Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week NEWTON Teachers Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Referencing NEWTON Frequently Asked Questions About Ask A Scientist About NEWTON Education At Argonne Carnivores and Eating Plants

Name: Shar
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2013

Why do most animals even carnivores like cats eat some specific type of grass if they are experiencing stomach problems?


That is a good question. Because of cellulose and other components, grass is typically not digestible by carnivores. The ingestion of grass may induce vomiting which may help relive the ‘upset stomach’ the carnivore is experiencing. That feeling is often due to excess bile in the stomach. Once the excess bile is gone the ‘stomach ache’ goes away. We often see dogs doing this with rapid results of blades of grass mixed with slimy yellowish vomit.

I hope this helps, Regards, Louis M. Huzella, DVM

Hi Shar,

Thanks for the question. I do not know of a specific answer to your question. I would guess that there may be bacteria on the grass that would be beneficial to digestion. Alternatively, the fiber in the grass may aid in digestion.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff

Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory