I decided to grow my own grass for cats in a beautiful and functional cat garden to push my eco-lifestyle even more. How to plant and care for cat grass? Why cats need grass? What plants are safe for a cat?
I have prepared for you a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to Grow cat grass and care for your cat garden. It’s super cheap and eco-frienldy!
Why do cats like to eat grass
Cats are strictly carnivores, and their digestive system is designed only to digest meat. Why are cats so eager to nibble on grass when they vomit after it? A cat instinctively eats grass to clear its digestive tract of undigested food debris, fur balls, and parasites. All those staffs can be excreted along with the grass in the vomit.
While feeding your cat grass is a natural way to remove hairballs and worms, it is not enough. The hairballs are dangerous to the cat’s health and may manifest itself in constipation, lethargy, or vomiting undigested food. You can learn about effective and healthy solutions for your cat’s hairball problem in my article What are hairballs and how to prevent them.
Not all grasses are safe for cats
Avoid buying ready-made “cat grass” in the stores, which are often sharp and dangerous to your cat’s health.
In grocery stores and DIY stores, I have met a plant sold as “cat grass”, which is actually a decorative plant dangerous for cats, with the Latin name Cyperus alternifolius zumula (also called “papyrus”). Remember to always check the label on the plant and never buy cat grass that does not include the name of the plant species on the label.
What plants can be planted in the cat garden
The most popular healthy cat grasses are:
- oats (loved by my cat Apollo).
You can buy them very cheaply at your local garden store. If you are purchasing a ready-made seed mixture, be sure to look for signs of mold or rotting
In addition to the above-mentioned grasses, we can also plant herbs for the cat, for example catnip (Latin Nepeta cataria) and valerian (Latin Valeriana officinalis).
Grow grass for cats in 5 steps
Grow cat grass by yourself. It is simple, cheap and eco-friendly!
Step 1 – Materials
To create a cat garden, you will need:
- Flowerpot – preferably wide and not very tall,
- Seeds, e.g. oats, wheat and catnip.
- Optionally: drainage, e.g. expanded clay or coarse gravel.
Step 2 – Drainage layer
Fill the bottom of the pot with expanded clay or coarse gravel. Such drainage will create an air-entraining layer and will prevent root rot.
Step 3 – Soil layer
Pour 5-10 cm of soil onto the drainage.
Step 4 – Seeds
Sprinkle the ground with seeds, cover them with a thin layer of soil (up to 1 cm) and gently water them. Thanks to the thin soil, the seeds will sprout faster. Finally, gently water the seeds with water so that the soil is slightly damp but not a bog.
Step 5 – Water and sun
Place the pot in a sunny location and water regularly to keep the soil constantly moist (but not wet).
Cat grass begins to sprout after about 2-4 days, and after 1 week you can give your cat free access to the pot with the cat garden. Remember to water your garden regularly and trim the grass if it grows too tall.
Avoid fertilizing the grass, as the fertilizer on the blades can be dangerous to your cat. The cat does not get any nutrients from the grass, so there is no need to fertilize it.
BONUS – Garden renewal
If the grass is no longer fit for use (e.g. has withered), pull it out together with the roots. Try to leave a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot and as much soil as possible, because there is no need to spend money on it again.
Then go to step 3 and follow my instructions.
Grow cat grass VS Nibbling other plants
If you don’t provide your cat with a cat grass, it may start to nibble at other house plants. So giving your cat cat grass can save your plants from damage, but also can save your cat’s health. Unfortunately, many common indoor plants are poisonous to the cat. In addition to the toxicity of the plants themselves, it is also worth remembering that pesticides can also be dangerous to the health of the cat. If you go out with your cat, do not let it nibble on the plants while walking.
If you suspect that your cat is poisoned, see your vet immediately. Try to identify which plant the cat was nibbling as it may help to save your cat’s life.
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Other ECO topics
Check the ECO section for articles on eco-lifestyle and reviews of sustainable products for cats.
To create a friendly green space for you and your cat, always check that the plant is not included in the list of plants toxic to cats.On the ASPCA website you will find the large catalog of plants that are poisonous or irritating to cats and dogs.