It’s not every cat’s favorite treat, but many cats love snacking on fresh grass. It’s an important source of insoluble fiber for animals, aiding digestion, and cats use it to help vomit up hairballs too.
Cats obtain beneficial micronutrients like folic acid as well as trace minerals and vitamins from chewing on grass. Fiber helps to improve their digestion and prevent constipation and excessive hairball formation. Both wild and domestic cats have a tendency to chew on grass, so we recommend growing chemical-free grass at your house to prevent your cat from seeking potentially toxic lawn grass elsewhere.
In this article, we’ll talk about what grasses to avoid as well as the four best cat grasses you can start growing today. Read on for the details.
Types of Grass to Avoid
Some types of grass aren’t beneficial, and some are even toxic for cats. Before choosing a grass, you should learn which types to stay away from. Check those out down below.
The 4 Types of Cat Grass
1. Oat Grass
This sweet grass is a favorite among even picky cats because it’s a bit sweeter than most grass. It’s faster growing than other grasses but doesn’t last as long, making it a nice occasional snack for your cat. Like other grass, oat grass is helpful for cats who need a bit of fiber in their diet. Consider planting oat grass alongside other grasses for some variety in your cat’s diet.
2. Spelt Wheat Grass
|Scientific name||Triticum spelta|
Darker, thicker, and rarer than other cat grass, spelt wheat grass is ideal for cats in need of lots of fiber. It’s some of the toughest and most fibrous cat grass, and it contains tons of nutritious enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Other varieties of wheat grass are popular with cats as well, but spelt wheat is perhaps the best among them for its luscious foliage and appealing texture.
3. Cat Grass
|Scientific name||Dactylis glomerata|
Also called orchard grass and crow’s foot, cat grass is the quintessential grass for felines. It hangs around for a long time in the early cool spring season, giving your cat plenty of roughage. Cat grass is thinner than some other grasses but more fibrous, and cats even love it once it dries into hay. This grass is easy to care for, requiring moderate sun and consistent moisture to thrive.
4. Barley Grass
|Scientific name||Hordeum vulgare|
Barley grass is one of the tallest growing cat grasses, making it a good steady supply of greenery for your cat’s diet. Barley is really a mixture of oat and wheat, and it contains a lot of the same nutrients that those grasses contain. If you’re unsure about which grass to grow for your cat, you can’t go wrong with barley.
Tips for Growing Cat Grass
Cat grass can be grown outdoors, but we recommend growing it indoors in planting trays. It only requires a moderate amount of sunlight to grow, and you can better regulate water intake with clear trays. While you’re buying planting trays, you might think about growing some microgreens for your own culinary use.
Growing cat grass is very easy and straightforward, requiring minimal gardening supplies or experience. You simply soak the seeds in a wet, moist environment until they shoot—wet napkins are a popular choice. After they begin to germinate, plant them in a pot or tray of soil. Plant them very shallowly, as grasses don’t have deep roots. Fertilizer isn’t usually necessary, but it can help if your soil is barren of nutrients.
Cat grass is a small but useful part of any feline’s diet. They need a largely meat-based diet, but a bit of green roughage helps their stomachs and makes hairballs less of a pain. Too much can cause bloating and other digestive symptoms, so make sure your cat isn’t constantly chowing down on your cat grass as it grows.
- You Might Also Be Interested In: How to Grow Cat Grass Without Soil (Step-by-Step Guide)
Featured Image Credit: QueenNuna, Shutterstock