seems to be a way of doing it.
Another reason is that they crave different tastes and textures, they might be attracted to some particular plants at your house because of the smell or their looks.
Your cat might require different nutrients and fiber, so eating plants helps them for the mobility of their stomach. You might consider that one of the reasons they keep craving for your plants it’s because they feel hungry all the time!
So far, all the reasons we have shared with you about why your cat is eating plants are typical, but when should you be worried?
Some cats might eat plants more often than they should; for example, if they do it occasionally, it’s not something you should be worried about, but if it’s constant behavior, daily or several times a day you have to make an appointment with your veterinarian and get your cat examined and discard some health issues.
Your vet might run some blood tests to see if your cat’s organs, such as kidney or heart, are functioning well.
Your cat could also have some anxiety, and chewing your plants alleviates it. It is recommended to have some routine for your cat, like training.
Yes, you might think it’s impossible to do such a thing, but believe me, it is possible; you need to find a reward, a positive reinforcement, so your cat will be motivated.
Remember that a reward must be given after your cat does what you asked for. You can also use words such as “good” or “yes” as a marker. Which Plants Are Safe for Your Cat?
Which Plants Are Safe for Your Cat to Eat
Going back to the plants’ issues, now that you know that your cat eats plants as part of their diet and you still want to have these ornaments at your house, and even more important, to keep your cat safe, here are some good plant options for you to have at home without the concern of your cat getting intoxicated.
- Spider Plant: “commonly grown as an ornamental house plant. The most popular varieties feature long grassy green-and-white-striped leaves.”
- Christmas cactus: “popular cactus of the family Cactaceae that has flattened stems and is grown for its striking cerise flowers…”
- Bromeliads: “…several species are cultivated indoors as ornamentals for their colorful flowers and foliage, and a number of epiphytic Tillandsia species, known as air plants….”
Also, you can find grass at your pet store that is special for your cat. A good idea is to visit these places and wander around and ask as many questions as you want because people who work there are well trained and you will surely feel more secure and less anxious about taking good care of your cat.
If you definitely want to keep your cat away from your beautiful plants, you can purchase non-toxic sprays and apply them to your plant’s leaves. An alternate, less expensive homemade recipe is to rub diluted vinegar on the leaves so you keep your cat away, and it won’t hurt your plants.
Take the time to check your house’s plant names; nowadays, it’s easier to find information about almost anything online.
Plants That Are Toxic for Your Cat
One of the most toxic plants for your cat is the Easter Lily; this beautiful flower is fatal for your cat. All parts of this flower are toxic for them.
Some of the first symptoms of intoxication with this flower are:
- Lack of appetite.
Once the kidney starts to fail, the urination will decrease.
The treatment must be induced as soon as possible, within the first 6 hours. Your veterinarian will empty your cat’s stomach, intravenous fluid, and some other treatments. In contrast, your cat remains hospitalized for at least 48 hours to keep track of his recovery and blood tests. Once the toxicosis is controlled, you can take your cat home with you and remain to observe his behavior and urination.
If you happen to have plants outside and your cat usually goes out there, you must be extra cautious and be aware of what plants surround your house. Remove those plants if you can and if it’s not possible, then make sure to block the possible exits for your cat.
Here are some other toxic plants for your cat:
- Spanish Thyme.
- English Ivy.
- Sago Palm.
- Autumn Crocus.
Many toxic plants may cause localized inflammation of the skin, mouth, stomach, etc.
If you happen to have plants outside and your cat usually goes out there, you must be extra cautious and be aware of what plants surround your house.
In conclusion, if you love your plants as much as you love your cat, they can coexist, and ways for you to not be concerned about your cat’s health are in danger.
Your cat will eat your plants no matter what, even if you train him and have a routine, special toys, treats, you name it.
Cats need to purge themselves as a natural behavior; also, they are curious pets. You know the saying “Curiosity killed the cat,” there is a reason for that: they get bored and like to explore and are more adventurous if you have a backyard. Always observe your pet’s behavior; you will immediately know if something is wrong.
So make sure you have the safest environment for your loved kitty.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.