Why Do Cats Eat Plants

icon July 21, 2023

You might not be surprised to know that cats eat plants if you are the one who raises a cat and grows household plants since you are familiar with the scenario that your cat eats your plants or sometimes they eat plants and then throw up. Are there any secrets behind this irritating behavior? Here, follow us for five minutes to find out the truth about it. 

What Leads To Plant-eating Behaviors?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their natural diet consists primarily of meat. However, you may observe some cats eating plants or grass from time to time. There are a few reasons why cats engage in this behavior:

Instinctual behavior: In the wild, cats would consume the entire prey animal, including the stomach contents, which often include partially digested plant matter. Eating plants may be an instinctual behavior that helps them obtain essential nutrients or aids in digestion.

Dietary supplementation: Plants can provide additional nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, that may be lacking in a strictly meat-based diet. Cats may eat plants to supplement their nutritional needs.

Digestive aid: Cats cannot digest plant matter as efficiently as herbivores, but consuming grass or plants can help them induce vomiting. This behavior may serve to expel hairballs or other indigestible material from their stomachs.

Aiding digestion and gastrointestinal issues: Eating grass can act as a natural laxative for cats, helping them pass stool or alleviate constipation. It may also help to soothe an upset stomach or relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. 


Behavioral or psychological reasons: Some cats may simply enjoy chewing on plants as a form of play or entertainment. It can also be a result of boredom or a means to explore their environment.


Which Plants Are Bad For Your Cat?

How To Keep Your Cat Away From Your Houseplants?

Keeping cats away from your plants can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can try to discourage them from getting too close. Here are some suggestions:

Provide an alternative: Create a designated area for your cats where they can scratch, play, and explore. Set up a scratching post or a cat tree near the plants to redirect their attention and satisfy their natural instincts.

Use physical barriers: Place barriers around your plants to prevent cats from accessing them. You can use chicken wire, mesh fencing, or even decorative fencing to create a barrier. Make sure the barriers are tall enough and secured firmly to deter cats from jumping over them.

Utilize textures and materials cats dislike: Cats generally dislike certain textures and materials. Consider covering the soil around your plants with materials cats find uncomfortable, such as rough stones, pine cones, or prickly mulch. This can discourage them from digging or walking in the area.

Citrus or strong-smelling deterrents: Cats dislike the smell of citrus fruits. You can scatter citrus peels or spray citrus-scented sprays around the plants to deter them. Additionally, some cats are repelled by strong odors like vinegar or coffee grounds. Experiment with different scents to find what works best for your cats.

Motion-activated deterrents: Install motion-activated devices near your plants that emit a sudden noise, spray water, or use ultrasonic frequencies to startle cats when they approach. These deterrents can condition cats to associate the unpleasant experience with the plants and eventually avoid them.

Utilize plants that repel cats: Some plants naturally repel cats due to their strong scents or textures. Examples include lavender, rue, rosemary, coleus canina (also known as the "scaredy cat plant"), and certain types of marigolds. Introducing these plants around your garden may help discourage cats from entering the area.

Maintain a clean garden: Cats are less likely to be attracted to gardens that lack hiding spots or sources of water. Keep your garden tidy by removing excess vegetation, eliminating standing water, and sealing off any potential hiding places, such as dense bushes or piles of debris.

Train and redirect your cats: Consider training your cats to stay away from certain areas by using positive reinforcement techniques. Reward them with treats or praise when they avoid the plants and redirect their attention to more appropriate areas.

Provide healthy alternatives: To satisfy your cat's need to add some greenery to his diet, you can purchase "Cat Grass", which comes in its own container. Simply follow the instructions on the package. Within a few days, you'll have seedlings sprouting. The only downside to this setup is that these grasses usually wilt after a few weeks, so you have to replenish them often.

You can also grow your own container of wheatgrass, which is easy. You can find wheatgrass at most health food stores. Plant them in soil that is kept moist but not saturated. Once the first small leaves of grass emerge, move the container to a sunny spot.

Fresh catnip is another healthy option; this plant is not difficult to grow indoors. About two out of three cats go crazy from catnip's mind-altering properties (which, by the way, become weaker the more cats are exposed to the plant). But catnip also has the right supply of vitamins and fiber, which can help with digestion.

Remember that each cat is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find the most effective deterrents for your specific cats. Additionally, ensure that any methods or materials you use are safe for both your cats and the plants in your garden.



While occasional plant consumption is generally considered normal, excessive or persistent ingestion of plants can be a cause for concern. Certain plants can be toxic to cats, so it's important to ensure they don't have access to poisonous species. If you notice your cat frequently eating plants, experiencing digestive issues, or displaying any concerning symptoms, it's best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper evaluation.

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