While cats aren't exactly known for their veggie-loving ways (they are carnivores, after all) the do have a sweet tooth for a certain leafy green...
In this instalment of The Cat Guide we're talking grass, from the different types available, to the health benefits and how to grow your own.
What is Cat Grass?
Not to be confused with catnip or catmint, cat grass is the collective name for a few different types of grass that can be grown at home for your cat.
Cat grass is most commonly found in the form of wheat, oat, rye and barley seeds.
Because of it's affordability, relatively low-maintenance and ease to grow indoors, cat grass can provide a purr-fect piece of the outside world for your cat's home.
What's more, because you can keep cat grass indoors, your cat is more likely to avoid any toxic pesticides that may be found on grass outdoors.
Types of Cat Grass
There are a few different varieties of cat grass on the market, each with their own particular qualities, to find the one that is right for your cat, try each and note their preference, you'd be surprised at how sophisticated your cat's palate is.
Oat Grass is considered to have the most flavour of all cat grass (think Cabernet Sauvignon) but also serves as a good source of protein and soluble fibre.
Ryegrass is a very durable and versatile type of cat grass (think Champagne) and is one of the longer lasting
Barley Grass is the sweetest of the different types of cat grass (think Sauternes) and is also rich is nutrients and a good source of fibre
Wheatgrass is considered one of the best all-rounder cat grasses (think Sauvignon Blanc) - it is chock full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, there's a reason it sometimes ends up in our smoothies, too!
Why Do Cats Love Cat Grass?
There isn't one clear explanation for why our furry friends love to munch down grass by the mouthful, but a few theories amongst experts are:
The laxative effect - Because cat grass is rich in soluble fibre, this aids cat's digestion and keeps their bowels in tip-top condition.
Taste - While it doesn't seem very appetising to us, your cat may love the taste (and more importantly, texture) of a little roughage in their diet.
Nutrition - As mentioned earlier, cat grass is rich in essential nutrients that promote healthy development in your cat's body.
Tummy trouble - Some theories suggest that cat grass helps your cat to regurgitate hairballs, getting rid of the fur from grooming that clogs their digestive tract.
Better out than in - Cats may eat grass instinctively when they want to induce vomiting, this could be when they have eaten something that disagrees with them, and want it out of their system, pronto.
Is it safe for my cat to eat grass?
Specially purchased cat grass is perfectly safe for your cat, however, not all grasses are created equal, and those found outdoors may have been contaminated or treated with chemicals that can be harmful to your cat.
If you notice anything unusual after your cat has eaten grass, be sure to contact a vet immediately in case of any other issues.
How to Grow Cat Grass at home
To grow cat grass for your cat, you will need the following supplies:
- A shallow container (we used an old pie dish)
- Organic potting soil
- Your cat grass seeds of choice (we used wheatgrass)
- 50ml of water
- A sunny spot in your home (away from prying paws)
- Fill your container 2/3 of the way with organic potting soil (about 3cm from the top should do it)
- Scatter your seeds so they are evenly distributed on the soil
- Top up with the remaining 1/3 of soil so all the seeds are buried
- Sprinkle over 50ml of water
- Pop the pop in a nice sunny spot, such as a shelf or window sill
- After three days to a week, your cat grass seeds should begin germinating
- Once the grass reaches five inches or so, place it close to your cat's water bowl and see what they think!
What if my cat doesn't like cat grass?
Not all cats like cat grass, but if your cat doesn't take to it right away, don't lose hope, my cat Rudie only tends to like his grass once it is starting to wilt (he's a funny old fish).
The grass should last for around two weeks of munching. Afterwards, you will want to replace it with a new pot, or scrap the whole thing altogether if your cat isn't fussed. The only way to tell is to try!
We'd love to see your cats nibbling away on their grass, be sure to tag us @Natusan_UK in any posts!
Bring even more of nature into your cat's world with our 100% natural biodegradable cat litter - we also plant a tree for every order!
10/02/2021 by NatuTeam