What is cat grass?

You’ve probably seen outdoor cats nibbling on grass and wondered why a carnivore would want to eat grass. It’s not that surprising if you consider what a cat in the wild would ingest: whole prey, including organs, bones and stomach contents of the prey animal which frequently includes grass and other partially digested vegetable matter. Because cats lack the digestive enzymes necessary to digest those blades of grass, eating grass usually results in vomiting. It’s theorized that the vomiting may be beneficial to your cat’s health by helping to cleanse the digestive tract of indigestible matter such as fur balls. Or, maybe they just enjoy the taste!

Even though eating grass is a natural behavior, nibbling on your indoor houseplants or on outdoor grass that may have been treated with insecticides or pesticides could be hazardous to your cat’s health. So how can you satisfy your cat’s craving for some greenery? Grow your own cat grass!

It’s actually simple to grow cat grass, which is most often oat or wheatgrass but can include other cereal grass species such as rye or barley. There are commercial ready-to-grow cat grass kits that just require adding water and sunlight. For a more economical alternative, you can grow your own by sprinkling the grass seeds into a pot filled with potting soil and keeping the soil moist until the grass seeds sprout in a few days. Because cats tend to be enthusiastic eaters, look for a wide and low container that is less likely to get tipped over. Let your cat graze away when the grass grows to a few inches. Bon appétit!