Best Cat Grasses
It could be the weirdest thing that you may have heard in a while but yes, cats eat grass. Along with fish, catnip, and a lot of other things, the grass is one of those edibles that cats somehow love to munch on. Needless to say, cat grass has a lot of health benefits including being a great source of micronutrients and insoluble fibers but it also helps in creating an enriched environment for your felines as well. Another known benefit of cat grass is that cats eat it to vomit so that they can get rid of the parasite that forms in their stomachs or other inedible things that they eat like hairs and such, which is also an important thing. As evident, cat grass is quite an important thing that you should have in your homes in order to keep your kitty refreshed and healthy at all times. Not to mention, the grass can be quite an interesting piece of toy for the cats as well since nibbling is quite fun.
Types of Cat Grass
Much like catnip, cat grass is harmless to cats and even introduces a few benefits over time. However, some people may find the puking part a bit off-putting but actually helps in getting the There are several types of cat grasses that you can choose from when planning to grow some for your kitty in the comfort of your house. All you need are the seeds of the grass that you choose and you can easily grow it in a small pot or bowl or a larger space depending on the requirements of your cat. The type of grass that you choose would mainly depend on the taste buds of your feline which may only be found out using the hit and trial method. To help you make an informed decision, the following are the main kinds of cat grasses that you would find in the market.
- Wheatgrass or Common Wheat: It is no secret that wheatgrass is a nutrient-packed punch and not only for cats but also humans which is why you may find a lot of dishes that use wheatgrass as an ingredient. Wheatgrass for cats can supply your cat with several minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. You can let your cat chew on the grass as and when they like and add a little bit in your own diet as well – killing two birds with one stone.
- Oat Grass: One of the most popular ones from the lot, oat grass is loved by almost all cats out there. This grass is very high in soluble fiber and has a slightly sweet taste to it. More flavorful than any other kind of cat grass, oat grass is extremely helpful in improving digestion and hence is a great choice for cats with a sensitive stomach or irregular bowels. Oat grass also happens to be one of the best sources of protein among all other options. You can check out our top recommendations to find out the top choices for oat cat grass and get a head start in the game.
- Barley Grass: This is the top contender when it comes to grass that would help cats regurgitate and hence clean their gut of parasites and hair, that they happen to swallow, in the process. Just like wheatgrass, barley grass is also useful for humans and is often used in smoothies and shakes. Another great source of fiber, barley grass is also full of many other nutrients that are very important for the development of your pet.
- Barnyard Grass or Ryegrass: As evident by the name, barnyard grass is the most common grass that you would find anywhere in the world. It is a naturally occurring grass in yards and fields as well which can be the reason that you find your cat grazing in your backyard on occasion as well. It is often used as fodder for cattle and farm animals as well. It is quite rich in soluble fiber and contains micronutrients that are generally not found in diet components like meat, seafood, etc. that cats eat during the major part of the diet. The slightly sweet taste of this grass and the crunchy texture will keep your cat intrigued for hours.
- Flax: Although an unpopular choice for cat grass, flax seeds are actually quite beneficial when administered as cat grass. Flax seeds grow out to be very small shoots but look exactly like other cat grass. The more mature shoots grow a bit thicker and turn out to be a great nibbling station for the cat. A 5-inch-long shoot is a maximum that flax should be allowed to grow. As soon as you see your flax grass growing over 5 inches, pull it out and plant the new ones at its place. Flax seeds are high in amino acids and omegas which makes them a good addition to your cat garden. You can find some helpful suggestions for the same in our list of top flax grass for cats.
- Natural Laxative: This is one of the top benefits of cat grass. It works as a wonderful laxative due to the high fiber content and keeps the tummy of your little kitty healthy. It helps with loose stool too by introducing soluble and insoluble fiber in their system. Cat grass also counters indigestion and constipation as well.
- Micronutrients: Many of the components that cats have in their general diet do not provide them with essential micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Cat grass helps with that part and supply various important nutrient to the body and complete the dietary cycles.
- Taste: It sounds like cat grass must be something very gross to eat but that is not true. There is a weird sweet taste to it which cats find very interesting. This may even save you from buying a lot of catnip since your cat will be busy munching on the grass.
- A Cure for Upset Stomach: Kitties often puke after eating cat grass in order to get rid of the parasites that grow in their stomach. Cats also happen to swallow their hair while liking themselves clean which leads to the formation of hairballs in their stomach. Cat grass also helps in getting rid of that since it helps them puke. All in all, if your cat is high on nibbling on its grass, it will have a pretty healthy stomach.
How to Grow Cat Grass?
