Cats are meat eaters and need a diet rich in protein. Occasionally, however, you might notice your carnivore tearing up your houseplants. Just like some felines love cat nip, some love to nibble – or even heartily devour – grass and flowers. If your kitty inherited this urge, it’s okay. Cats can ingest certain types of flora – the key is to make the “right” type available by offering cat grass.
What Is Cat Grass?
The term “cat grass” doesn’t refer to a specific plant or grass species. When you buy cat grass, you’re typically getting a mix of ready-to-plant seeds for oat, rye, barley, and wheat grasses. Plant these indoors and allow your pets to graze on them to their hearts’ content.
How Can I Get Cat Grass for My Cat?
You can easily start your own cat grass garden by buying “self-growing” kits. These include seeds that will mature right in the pouch they came in, making it easy to keep fresh grass on hand for your cat.
For a do-it-yourself garden, start with a shallow, stable dish your cat won’t easily knock over. Fill it three-quarters full with potting soil and sprinkle the seeds on the surface. Dampen the soil. Then cover the seeds with another quarter inch of soil. Place it in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. Put the dish out of reach until the blades are about 4 inches high. Once your pet starts grazing on the grass, start a second dish garden so when the first one wilts in a few weeks, you’ll be ready with fresh sprouts.
3 Reasons to Start a Cat Grass Garden
1. It provides a safe feeding ground
If your cat has a natural craving for greenery, you should provide an easily accessible, healthy option. Otherwise, you may find your pet chewing toxic flowers or plants. If your cat eats a poisonous plant, immediately call your vet or ASPCA poison control at 1 (888) 426-4435.
2. Your cat may need grass for good health
There are several theories as to why cats eat grass. One is that cats are practicing a behavior they once needed in the wild, seeking out food to ease gastrointestinal problems or to provide nutrients lacking in their diet. There isn’t any scientific evidence that grass is nutritionally necessary for cats, but if it makes your pet happy and healthy that might be all the proof you need that cat grass is beneficial.
3. Better cat grass than your furniture
If your cats are gnawing everything, you might try offering a little grass they can sink their teeth into and have fun tearing up. You might still have a bit of a mess on your hands, but at least your furnishings will be intact.
Finally, Watch For Signs of Over Eating
While cat grass is fine for most cats to consume, eating too much can cause vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat starts to have these symptoms, limit access to the grass and talk to your vet about other options for your pet.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.