There might be circumstances where your cat got you worried because you spotted them eating grass. Thus, many veterinarians often encounter the question, “can cats eat wheatgrass?” from pet owners. Now, to provide you with clarification regarding this topic, this article will talk about whether cats can eat wheatgrass, the benefits, and disadvantages of wheatgrass, how much can your cat eat, and other types of grass that are safe for them.
Can Cats Have Wheatgrass?
Let us start by talking about what wheatgrass is. Wheatgrass does not contain wheat gluten, despite its name. Before becoming a gluten-forming grain, wheat plants produce wheatgrass, a leafy green vegetable. It is abundant in antioxidants, minerals, and minerals that the majority of animals’ diets could do without.
Cats are carnivorous animals, hence they cannot survive on vegetation. Despite their general preference for meat, cats do occasionally consume grass. If you let your cat out in the yard or somewhere else, you could eventually see it chewing on wheatgrass.
Many people, including veterinarians, vouch for the health benefits of consuming wheatgrass. Protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are just a few of the nutrients that may be found naturally in wheatgrass. Chlorophyll, which is essential for the creation of hemoglobin, is also abundant in it. It also contains a lot of different antioxidants.
Furthermore, according to the article from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (2019), even if their cat has not yet experienced it, cat owners should not be anxious about introducing cat grass to their pet’s habitat.
What Does Wheatgrass Contain?
The wheat plant’s young shoot, which is taken before the grain grows, is known as wheatgrass. As a result, they are abundant in minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll. Carotene, vitamins A, E, and C, and other minerals and vitamins may be found in wheatgrass. Grass also contains a lot of plant protein.
Selenium and fiber, two additional elements included in wheatgrass, are beneficial for the digestive system.
Benefits of Wheatgrass for Cats
After knowing the contents of wheatgrass, let us now talk about its health benefits for cats:
When your cat regularly consumes wheatgrass, its gums, and oral health both become better. Additionally, it lessens tooth decay in cats. One of the components in wheatgrass is chlorophyll, which has a track record for enhancing blood flow.
Particularly domestic house cats may become quite bored if left alone all day with few opportunities for human contact. It may be fun and beneficial to the cat’s mental health to change their diet and expose them to different foods, textures, and flavors.
Promotes Better Digestive System
Although wheatgrass is abundant in plant-based natural fibers, cats cannot digest them. The plant nevertheless supports digestive health. It can clear their digestive tract of any foreign objects, such as hairballs and other items that may normally create an obstruction, because it causes cats to vomit.
Even though cats dislike the feeling of throwing up, their instincts tell them that consuming wheatgrass would help them cleanse their digestive system. And it is the most frequent cause of your pet’s desire to nibble on some grass streaks.
Boosts Vitamin Intake
Wheatgrass, which is high in B-complex vitamins, can in fact provide your cat’s vitamin intake a slight boost. Sadly, the kitty’s body will only absorb a very small amount of vitamins. In other words, wheatgrass is not effective as food and shouldn’t be consumed regularly by cats. Leave this responsibility to high-quality cat food and extra vitamin supplements, if necessary.
Promotes Weight Loss
Another advantageous approach to provide cats with this sort of phytonutrient-rich vegetable matter is through wheatgrass, especially for overweight cats.
Helps With Kidney Ailments
Some people contend that wheatgrass can help cats with chronic renal illness (CKD). Thiamine, a vitamin B1 deficit that might affect cats with CKD, is abundant in wheatgrass. Cats need vitamin B1 because it helps control their energy levels and metabolic rate.
Slows Cat’s Aging
One of the components in wheatgrass, chlorophyll, has been shown to be a blood booster that slows the aging process. Not only will your cat produce more powerful blood, but it will also appear younger.
Helps Remove Hairball
It is painful but necessary torture to hear your cat choke and spit out fur balls. By irritating the stomach before your cat becomes ill, wheatgrass can help your cat get rid of any undesirable fur balls that may be there.
The unattractive cigar-shaped bundle of fur that your cat could vomit up is known as a hairball. Hair accumulation in your cat’s esophagus causes it to take on a tubular form.
Disadvantages of Wheatgrass In Cats
Despite the rich benefits of wheatgrass in cats, wheatgrass still has its own possible disadvantage. Some of those downsides are:
Depending on where your cat ate the grass stripes from, wheatgrass can indeed poison your cat toxically. Herbicides and other dangerous chemicals are frequently applied to outdoor wheatgrass in order to retain the streaks. These substances have the potential to poison cats, dogs, and other animals.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict the intensity of any hazardous reaction a cat could have. In the worst instance, the cat’s body might not be able to fight off the poisons. I strongly advise you always to keep an eye on your furball’s grass-eating habits unless you want to schedule an emergency clinic appointment.
The safest option is often wheatgrass that has been produced on your property, whether indoors or outside. However, some herbicide residue may have seeped into the wheatgrass streaks if you’ve already treated other surrounding plants with it.
Cats of all breeds and ages can have gastrointestinal disorders when exposed to wheatgrass. Because of this, your pet might vomit or get diarrhea upon eating it. The kitten will dislike both possibilities. Additionally, they could result in side effects including dehydration and appetite loss.
Despite popular belief that wheatgrass contains gluten, wheatgrass does not actually have gluten in it. With that, you do not have to worry about gluten intolerance while your cat eats wheatgrass. However, you still need to be on guard regarding the previous disadvantages of wheatgrass like poisoning and indigestion.
How Much Wheatgrass Should Cats Eat
Cats are often not wired to eat a lot of greens. They cannot digest vegetables properly due to a lack of specific enzymes, yet they may swallow modest amounts of wheatgrass. Do not mistake their tendency to love it for a replacement for their normal nutritious meals.
Despite the lack of evidence, continue to believe that cats are predators by nature and lack the enzymes necessary to break down greens. Additionally, they should only eat a small amount of grass. Additionally, it will be fine if you decide to give it to the cat every day or every other day.
Other Types of Grass That Are Safe for Cats
Aside from wheatgrass, there are other types of grass that are safe for your cat’s consumption. Some of them are the following:
Catnip plants may be grown even though most cat owners are familiar with the dry herb kind that can be found at most pet stores. Both the fresh and dried plants are edible to cats, who may also play with them.
If you have a cat that likes to devour your indoor plants, cat grass is a great plant choice for you. Cats may nibble on a mixture of grass seeds, such as barley, rye, and wheat, for their health. Since cats will consume wheat while it is still wheatgrass, which is incredibly beneficial for cats and may even be considered a necessary component of their diet, the cats are consuming wheat when it is still in its pre-gluten-forming state.
As long as cats only nibble in moderation, lemongrass is safe for them. Lemongrass has the potential to be fatal to your cat when it is turned into an essential oil. All cats lack the liver enzyme glucuronyl transferase, which aids in the breakdown of the majority of essential oils, including lemongrass.
Thyme is regarded as non-toxic for cats by the ASPCA. For your dogs, this plant may be an excellent source of nutritional fiber, antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese.
Another wonderful cat-safe herb that cat owners may grow is mint. In the mint family, catnip belongs. Therefore, if your cats like a little catnip, they could also find their fresh-smelling relative to be fascinating.
Not only is valerian safe for cats, but it also has positive effects. For house cats that prefer to lounge around all day, it encourages play and exercise while also helping to reduce tension and anxiety.
To conclude, even though cats can eat wheatgrass and it contains health benefits for your pet, you should still be wary of its negative effects like possible poisoning and indigestion. Moreover, ensure that your cat only eats the appropriate amount and does not overboard. Plus, we also recommend asking your veterinarian about your cat’s wheatgrass consumption.