Does your cat run out into the lawn to chew on grass? Or have they been sniffing around in your salad bowl? Either way, we’re here to tell you that your pet has chosen a side in a long argued debate of whether or not cats are omnivores.
As it stands, the general community has accepted that their feline friends are obligate carnivores. This means that at least 70% of their diet consists of meat. The other 30%, in the case of cats, includes greens.
However, just because a cat can eat something doesn’t mean it should. Countless cats around the globe eat lizards even though it is potentially super harmful to them. If your pet is doing so, you need to stop them because the reptile could be poisonous.
Luckily for cats who enjoy munching on grass, the same doesn’t apply here. At least not in most cases. There are several types of greens that are perfectly safe.
There are thousands of species of plants, and we obviously can’t go over all of them. What we will do is create four broad categories of grass, houseplants, vegetables, and herbs and list the most commonly found ones that your pet can eat.
Since we can not put every single plant on a to-eat and to-not list, assume that anything not listed here isn’t safe for your pet. While there is the possibility that it is perfectly okay for your cat to eat, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.
After all, there are so many other options for food.
Also, remember that if your cat is eating any greens like grass or a houseplant, you shouldn’t treat it or any plant around it with chemicals. Even if you’re spraying insecticide or something similar on a tree on the other side of your lawn, it can travel by air onto the greens your cat will be ingesting.
These chemicals are incredibly dangerous. So even if the green your cat is eating isn’t harmful, the chemicals will make them sick.
If you have the option to plant grass on your lawn and you own a cat who likes munching on it, we’d recommend getting wheatgrass. It is commonly referred to as ‘cat grass’ because cat parents like you are its biggest buyers!
This grass variety is rich in pantothenic acid, zinc, manganese, niacin, and vitamins E and B-6. You can mix it with oat grass or lemongrass. Both are also safe for cats to eat.
If you’re setting up a mini-lawn for your cat, you can get your hands on a cat grass kit from any local pet store.
Cats often throw up after eating grass, but this isn’t a bad thing. Research suggests that grass provides a digestive enzyme that helps your cat with digestion. Throwing up helps them get rid of any substances they aren’t able to digest.
You can think of it as an internal cleanse. Moreover, cats contain folic acid, which is an excellent vitamin for them. They need it as part of their diet. So if they’re getting it from eating grass, you shouldn’t stop them from munching at it even if they throw up after.
Also, grass provides a laxative that helps cats pass hairballs and other things that can get stuck in their digestive tract.
If you’re a fan of houseplants and have a lot of them, you might find yourself concerned for both your plants and your cat if the latter is chewing on one of your plants. If you have something like an elephant bulb, please rush your pet to a vet.
To be on the safe side, you can plant any of the following cat-safe houseplants:
- Boston fern
- Maidenhair fern
- Most palms
- African violet
- African daisy
- Corn plant
- Spider plant
Each of these is safe for your cat to eat. While your plant will be ruined, your pet will be okay.
You can also give your cat a number of vegetables without causing them any harm.
One important thing to remember is that cats can’t break down plant cells very well. They’re a lot like human beings in that regard. So if you’re feeding your feline friend any of the greens in this section, be sure to cook it properly.
The best way is steaming them because that breaks down the vegetables. Then your cat can eat them without you worrying about potential digestive issues.
Here are some of the many vegetables your cat can eat:
- Chopped carrots
- Frozen corn
- Broccoli florets
- Green beans
- Winter squash
All of the food options with high fiber, like green beans, are excellent for weight loss in cats. So if your pet has become lazy with you during the pandemic and put on a bit of extra fat, you can get them back into peak health by adding these greens to their diet.
Leafy vegetables like lettuce are great because they have high water content, which hydrates your pet. The best kind of lettuce is dark or organic lettuce.
Another type of green that you may not have thought of is herbs. Some cats adore herbs, while others aren’t big fans. So you’ll have to test the waters with your pet and figure out which side of the debate they’re on.
If you find that they do enjoy eating leafy greens, here are all the new food options you can get for them:
- Dandelion root
- Licorice root
- Lemon balm
- Bee balm
Some cats absolutely love eating greens. And if your cat is one of them, you can find several options to choose from.
There are two things to be mindful of, though. First, make sure the greens you’re feeding them are safe. And second, ensure there aren’t any chemicals on them or anything around them.