It is one of those oddities in life that well fed cats and dogs from loving caring homes, when given the opportunity, will go outside and act like a four-legged version of a lawnmower. No one really knows why cats and dogs eat grass or whether there is a physical need that drives them to do so; veterinarians generally suggest that you allow them to follow their instincts in this regard.
It is perhaps somewhat understandable that our canine companions, being omnivores would have the occasional urge to eat some fresh greens, even though most pet foods are now carefully balanced to ensure that they receive all the required vitamins and minerals. The same, however, does not run true for cats which are exclusively carnivorous in nature and do not have the required enzymes to digest plant material.
This perhaps explains the fact that there are two common methods of eating the grass with a clear divide by species over the preferred eating technique. The first is the “gobble and swallow” technique which almost certainly results in the animal vomiting the contents of its stomach – this method is most favored by cats. The second is a more leisurely and enjoyable “sniff, chew and snack” technique where the animal seems to be taking pleasure in the taste and experience – this method is most favored by dogs and does not generally result in vomiting.
Given that there appears to be no accepted wisdom on the subject and a multitude of theories, we would not advise anyone in the animal welfare community to start planning out their new lawns just yet, certainly not in the cat wing where you may end up with some additional messes to clear up! Should an adopter ask, we recommend that they ask their own veterinarian for guidance but in all instances adopters should be warned that if they do find that their new family member has a penchant for eating grass, they must make sure that they only eat clean grass and avoid grass that has been sprayed with pesticides and weed killers.