The Grass is Always Greener

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Lucian Eating Grass
Lucian Eating Grass

We haven’t had indoor plants in years. Although cats are true carnivores, they also have this need to munch on grass or other leafy greens. My mom’s palm plant had ragged ends from little nibbles from Kiggy. My friend, Jill, has given up on having a bamboo plant in the house as her cat, Frida, chews it down to the nub every chance she gets.

If you have indoor plants, the first thing you need to do is to take an inventory of all your cat accessible plants and make sure they are not poisonous to cats. Anything that makes the list has to go, at least outside. If you are fine with kitty chewing on the safe plants, you can leave them. A better plan is to grow some grass for your cats. They and your plants will thank you.

You can buy cat grass at the pet store or grow your own. Many pet stores sell the seeds which grow quickly. However, I have found that using wheat berries works just as well for a fraction of the cost. (Note, you can also use oat berries.) I can even get organic wheat berries at the local health food store. Wheat berries can be used to grow wheat grass, a staple of health food junkies everywhere.

Growing Wheat Grass

Growing wheat grass for your cats is the epitome of simple. Simply fill a pot with potting soil. Spread the wheat berries on top of the soil and cover with another shallow layer of soil. Water the soil and place in a sunny location. Within days you will see little blades of grass poking through searching for the light. We like to plant the grass in a long rectangular planter so the three cats can all graze at the same time. The weight of the planter also makes it more stable. Lighter pots have a tendency to be knocked over when the cats are mowing down on their greens.

Why Do Cats Eat Grass or Other Greens?

It is believed that indoor cats eat grass to get a little nutrients that might be missing in their diet. Cats are carnivores who eat their prey live. Often, their prey are birds, rats, mice, etc. These little animals often have some plant material in their stomachs which the cats ingest as well. Cats will also seek grass out when their stomachs are upset, so don’t be surprised to find a little grass regurgitated from time to time. That’s one of the reasons why we plant it outside in our enclosed atrium. The grass has plenty of light and clean up is easier.