Growing Grass for Cats
Cats are frequently seen nibbling on houseplants or snacking lightly on the lawn, a surprising habit for a carnivore. Some experts theorize that cats do this because in the wild, when prey is killed and eaten the first section of the carcass consumed is the intestines. By eating the plant matter that their prey has eaten, cats may provided trace nutrients that cats need. Other pet lovers believe that nibbling on grass helps cats ease an upset stomach or digestive tract.
Regardless of why they do it, letting your cat graze on houseplants or the lawn can be dangerous. Lawns sprayed with pesticides can make you cat ill. Also today's lawn grass had very little nutrients and the blades have rough edges that may irritate your cat's stomach. Many common houseplants your cat may eat are poisonous. Your best bet is to grow something safe for your cat to nibble on for greens.
It's actually quite easy to grow you own cat grass or greens. Many pet stores carry "cat grass" seeds which are generally a mix of wheat, oats and rye. You can simply follow the directions on the package to grow your own.
You can also buy organic hard wheat berries, barley grass seeds, ryes grass seeds or oatgrass seeds from you local healthstore and sprout and grow your own. If you want to try your hand at it, do the following:
- Place one tablespoon seeds or wheat berries in a mason jar
- Cut a piece of cheese cloth to fit over the mouth of the jar and secure with a rubber band
- Add two inches of water – swirl seeds in water and then drain
- Fill jar halfway full with water
- Soak seeds for 6 to 8 hours in a cool place
- Drain water from the jar
- Tip the jar, mouth down at a 45 degree angle to drain for another 6 hours
- Your seeds should now be starting to sprout and ready to plant.
Spread seeds evenly in a pot of soil and cover with a quarter inch of soil. Keep soil moist, but watch for mold. Place in a sunny area inside and you will have grass for your cat in ten days. Your cat grass can be served by leaving out anywhere your cat may think about nibbling on it.
You may even want to consider incorporating your cat grass into a recipe. Try preparing this one:
Cat Green Squares
- 2 cans of mackerel in oil, mashed
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 eggs
- 1 cup chopped cat greens
Preheat oven to 350. Stir together fish, flour and eggs. Pour this mixture into an 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Press chopped greens into the top of the batter. Cook for 15 minutes.