My cat, Nala tends to gnaw on the plants living in my room to satiate her craving for some fresh greens. Unfortunately some of those plants can be pretty toxic and dangerous to my little boo. So an alternative safe and tasty solution? Cat grass. Cat grass is either wheat or oat grasses, both of which we know are healthy for us (think oatmeal and wheat grass juice). So why wouldn't it be just as healthy for our furry loves too?
There's no real answer, but there are a few good theories.
Your cat may be eating grass because he/she just likes the taste or texture, they might just want to get rid of hairballs, and if you want to go even deeper (literally) they may eat it to get rid of other things in the stomach from prey (fur, feathers, teeth, bones, etc). When fur isn’t thrown out through the mouth, it can go deep into the digestive tract and your cat may need a little help to break it down and get it out. The grass works as a laxative, if you will, getting rid of bad digestion. Some cats vomit when they eat regular grass, because they are unable to break down the complex grass blade in their body. However, cat grass oats differ from regular grass because they have a more tender, softer blade that the cat can digest easily. Overall, I think cats crave the grass because it is packed full of nutrition they usually don't get elsewhere.
Nutritional Benefits of Cat Grass
- Oat grass has a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, enzymes, potassium, phosphorus.
- Adds roughage (fiber) to their diet
- Contains chlorophyl -- a natural substance that makes grass that rich, bright green. It naturally freshens breath and contains lots of vitamins that improves your cats overall health. It also helps keep your cats digestion in check and helps move hairballs along down south.
- Contains folic acid -- an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions and helps with the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that puts oxygen in the blood.
- Purifies the air you and your kitty breath. All plants are known to help improve air quality.
1. Choose a heavy, shallow container that your cats are unlikely to knock over. Fill it about three quarters full with loose, well draining potting soil. Place the container on a saucer or tray outside on the porch or a sunny spot inside.
2. Sprinkle seeds evenly over the surface. You can soak them for a few hours to speed up the germination process. Cover lightly with about a 1/4 inch of soil. And water well.
3. Sprouts should appear in a few days. Water the sprouts when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch. Don’t let excess water sit in the container.
4. Offer your cats the grass when it’s 3 to 4 inches tall.
5. When the grass wilts after a few weeks, pull out the shoots and plant more seeds. For a steady supply, plant several pots, a week or two apart. Monitor your cats for signs of over-consumption, such as vomiting or diarrhea, and limit access to the plants if necessary.