What is cat grass?
Cat grass (catgrass) is a name used to describe a number of different types of grass which are popular with cats. It would appear that there are two main species of grass referred to as cat grass. Dactylitis Glomerata (also known as Orchard Grass or Cock's Foot) and Avena sativa (common oat, cat oat). Other common types of grass are often referred to as cat grass include barley and wheatgrass. When cats hunt and eat their prey, they would also consume the stomach and its contents. These stomach contents would contain small amounts of plant material, which in turn your cat would ingest.
Why do cats eat grass?
Image David Blackwell, Flickr
Cats lack the necessary digestive enzymes to fully digest grass, which makes them bring the grass back up. However, in the process of throwing up grass, they also bring up indigestible products such as hairballs or feathers. Other theories include:
- Cat acts as a laxative and helps with the passage of hairballs through the system.
- Grass contains some nutrients which aren't a part of their normal carnivorous diet.
- It may provide your cat with certain vitamins and nutrients your cat is lacking.
- They enjoy it.
Cat grass doesn't harm your cat if he eats it. Many cats seem to get enjoyment from nibbling it.
Where can I buy cat grass?
Most garden centres, hardware stores, and pet stores sell containers of cat grass. It is also easy to grow from seed.
Cat grass can easily be grown in pots, making it an ideal snack for indoor cats.
How to grow cat grass
Cat grass is a easy plant to grow from seed which should be available from your local garden centre.
- Add potting mix to the pot.
- Add seeds evenly over the top of the soil, press down lightly.
- Add enough water so the soil is moist, but not wet.
- Place on a sunny windowsill. Check daily and water if the soil dries out. The seeds should start sprouting within 5-7 days.
- Once the grass is an inch or two long, move to a spot easily accessible to your cat. It is also a good idea to have some growing outdoors in an enclosure if your cat has access to one.