Cats aren't known to love veggies. So how do you explain seeing a cat snacking on grass?
The grass is crucial to provide your feline friend with a healthy and nutritional treat all year. Cats crave certain leafy greens, and growing grass yourself is often safer and more beneficial than letting them graze outdoors.
Yard grass is both helpful and dangerous to your cat. Grass and other greens found in a yard can have little nutritional value but also potentially harm your cat if the plants are toxic or tainted with weed killer or other chemicals.
As more cat owners become aware of the behavioral need for cats to eat grass, the need for safe and easy-to-grow cat grass increases. There are plenty of options available to try trial and error and find what works best for you and your cat.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
Despite their carnivore diet, nibbling on grass is typical for wild and domestic cats. Grass helps cats settle upset stomachs, helps support digestion, and even dispels things their bodies can't digest.
Cats don't have the necessary stomach enzymes to digest grass, so they usually throw up shortly after eating grass. Most cat owners try to curb the habit of eating grass due to the mess it can make, but this habit is a good one for your cat to have, as it helps clear their stomachs of unwanted things and improve digestion.
Experts also believe that grass is rich in essential nutrients for healthy development in your cat's body.
What are the Different Cat Grass Options?
Cat grass is available in several varieties. However, the range of products available by commercial grass manufacturers has made it difficult to know what type of cat grass is best for cats. Cat owners generally purchase soaked seeds before spreading them into the dirt in a pot or tray, watering them, and allowing them to take root. Seeds for cat grass are available at pet and health food stores and online.
Cat grass is available in several varieties, including wheat, rye, and barley.
Wheatgrass is a favorite for many cats, and it contains vitamins, amino acids, and minerals, providing plenty of nutrition for your kitty. With lush, thick, and broad leaves, it's very fibrous and improves digestion significantly.
Wheatgrass requires patience to grow and germinate, but it also offers the best results among its counterparts.
Another popular choice for kitties is oat grass. Oat grass is slightly sweeter than other grasses and is an excellent choice if your cat is a picky eater. It's synonymous with tall, thin leaves and helps improve intestinal tract motility. Oat grass is the easiest to germinate and grow, but it lasts the least time.
This is also another popular grass alternative for your cats. It's usually a balance between wheat grass and oat grass. Furthermore, the grass grows tall, reaching heights of 14", making it one of the tallest grasses.
Barley grass is also relatively easy to grow and has average longevity.
How to Choose the Best Cat Grass?
As mentioned earlier, the wide variety can often make it challenging to choose a suitable cat grass option for you and your kitty. So, what are some things you should look out for when selecting cat grass?
Consider Growing Conditions
Select the appropriate cat grass for your growing conditions. Most cat grasses can be grown indoors in pots and trays. However, you can plant some grasses outdoors as long as the climate and soil are conducive to growing grass. Outdoor grass requires protection from animals and insects.
Most cat grasses are easy to grow and don't have complex requirements to sprout and grow. All you need is to soak the seeds before spreading them on dirt in a pot or tray. Once the seeds sprout, they will need regular watering and sunlight to grow. Most grasses take around two weeks to develop, and as soon as the grass is established, you can invite your cat to nibble on the "salad."
In addition to growing cat grasses, some varieties are available for purchase in trays when they are a few inches or centimeters tall. It's essential to note that the seeds used for cat grass typically do not re-see the soil, so the grass dies off a short time after reaching maturity. Some cat owners keep two trays growing at all times so when one tray dries up, another is ready to devour.
Choose Organic Seeds
A common challenge when choosing the best cat grass is finding 100% organic grass. For added pet protection, choose to grow organic seeds when possible. The goal of feeding cat grass to your felines is to promote health. Using seeds that are not organic means, there is the potential of the seed having unwanted or unhealthy ingredients, such as pesticides. Most products tout themselves as organic but contain chemicals in the packaging, which can cause harm to your kitty.
Personal Preference Prevails
You know how different every cat is if you've owned multiple cats. You can also apply the unique characteristics of each cat to choose the ideal cat grass.
When introducing cat grass to your cat, you may choose to present a few choices. Once your cat establishes a preference for one kind of grass over the other, you can concentrate your efforts on keeping a fresh supply of the preferred type on hand.
If you are a multiple-cat guardian with more than one cat, you probably have to cater to each cat's preferences. Once you establish what each cat likes most, you'll have to get one. A mixture of different seeds planted in one tray can also help accommodate multiple cats without having various trays.
Have you tried purchasing in-store seeds, following the instructions, then not achieving a healthy set of cat grass? This could be due to the viability of your selected grass. Cat grass seeds have an expiration date, and if it is past that date, they will not grow as they should.
The quality of the seed will also significantly influence viability. Ensure that you conduct due diligence before settling on a specific brand of cat grass. Some products have over-the-top advertising but offer some of the poorest quality seeds you'll come across.
Cats are great companions and often double up as emotional support animals. Sometimes all you need at the end of a nerve-wracking day is an ESA cat waiting for you at home with its cuddly demeanor. For cat parents, the health of your kitty is of utmost importance. Cats nibble on grass because of the nutritional and health benefits not found in their highly carnivorous diets.
Having cat grass at home will offer your cat the great benefits of the leafy greens without the risk of exposure to potentially toxic lawn grass. Ensure that your cat grass is kept separate from other house plants if you have any because some plants can be poisonous to your unsuspecting cat. Make sure to try out different types to find the perfect grass to help your cat's health.
Did You Know Cats Can Be Emotional Support Animals? Make Your Cat an ESA Today!