Every cat parent out there should know that cats like a bit of vegetation in addition to their meat diets. Yes, your cat might enjoy cat grass. Every cat is an obligate carnivore, meaning they obtain their most essential nutrients from meat. Meat occupies the most significant percentage of their diet, but they like munching on vegetation.
You might be wondering what cat grass is and whether it is safe for your cat. Just like any other food, it is advised that you consult your veterinary doctor before feeding your cat anything new. However, here’s some information for you to go on:
What Is Cat Grass?
Cat grass isn’t a specific grass that you harvest—it is a mixture of different grasses whose seeds are planted and grown, including rye, oats, barley, and wheat. It is grown indoors and meant only for consumption by the pets, so do not confuse it with grass grown outdoors on people’s lawns. Feeding your cat such grass is dangerous for their health because of the toxic pesticides contained in the grass.
Other than the nutritional value of cat grass, it has other benefits. If your cat is destructive, you can use cat grass to deter them and keep them busy. This tasty snack will lure any cat and keep them from destroying other plants. It can also deter them from approaching dangerous plants within your household. Simply make a garden entirely with cat grass to keep them from chewing on other plants.
At the moment, cat grass is prevalent among pet parents. The kits are available online, at the vet’s office, and in your local pet stores, with DIY green buffets for cats possible to make. Simply go to your local store, choose the cat grass seeds (the most preferred is the wheat berry), buy them, and plant them in a garden.
You plant the seeds like you would any other plant—pot your seeds, cover them with fertile soil, and then place the seeds in a spot where they are not shaded from the sun. Ensure that you water the seeds regularly (you can mist them, so you don’t overwater them). The seeds should sprout within two days, and by the second week, the grass will be ready for consumption by your cat. However, the grass does not need to be transplanted into dishes; cats can eat from the pots directly.
Is Cat Grass Safe?
Cat grass is a safe alternative to outside grass, which you may treat with weed killers or other chemicals, and certain houseplants, which can be hazardous. A natural habit may be encouraged by giving your cat the chance to play with the toy.
People have established a myth that obligates carnivores like cats only to consume grass when they get sick, but this isn’t true. There are very many reasons why a cat would graze on grass, with some of the reasons including:
- Grazing on grass provides joy to most cats.
- The fibre in the vegetation is beneficial to the cat’s digestive tract.
- Though cats depend almost entirely on meat for nutrients, feeding on grass can provide limited nutrition for the cat.
- Cat grass helps with shedding. Every cat parent has cleaned up many of their cat’s hairballs from sofas and other furniture.
For cats with long hair and who shed a lot, the cat owners have it worse. The good news is that cat grass smoothens the fur shedding process, so you won’t have to clean up a lot of furs all at once. This is especially true for cats that eat a lot of cat grass.
Cat grass usually contains vitamins like folic acid that aid the cat’s bloodstream. Folic acid is a vital nutrient even for humans and can commonly be found in breakfast dishes with grain mixes from the cat grass constituents (rye, oats, barley, and wheat), e.g., breakfast cereal.
The fibre in the cat grass is beneficial during the egestion of the food. It is a laxative that helps push any solid bits or hairballs the cat might have ingested. Cat grass, therefore, prevents constipation.
The myth, however, does have some truth behind it. A cat will tend to feed on the grass in excess when it gets sick. If you notice excessive grazing, consult the vet to ensure that your cat is not suffering from any medical condition.
You should also beware of plants that can poison or irritate your cat. For this reason, the cat grass garden must be located away from other gardens in your house.
The ASPCA has provided comprehensive lists of plants harmful to dogs and cats. They strongly advocate against animal cruelty and insist these plants should not be located within a pet owner’s household. They include parsley, aloe, and philodendron. Check out the list for a deeper understanding.
The harmful plants should be kept in high spots where your pets can’t reach them or locked away safely.
How Much Is Too Much?
Cat parents might have noticed some blades of grass in their cat’s vomit, but this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. According to Animal Planet, it is inevitable that your cat will up chunk all the greens after grazing on them. Cats do not barf every time they graze on cat grass, but it often happens. When they do, it is just as simple as their digestive tract unclogging something and not a reason for you to rush to the vet.
Different cats have a different threshold for the maximum amount of grass they can consume, so no amount has been approved as the ‘go-to amount’ that your cat grass garden should have. However, many experts (like Burpee Seed Company) have recommended cat parents plant only one handful of cat grass seeds each time.
Owners with many cats can allow their cats their cat grass gardens or grass patches to graze on, removing the need for competition so that the cats can graze comfortably at their own pace.
Cat grass is indeed safe and healthy for your cat. Owners should purchase the right seeds or cat grass kits, so keep watch on the cat’s health and habits. It will help you get to the vet early if your cat suffers from medical conditions.
Cats are notoriously known to snub food, so don’t be surprised when your cat refuses to eat grass. Most cats, however, enjoy it a lot. Try introducing different seeds to your cat and see what she prefers.