Have you ever wondered why are cats afraid of cucumbers? We can tell you one thing for sure, it’s not because they don’t like their greens. ? Cats are carnivorous predators who don’t like vegetables… Yet you may see some turn extremely friendly at the sight of cat grass! They will peacefully nibble on the leaves, and some may even caress them with their nose, marking their territory. The reason for this behavior and natural attraction goes well beyond the matter of taste. Cat grass can actually help your ball of fur to get rid of some nasty things in their digestive system! And besides, it helps them keep their spirits high.
What is cat grass?
“Cat grass” generally refers to several types of plants which felines like to chew on. It is usually grown from Dactylitis Glomerata, barley, rye, oat or wheat seeds.
Cats may also nibble on other types of grass, if these are not available. Nevertheless, they are naturally attracted to these varieties, as they don’t present any side-effects to their bodies. ?
Cat grass should not be confused with catnip, a plant member of the mint family.
Why do cats like it?
Some felines may nibble on cat grass simply because they like the taste. To most, however, it’s the equivalent of cat medicine, to help them stay healthy!
Our felines lack the necessary digestive enzymes to digest grass, which results in its regurgitation. ? They use this natural reaction as an opportunity to help remove other indigestible products from their stomachs! Inedible parts of prey and hairballs are two examples.
Cat grass also works as a laxative! It forms a fiber that facilitates the expulsion of hairballs along the digestive tract.
But some researchers suggest cats may also eat grass for another reason. It could be a way to ingest substances not found in a carnivorous diet, like vitamins A, D and minerals. These plants also contain folic acid, a complex-B vitamin essential for several body functions such as metabolizing fat and the production of hemoglobin that carries oxygen into tissues, thus helping with the cat’s growth and development. ?
Is it safe?
Yes, cat grass is safe for felines, even if it makes them throw up. ? These plants are not toxic to cats and present no side-effects, so they can nibble harmlessly. This satisfies their survival instincts and keeps them healthy!
However, to ensure their safety, you may want to consider growing it yourself… Or at least only buying the ready-to-eat pots designed for pets.
Outdoor plants may be contaminated with pesticides or weed killers which may harm your cat. If you don’t provide your indoor companion with cat grass, they may start chewing on your houseplants… Some of which may be toxic to felines. ?
How to grow cat grass
It is very easy to grow cat grass at home. You may even use this as an opportunity to improve your decoration with a nice pot!
All you need to do is buy the seeds, which can be done at any pet shop or garden center. ? Place them evenly on top of the soil in a pot or container and press them down gently. Water the seeds, making sure they are damp but not soaked. Place the pot on a sunny windowsill and let nature do its thing. Just check the soil daily to ensure it doesn’t dry out. ?
The first sprouts should appear in three to seven days. Once they are out, the pot will need less water – or else you may risk causing mold. Wait until the grass grows an inch or two long before moving the container to a spot more convenient for your cat.
The grass can last between one to three weeks, provided you keep it in a place with natural light. Don’t forget to sprinkle it with a bit of water every now and then!
When the cat grass starts to wilt or its color changes, remove it from your cat’s surroundings and plant a new batch.
Easy, right? And your companion will certainly thank you for helping their own digestive system. Well, maybe not exactly “thank you”… We all know and love how entitled they are! Perhaps less looks of disdain? ?