Cats love cat grass. Although the animals actually only eat meat, they sometimes downright attack the grass: Wheat, barley and oats, but also cyprus grass and green lily are sometimes used as cat grass.
The animals love to ruffle the green tufts of grass, work with their claws and eat. Why?
Cat grass: why is cyprus grass so good for cats?
You come home from work and a strange picture presents itself in the living room: Your cat is sitting in the middle of the orchids on the windowsill and chewing with relish on the long stems.
Plant residues, torn flowers and potting soil on the ground allow only one conclusion: the house tiger was boring in your absence. The animals are carnivores and actually do not feed on vegetable food at all.
How can you prevent your cat from attacking your indoor plants and possibly eating a poisonous plant? Cyprus grass for cats, so-called cat grass, is advertised as an alternative to playing for the cats.
This is actually a good solution for the cat. You should buy cat grass so that your pet feels comfortable at home.
Cat grass comes in different designs. You can find soft grass and “normal” cat grass in stores. Soft grass has very soft stalks.
Your cat can use the grass to play and eat safely. Harder grass and sharp-edged cat grass on the halls sometimes cause cuts.
Because cats eat the grass when they vomit.
The carnivores devour their food whole, in more or less large chunks. Small prey are eaten whole, including bones and fur.
Cats cannot digest this, however – it has to be transported back out of the digestive tract somehow. Cats cannot vomit “on command”.
They eat grass and other plants when they feel uncomfortable – and the plant-based food that is indigestible for them automatically leads to vomiting at some point.
Sharp edged cat grass can cause small cuts in the esophagus because vomiting is like a force of nature in cats.
You may have already observed this: your animal then behaves as if it is about to die.
It is completely normal. However, you should pay attention to the color of the vomit. If it is reddish, the cat has somehow injured itself. Soft grass is so soft that it can be vomited up without injury.
Cat grass will help your cat stay healthy
Indigestible food remains in your cat’s stomach until it vomits. As long as your cat does not vomit, it will not be able to eat as much dry food and it will not digest properly – so it risks malnutrition.
This is why it is so important that your cat can provide itself with cat grass or an alternative.
So she can take care of the necessary cleaning of her stomach herself. By the way, cats are not the only animals that act like this.
Dogs also repeatedly eat grass or earth, small stones or sand in order to vomit afterwards. However, you don’t need to buy cat grass for dogs – it is actually there for cats.
Your cat uses its tongue to clean it. She wets her paws with her tongue, runs it through the fur and licks her paws. And she licks her fur right off.
The loose hair collects in her mouth and she swallows it down. Your cat cannot digest this hair. They slowly clump into a ball in the stomach.
The hairball must also be choked up and vomited, otherwise it will clog the digestive tract.
Eating cat grass is therefore not only important for outdoor cats who hunt themselves, but also for domestic cats.
Incidentally, outdoor animals usually use the grass that they find outside in nature. They vomit often without you noticing. They do that outside in nature.
Should your outdoor dog vomit on your favorite carpet anyway, don’t hold it against him – cats can’t control it.
Different grasses all serve the same purpose
You’ve probably noticed that cat grass can look very different. The term cat grass does not refer to a specific type of grass, but to the fact that the grass is not toxic to cats.
It can be seedlings of grain such as oats, wheat or barley. But Cyprus grass and other grasses are also sold as cat grass.
While outdoor cats enjoy the plants they just find outside in nature, domestic cats depend on what is available in the apartment.
Therefore, you should definitely buy your cat cat grass. Incidentally, the grasses also contain vitamin B9, which you may know under the names folic acid or vitamin B11.
This vitamin is water-soluble and occurs in plants, but also in very small quantities in meat.
Your cat needs folic acid because it is important in growing. Folic acid is also required for the production of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
It is not known how much vitamin B9 cats get from cat grass. Because actually the animals cannot digest vegetable food. Still, they need the grass.
Your cat shouldn’t eat indoor plants. Many plants contain essential oils which can cause moderate to severe poisoning in cats.
In addition, house plants are often treated with pesticides, fertilizers and other additives.
These chemicals are also toxic to cats. If outdoor animals use plants in nature, it can also be the case in areas that are heavily used for agriculture that your cat consumes fertilizers or pesticides. However, the risk is less.
Cats need cat grass on a regular basis
You shouldn’t buy cat weed until your cat is tearing up houseplants. Your cat always needs cat grass when changing fur. You should also pay attention to your cat’s bowel movements.
If the excrement looks like a pearl necklace, the fur has already made its way down in small clumps. Then it’s high time for cat grass!
Ideally, however, the cat grass is always available. This way your cat can help itself before it has digestive problems.
Too much hair in the stomach is a danger to the cat
If too much hair and other indigestible foreign bodies collect in your cat’s stomach, all of the stuff becomes matted and forms a solid lump.
If the lump is too big, the cat can no longer reverence it. And larger balls won’t make it through the intestines either. They stay in the stomach and restrict stomach activity.
This can lead to changes in the lining of the stomach.
The gastric outlet can be blocked and even an intestinal obstruction is possible. All of this requires medical intervention. If you always provide your cat with enough cat grass, you can save her the pain and the inconvenience of going to the vet.
And the vet is also asked if you let your cat travel around the houseplants – because most ornamental plants are actually toxic to cats.
Cat grass is very low risk in comparison. However, you should of course still pay attention to which cat grass you can buy. Serious providers not only give care instructions, but also explain which plant it is exactly.
Here’s what you should know about the different types of cat grass:
This grass has sharp edges. Cyprus grass is known to cause cuts in the esophagus and stomach of many cats.
Green lilies are great because the plants filter pollutants from the air. If you live on a busy street, green lilies can purify the air so that the climate in your home is better.
It is not so good that the plants store the pollutants. If your cat eats the green lily, it will absorb the pollutants. The green lily has no place in a smoker’s household either.
Because it absorbs the nicotine from the air and stores it. It’s not good for your cat.
Wheat, barley, oats
As young plants, the cereal varieties have very soft stalks and are usually not sharp-edged.
You can safely leave these grasses to your cat. It’s also great that these grasses are quite resilient. Even if your cat plucks it repeatedly, something will still grow back.
Where can you buy cat grass?
Most discounters sell cat weed every now and then; you can find it in supermarkets, hardware stores and every pet shop. And of course, nurseries and flower shops also keep offering cat grass.
Notice what kind of weed it is. You should also make sure that the grass has not been treated with fertilizers or pesticides.
If you don’t trust the trade, you can also grow cat grass yourself. Then you are at least on the safe side. You can find seeds and potting soil in specialist shops.
Make sure that both are untreated. The cat grass is simply sown in a shallow bowl. Place the bowl on the windowsill so the seeds can feel the warmth and light of the sun.
The weed should germinate within a few days if you keep it hydrated.
What if the cat has digestive problems despite cat grass?
You can help your cat get rid of the hair that has not vomited anyway. Malt paste is a good solution. It consists of malt and fiber, as well as oils.
The paste binds the hair in the stomach. Then your cat can excrete the smaller balls through the intestines. Safflower oil and fish oil serve the same purpose and help your cat with digestion.
If you need help faster and you don’t have any of the products mentioned at home, you can exceptionally put a piece of butter in your cat’s food bowl.
But this should remain the absolute exception, because the cat cannot digest butter well. The butter “lubricates” the digestive tract to the extent that the hairballs can exit from behind in an absolute emergency. Cat grass doesn’t replace all of that.