While browsing through your local pet store, you may have noticed various kits that can be used to grow your own cat grass. But just what is cat grass, and more importantly, is it safe for your cat? By learning about benefits of cat grass, you can decide whether your own cat needs a little garden in its life.
According to the Dave's Garden website, cat grass is typically a flax, barley, wheat, or oat plant. The Cat Site also lists Japanese barnyard millet, bluegrass, fescue, and rye as acceptable alternatives, although rye needs to be carefully watched to prevent ergot, a mold that can produce a hallucinogenic chemical.
Why Cats Eat Grass
There is a lot of debate regarding why cats eat cat grass, as cats are normally carnivorous creatures, The Cat Site explains. However, the Dave's Garden website speculates on several theories, such as a need for niacin, aid in vomiting or passing a hairball, or just curiosity that leads cats to explore plant alternatives in their diet.
As the VetInfo website explains, there are several benefits for cats who eat cat grass. Occasionally, a cat may eat something disagreeable, and eating cat grass can help them vomit. Cat grass can also have the same effect for cats with hairballs. An additional digestive benefit of cat grass can be treating and preventing diarrhea and constipation. Finally, cat grass is a good source of fiber, niacin and vitamin B.
How to Grow
Whether you buy a kit from the pet store or a seed packet from a gardening center, in order to grow your own cat grass you will need a pot or container, soil, seeds, and water. According to the National Geographic website, fill your pot or container with soil, add the seeds and press them into the soil. Water the soil until it is damp and press the seeds into the soil again. Within one to two weeks you will have tall, green cat grass for your cat to enjoy.
While introducing cat grass to your cat may distract it from your houseplants, it may also encourage it to eat more than its designated plant. Please keep the following plants provided by VetInfo out of your cat's reach or out of your home, as they are poisonous for your cat: tiger lilies, potato plants, tomato plants, eggplant plants, paprika plants, ivy, chrysanthemums, figs, mistletoe, daffodils and bulb plants, onion plants, and rhododendrons.
- Photo Credit cat image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com
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