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Cat Grass - Everything You Need To Know About Cat Grass

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?

Unlike catnip, cat grass doesn't induce a high in cats. There is no definitive answer as to why cats eat grass but some theories include:

  • Cat acts as a laxative and helps with the passage of hairballs through the system.
  • Eating grass can induce vomiting, which helps the cat bring up hairballs.
  • 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. The jury is out as to whether or not cat grass offers any health benefits to the cat, but if the cat enjoys eating it, then there really is no reason to stop him.

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 relatively 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.

Also see:

Catnip   Hairballs in cats