Do pets eat unnatural items, like stool or grass, because of nutritional deficiencies?

Answer:

  • No, eating plants and grass is a natural behavior for dogs and cats.
  • Grass is not digested within a cat’s GI tract. It is speculated that it acts as an irritant to stimulate vomiting to eliminate hairballs or other indigestible material.1
  • Boredom or taste preferences are cited as other reasons why pets eat these items.1
The Science Behind our Recommendations
1. Armstrong PJ, Gross KL, Becvarova I, Debraekeleer J. Introduction to Feeding Normal Cats. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, Roudebush P, Novotny BJ, eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th ed. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute; 2010: 364.