Although cats are carnivores, they may occasionally crave for some vegetables to munch on. The safest way to satisfy their hankering for some leafy greens is to feed them some cat grass!
Not to be confused with catnip, cat grass is mixture of different types of grass that can be grown easily from the comforts of your home.
Read on to find out more about it and discover how you can grow this tasty and wholesome cat treat for your furry friend!
What is Cat Grass?
Source: Why is Grass Good For Your Cat?
Cat grass is commonly grown from a combination of barley, rye, oat, or wheat seeds. It’s typically found indoors and is viewed to be much safer than outdoor grass which may contain toxic pesticides.
These kits usually come with everything you need, including the seeds and potting soil.
Follow the usage guidelines and your feline friend will have her own garden for safe, healthy grazing within 2 weeks!
Types of cat grass
Oat grass tastes mildly sweet and is more flavourful than other types of cat grass. It’s also a good source protein and contains soluble fibre which aids digestion.
Wheatgrass is jam-packed with minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Not only is it good for your cat, it can also benefit you when added to your diet.
Unlike its other counterparts, ryegrass is much more flexible and durable. This makes it the perfect type of grass for cats who enjoy lounging while they nibble.
These sweet, tender greens are rich in vital nutrients and make a good source of fibre.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
No one is exactly sure about why cats enjoy eating grass. There are, however, certain theories that might help to explain this behaviour.
- Natural laxative
Cat grass is rich in soluble fibre which aids in a cat’s digestion. This allows them to have regular bowel movements and counter indigestion.
- Additional nutrients
Rich in essential nutrients, grass promotes the healthy growth and development of cats.
If you notice your cat ingesting grass, it could be a sign that she is suffering from a nutrient deficiency and is looking for a vitamin boost.
Consuming grass does not necessarily mean your cat is malnourished; some cats enjoy eating grass simply because they find it tasty and appealing!
- Treat an upset stomach
Cats are prone to ingesting hairballs when grooming themselves. As such, theories suggest that cat grass acts as a regurgitation tool to help get rid of fur that has been clogged in their digestive tract.
Cats might also instinctively consume grass to induce themselves to vomit. When they’ve eaten something that their stomachs disagree with, vomiting allows them to remove the unwanted material.
Is Cat Grass Safe?
A common mistake made by pet parents is to prevent their cats from eating grass. They do so because they believe that grass causes their cats to be sick.
However, grass is safe for your cats; especially if you purchase the appropriate cat grass kit and monitor her health. Thus, there’s no reason to stop your feline friend from enjoying some greens.
Nevertheless, if you notice any unusual behaviour after the consumption, you should contact your vet immediately.
How to Care for Cat Grass
Cat grass care involves growing the grass in optimum conditions to extend its lifespan and get the best out of it.
To keep your cat grass healthy and thriving, here are some factors to keep in mind:
While cat grass needs sunlight to grow well, it’s important that you leave it out of direct sunlight. Placing your grass in direct sunlight may cause overexposure, leading to its death.
In addition, it might dry out and eventually wilt.
To grow healthy grass, leave it in a place with plenty of light but away from direct sunlight.
Ideally, you should keep your cat grass in an area with a temperature between 16 to 19°C.
- Container size
Choosing the correct container size is essential; an appropriately sized container provides the space for the grass to grow properly.
Other things to consider include your cat’s preference; get a container that your cat feels comfortable approaching and eating from.
For example, if your cat dislikes bright colours, avoid getting a yellow planter.
Overwatering can cause mould growth. To prevent it, mist the soil with a small spray bottle once a day to keep it moist and not wet.
How to Grow Cat Grass
What you need:
- A heavy, shallow container that’s strong enough to hold the weight of its contents
- Organic potting soil
- Spray bottle
- Cling wrap
- Fill your container with soil to about 3 to 5cm from the top
- Moisten the soil before scattering the seeds evenly over its surface
- Loosely cover the seeds with cling wrap once you’re done
- Keep the container in a location away from direct sunlight
- After 3 to 7 days, the seeds should start to germinate. Remove the plastic cover and move the container to a naturally well-lit area.
- After 10 to 14 days, your grass is ready for your feline friend’s consumption.
- Replace your grass once it begins to wilt; this usually occurs after a few weeks.
To ensure a steady supply of grass, consider planting a handful of pots 1 – 2 weeks apart. This helps to ensure that you’ll always have fresh grass ready for your cat.
How to Grow Cat Grass without Soil
Good news for pet owners who prefer a less messy method to grow cat grass: it can be grown without soil!
What you need:
- Glass jar or bowl
- Grow stones
- Paper towel or coffee filter
- Fill the jar with some grow stones until about 2/3 full
- Line the stones with a paper towel or coffee filter and sprinkle a thin layer of seeds on it
- Add water to the jar and fill it up to the paper towel/coffee filter
- Your seeds should germinate after a few days and will be ready for your cat to feast on after 7 to 10 days
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does cat grass last?
It’s hard to accurately determine how long your cat grass will last.
Factors like your cat’s consumption level and the growing method make a difference in how long the grass can survive.
In general, most cat grasses have short lifespans and will live for 10 to 21 days.
In some cases, your cat grass may continue to live to a full month. However, if it discolours and begins to wilt, it’s time to dispose it and plant new seeds.
How much cat grass should my cat eat?
While these nourishing greens are highly beneficial, they shouldn’t be your cat’s sole food source. After all, cats are carnivores!
Every cat reacts differently to grass; some dislike it while others feast on it immediately. Start with a trial period if it’s your first time feeding your cat with grass to gauge her response.
Limit the amount of grass given to your cat and see if she displays any signs of interest; if she ignores the grass, it could indicate that she isn’t keen on it.