For cats, nibbling on grass seems like natural behavior.
If you have a cat that loves the outdoors, chances are sniffing and nibbling on grasses on your backyard is a part of your kitty’ routine.
However, if you want to make sure that she is nibbling on healthy grass which is not treated with fertilizer and pesticides, you should consider growing cat grass indoors. This way she does not need to go outside for grazing to satisfy her cravings.
What is Cat Grass?
Also known as kitty grass, cat grass is a name used to describe a variety of grass which are popular with your feline buddy. It is completely safe for your kitty without the risk of ingesting toxicity from pesticides.
Cat grass is usually grown from a mix of seeds including:
- Wheat Grass: Contains amino acids, vitamins, and
- Oat Grass: Mildly sweet and tastes better than other types of cat grass, oat grass if particularly healthy for your kitty and needs direct sunlight in order to grow well.
- Barley Grass: This one offers essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and
- Rye Grass: This grass has smaller blades than other types of cat grass and is perfect for creating a grass tray that your cat will love to lounge on.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
Currently, research has not yet found the reason as to why cats eat grass. However, experts have several ideas.
In the wild, cats usually eat grass after they’ve eaten their prey. In most cases, the grass should cause them to vomit. Experts believe that it is nature’s way of helping cats to expel the parts of their prey which they can’t digest.
And even if you have an indoor cat that has never caught a bird or mouse in her entire life, she will be instinctively attracted to cat grass. It is a behavioral instinct. Furthermore, grass is a form of fiber which can help cats to either digest well as laxatives or throw up hairballs.
Another theory from Experts is that cats eat grass in order to get some trace minerals and vitamin D and A which are not a usual part of their normal carnivorous diet. Grass contains chlorophyll, in which before the advent of antibiotics, was a remedy for anemia, skin diseases, ulcers, infection, and pain. Moreover, grass also contains folic acid that helps in the production of hemoglobin, a protein that helps move oxygen into the blood and help your cat’s circulation.
Growing Cat Grass Indoors
In order to grow a cat grass indoor, you will need:
- cat grass seeds
- sterilized organic soil
- plastic wrap
- Container (window box is recommended).
Most garden centers, pet stores, and hardware stores sell containers for cat grass. It can also be grown in pots or on a large, shallow tray (like the ones used to grow seedlings) that also allows your kitty to lie on cool greenery.
It is also important that you use organic soil in order to provide your feline buddy a healthy grass to nibble on as well as safe soil to dig and lie into.
Fill the pot with organic soil just around 2 inches from the top. Scatter the seeds on top of the soil. Then, put a thin layer of soil, about ¼ inch, on top of the seeds.
Germination and Growth
Using your hands or a plant sprayer, spill some water in order to make the soil moist. Do this very gently, otherwise, the seed will be dispersed.
When the soil is evenly moist, use the plastic wrap to cover the pot and allow some holes for air to flow.
Set the container aside in a dark and cool place in order to help the seeds germinate.
In 2- 3 days, you will be able to see tiny sprouts emerging. Remove the plastic wrap carefully and ensure that the soil is moist. Place it in your desired spot, particularly where sunlight can reach it.
Wait for at least 10 – 12 days. Trim the grass when it starts to grow over 4 – 6 inches, since your kitty might pick up all the plants and destroy the cat grass garden.
- Before sprouting, you will need to keep the grass seeds moist, but be careful not to soak them. Once it has sprouted, reduce your watering and keep the soil a little moist.
- Keep the cat grass in a naturally well-lit place with regular watering in order for it to grow well. You can also consider using grow lights.
- Do not overwater!
- Once the grass begins to wilt or turn color, renew the planting again.