What do you say to your child when they come to you with the question…why do cats eat grass, Mommy? (Or Daddy, if that’s the case.) Kids asked the most innocent and unarmed questions, don’t they? They’re so young and innocent, and as they say, from the mouths of babes comes the wisdom of the ages.

Don’t have an answer for them for this innocent and quite observant question of nature, well, we do. It might surprise you, it will certainly gross you out to some degree, but it is the real deal.

A cats natural diet is meat, raw meat, prey–mice, birds, anything they can catch, kill, and eat is your cat’s natural diet. Well, when a cat eats, for instance a bird, they just down the sucker, everything goes down all at once, the feathers, the beak, the claws, and so on and so forth. Hey, we said it was going to be kinda gross.

Anyway, your cat can’t really digest some of the “bird material”, shall we say. So in order to not break down their digestive systems, cats have an instinctual behavior in which they will eat grass in order to regurgitate this material up and out of their stomachs, this is very healthy for them, in fact it is essential to their health.

If you have a cat who’s outdoors all the time and you suspect that he’s chomping on tweetie birds, well you had better let your cat chow on some grass as well. Remember, it’s perfectly natural and good for the animal. If you don’t let them eat the grass they will go after your house plants, which are often toxic to the cat, and then you’ve got a huge mess on your hands.

You don’t want to kill you cat, right? Let them eat the grass if they need to, you’re doing them a favor. People shouldn’t eat grass, but cats should, now you know the facts of life.

You may be wondering about the big cats, though. Do lions eat grass? In fact they do, but not for the same reasons as our domesticated friends. Lions and other big cats will eat grass and leaves to neutralize the acid in their stomach’s after a particularly large and greasy meal, like say a whole antelope. And all of this knowledge from a simple child’s question, thank heavens for children.