Cat Grass – Dietary Supplement for Cats

For cats, grooming is on the agenda several times a day. The velvet paws swallow hair that remains undigested in the digestive tract. If the cats cannot get rid of these hairballs, there is a risk of health problems such as constipation – in the worst case an intestinal blockage. Outdoor cats eat blades of grass to spit out undigested balls of hair. In desperation, some indoor cats will attack indoor plants, which may be poisonous. With cat grass, you provide a suitable alternative.

What is the effect of cat grass?

Cats are very clean and pick up hair with their rough tongue when cleaning. The hair is normally passed out with a bowel movement. However, if dense hairballs form in the stomach, the cat will not be able to get rid of the balls in the feces. If she eats cat grass, the stalks irritate the gastric mucosa and trigger nausea. At best, the animal regurgitates the hairball along with the grass. Parts of indigestible prey also reappear in this way.

Tip: With regular brushing, you remove loose hair that can no longer get into the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. This reduces the risk of hairballs forming in the stomach.

What is cat grass exactly?

The term cat grass includes various types of plants and grasses that velvet paws tolerate well:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye
  • oats
  • millet
  • spider plant

You can get ready-grown plants or cat grass mixtures from the shops, from which you can easily grow the plant yourself. Types of grain such as wheat and barley convince with particularly fast growth, as the grains germinate quickly. Mixtures of different types of grain are well suited.

Attention: Cyprus grass is very sharp and not recommended. Eating the stalks can cause injury. The dwarf Cyprus grass (Cyperus alternifolius ‘Nana’), which is often offered as cat grass, is also not suitable for cats.

Spider plants not only look great as decorative houseplants, but they are also useful as cat grass. However, the plants filter pollutants out of the air – if the cat diligently helps itself, it absorbs the harmful substances. Smoking households in particular are better off using an alternative.

The optimal care for cat grass

Cat grass likes it moist, so you should always provide it with enough water. Regular spraying with water is also good for the plant. But don’t overdo it with the watering, because waterlogging can lead to mold growth.

The grass thrives in (untreated) potting soil that you mix with some sand. Fertilizing is taboo. The plants like a bright location with a fairly high ambient temperature between 20 and 25° Celsius. In summer, the cat grass feels at home on the balcony or terrace.

If the cat doesn’t nibble on the cat grass regularly, the tips will turn brown and become sharper. Now it’s time to cut the cat grass. Shorten it down to a few centimeters, the fast-growing plant forms new stalks after pruning. Grain grass turns brown and unsightly after a few weeks. By then you should dispose of it.

How often can the cat eat cat grass?

As a rule, cats instinctively only eat as much grass as necessary, so you can give your velvet paw free access to the plant. Outdoor roamers also occasionally use grass when roaming around without their people having an eye on the crowd.

However, if you notice that your cat is eating large amounts of cat grass uncontrollably, you should watch it closely. Maybe the velvet paw is underemployed and bored. There may be a nutrient deficiency, or overeating may be a sign of illness. If the cat continues to use the cat grass all the time, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended.

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