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Can Cats Eat Chia Grass? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

chia sprouts

In some ancient cultures, chia seeds were a staple food. Recently, these seeds have again gained popularity for their tremendous health benefits. The seeds provide a host of positive health effects because they are rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. When watered and germinated chia seeds can be sprouted into a tasty grass. Chia grass is a wonderful dietary supplement for us humans, but what happens if your curious cat has a nibble or two? Is it safe for your furry friend to ingest this plant or will they run into tummy issues?

Can My Cat Eat Chia Grass Safely?

The short answer to this question is a definitive yes. No part of the chia plant is toxic to felines. However, be aware that chia seeds swell quite significantly when ingested. For this reason, only ever feed small amounts to your pet and supply with sufficient fluid intake. This will allow the fibrous and mucilaginous seed matter to pass through its digestive tract more easily. Thankfully, chia grass itself poses no such issues. If your cat hankers after these nutritious green shoots, let it chow down in peace.

Why Does My Cat Eat Chia Grass?

If your cat is partial to chia grass, don’t worry. Some experts think cats eat grass and greenery just because they like the taste and texture. It may also be instinctively grazing on the chia grass to boost its vitamin levels. Grass contains folic acid, which is essential for helping oxygen to move through your cat’s body. Cats may also eat grass to ease sore throats. Many people believe that cats only ever eat grass to induce vomiting when they have an upset stomach. While this isn’t the only reason, cats do need help digesting after indulging their predatory instincts. When they hunt small animals such as mice and birds, the bones, fur, and feathers on their prey may not pass through the cat’s digestive system easily. In this case, cats may use grass as a laxative to help with the elimination of hairballs. Because cats don’t have the enzymes to break down grass, they may eat grass to induce vomiting and get rid of indigestible materials. So don’t worry if your cat eats chia grass or cat grass regularly. However, if your cat is eating a lot of grass, or eating it very frequently, make sure you take it to your vet to get checked out.

Should Cats Eat Plants?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat to get the nutrients they need. Despite this, cats enjoy munching on plants for a number of reasons. Although chia plants are harmless for cats, if your cat has a habit of snacking on your chia plants, be careful about other greenery in your home. Your curious cat may branch out and try other vegetation once they have a taste for chia grass. You should ensure that all of your houseplants are non-toxic if your cat has a habit of snacking on plants and grass. For example, kalanchoes and lilies, which are popular houseplants, can cause mild to severe reactions in cats. You should always take your cat to the vet if it ingests a poisonous plant.

Cat eating fresh green grass
Image Credit: AllaSaa, Shutterstock

What Plants Are Poisonous For My Cat?

Although chia plants are fine, there are a large number of plants that are toxic to cats. Some will irritate the localized tissues exposed to the toxin, such as the skin, mouth, and stomach of your kitty. Still other plants may contain toxic substances that may harm or alter the functions of a cat’s organs, such as the kidneys or heart. You can find a list of toxic plants here, but some common ones to watch out for include azaleas and rhododendrons, castor beans, dieffenbachias, kalanchoes, lilies, pothos, and tulips.

What Type of Grass is Best for My Cat?

Although chia grass is perfectly safe for your furry friend, cat grass is even safer as it has been used for many years by thousands of cats all over the country and it has been proven to be safe and helpful for digestion. You can purchase pots of cat grass if you want to ensure that your cat only consumes the safest grass. Your cat will adore having its own patch of grass on which to graze. Not only will this satisfy its munching urge, but it will also prevent it from chomping on your prized houseplants.

cat eating cat grass
Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock

What is Cat Grass?

Cat grass isn’t the same thing as the grass growing on your lawn. Lawn grass is not ideal for cats as it may contain pesticides. Cat grass is a specific blend of grasses, grown inside your house specifically for your felines. Cat grass isn’t just one type of plant either, it’s a grass mixture made out of seeds such as wheat, barley, oats, and rye. It can be used as a distratcion, to keep your cat away from dangerous plants. Deter your kitty from knocking over your plants by offering it a tasty, dedicated, natural cat snack instead.

Conclusion

Cats are notoriously picky eaters, so not all cats will eat chia grass, however, many of them do. What should you do if you see your kitty sneaking a mouthful? Is it really safe for cats to eat? Worry not. Chia grass is harmless for cats. However, if you’d rather stick with a tried and true vegetation for your pet, opt for cat grass. In the event that you do decide to supplement your cat’s diet with chia grass, if you ever notice anything out of the ordinary with your cat’s health or behavior make sure to contact your vet right away.


Featured Image Credit: ArieStudio, Shutterstock

Further reading

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