Growing Cat Grass in Soil
Growing your own grass at home is pretty easy. You would need your favorite seeds, a nice container, and the soil. You can also opt for cat grass kits which come equipped with all the important things that you would need for growing your own cat grass garden. Follow the following steps to properly grow:
- Choose a proper container for the process. Your container should be spacious as well as heavy enough for your cat to not tip it off when nibbling or playing around. It should also have drainage holes if it is to be used for soil planting. The container needs to be shallow and not too deep.
- Fill the container with the soil of your choice and leave about 3-5 cms of the pot empty. It is wise to choose seed starting soil as it will help in starting the shoots more easily.
- Spread seeds on the soil and then cover the seeds with another 1/4th inch of soil.
- Cover the container or the pot with a plastic sheet or wrap. The container should be kept away from sunlight in a dark, cool place. Ensure that you water the container and keep the soil moist.
- As you see the sprouts coming out of the soil, move it out in the sun. Make sure that you have watered the plant properly as the soil will dry faster in the sun.
- The shoots of the grass should start sprouting after a few days, approximately 10-14 days. You can start your cat on the grass when the shoots are 3-4 inches long.
- Ensure that you pull out the grass after a few weeks as it will start wilting in a few weeks.
Growing Cat Grass in Water
It won’t be very uncommon to see your cat scratching the soil out of the planter when it is enjoying its daily dose of some greenery. So, to prevent this from happening, it is best to grow your cat grass in a soil-less media or something completely free of things that your cat can put its paws in or on i.e. water. It is rather easy to grow cat grass in water if you follow the below-given steps:
- Choose a hydroponic that you find the most suitable and cover the bottom of your pot with a generous amount. The hydroponic will allow the grass to have the nutrients that it requires without using soil.
- The pot or container should not have any holes as you will be filling it with water.
- Place a coffee filter or a paper towel on top of the base and fill the container with water. The coffee filter will serve as the top layer of soil for the seeds.
- Soak the seeds before you place them in the container so that they sprout out real nice.
- Ensure that the water level is exactly the same as the base of your container so that the hydroponic does not float in the water.
Manage Light and Temperature
It is important to keep track of the light and temperature that your grass is getting. Cat grass can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments. Indoor growers can use a simple grow light for the grass to flourish when it is time for it to get some light after being in shade for a long time. However, cat grass is completely capable of flourishing in a full-sun environment but prevents a full-shade environment from entering the equation. The main to take care of is the temperature. Do not keep your cat grass anywhere below the temperature of 70° F. Higher temperatures can be tolerated by the grass given that you water them often and keep the soil moist but colder temperatures are a buzz kill.
Water and Humidity
Aim for consistently moist soil instead of a muddy or a soggy one. It is important to keep the soil mix or the soil ideally moist to make sure that your cat grass is growing ideally else no matter how good of seeds you have, the grass will die even before sprouting. As long you are watering the plant religiously, there should be no problem humidity-wise. In extreme cases when humidity is way too high, you may see a slight drop in the shoots and the leaves but that is the extent of it.
Choosing the Media
There are three media that you can use to grow outdoor or indoor cat grass which is as follows:
- Soil Medium: Any healthy soil will work fine for this particular style. If you have a backyard in your house which is well maintained and the grass is in good shape then you can pick the soil from there or you can simply buy the seed starter soil for cat grass. Just make sure that the soil that you choose holds moisture well enough.
- Soilless Media: There are several things that you can use instead of soil when growing cat grass. The basic thing is that anything that will hold moisture will work be it coconut coir, horticulture perlite, or worm casting. It is also an option to mix these things together in parts and make a well-thought mixture for the grass. Nonetheless, cat grass can grow anywhere given you care for it and keep it hydrated.
- Water: Add any base that can nourish the grass, a medium like a coffee filter or paper towel, and use water as the medium to grow your cat grass. It is fairly easy and does not require any special assistance either.
How Much Cat Grass is Too Much?
There is nothing like “too much cat grass” with cats just as there is no explanation for why cats like grass. The simple formula is to let your cat have its fill. If it starts to show some unusual symptoms like too much shedding or shedding before time then you can cut-off the grass for a little while. Apart from that, there is no known side effect of having too much or too little grass for cats. It all depends on the taste buds and preferences of your kitty.
However, always start small. Introduce your cat to a smaller amount of grass on the very first day and then increase the quantity gradually. Make sure that your cat does not nibble on outside grass as there is no telling what kind of chemicals it has been exposed to already. It is safe to grow your own grass and make a good seed blend using different kinds of seeds so that you can find out what your cat likes. In the end, trust your intuition when deciding how much grass is too much grass for your kitty however, there are no side effects either way.