Friday, October 21, 2011

Growing Cat Grass

By Julia Williams

Does your cat like to eat grass? Mine sure do. The minute I let them out for a romp in the morning sunshine, they make a beeline for the lawn. Of course, immediately after this grass gorging, they come back inside to redeposit it on the carpet. When I hear that telltale sound I race over to scoot my cat into the kitchen. The life of my carpet depends on it!

This daily act of carpet preservation was the first thing I thought about when my friend gave me a “cat grass kit” last Christmas. “Are you nuts?” was the second thing I thought about. Like I don’t have enough trouble – now I’m going to grow grass so they can ruin my carpet in the middle of winter, when there isn’t a blade of grass to be found outdoors?

Well, in a moment of weakness (insanity?) I decided to try growing cat grass. The little planter was so cute, and the kit said cat grass was a nutritious snack that provided several health benefits, so it sucked me in. Thankfully, the grass I grew for my cats did not have the same undesirable after-effect. I’m not sure why, but I think it might have something to do with the type of seed; it was a welcome surprise nonetheless. My cats also took to it immediately. The first time I put the cat grass down, they nearly mowed it into oblivion. I had to put it on top of the fridge so they couldn’t eat every last blade on the first day.

Cat grass is very easy to grow. It sprouts in just a few days and grows quickly – as much as one inch a day! It’s recommended to let the grass get at least four inches high before letting your cat snack on it. The grass will continue to grow for a few weeks. If your cat is like mine and tries to eat too much grass at once, you may want to put it down for just a few minutes and then put it someplace out of reach.

The Benefits of Growing Cat Grass

Companies that sell cat grass seeds and kits say it provides numerous nutritional and cosmetic benefits. They claim it gets rid of hairballs, aids in digestion, makes the cat’s coat shinier, and freshens their breath. The grass is said to be a great source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and chlorophyll.

Some veterinarians, however, aren’t sold on the benefits of cat grass. “Do cats need chlorophyll? No,” said Dr. Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists. “Cats are true carnivores, so they are not really designed to eat plants and vegetation. As far as I know, there’s no science to back up the claim that cats need nutrients they can only get from eating grass.”

However, most vets sees nothing wrong with a cat munching on wheatgrass if they have a craving for greens, which many cats do. A clump of fresh cat grass might also serve as a deterrent to keep your kitty from sampling houseplants, many of which are toxic to pets.

What’s in a Cat Grass Kit?

Most kits contain everything you need to grow grass for your cat: a seed packet (typically wheatgrass, oat or a combination) with enough for several plantings, organic growing mix, instructions and a planter. You can also buy packets of seed in the pet store and use your own container. Just be sure to use organic soil or growing mix without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Instructions for Growing Cat Grass

1. Place growing mix into planter, reserving about two tablespoons.

2. Scatter the seeds evenly on top of the growing mix and sprinkle with the reserved growing mix.

3. Add one-fourth cup of warm water.

4. Place a plastic bag loosely over the planter to create a “mini greenhouse.” The thin plastic bags found in the grocery produce aisle are perfect, as they allow air to circulate and light can still filter through them. 

5. Place the planter in a sunny location.

Sprouts emerge in about three days and “grow like a weed” thereafter. When they’re about one inch high, remove the plastic covering. If necessary, you can add a bit of water to keep the soil from drying out, but don’t overwater as this can lead to fungal and mold growth. A light mist with a spray bottle is often all that’s needed to keep the grass lush for weeks – or until your cat has mowed it down, whichever comes first.

See? Didn’t I tell you that growing cat grass was easy? If your kitty likes to snack on grass, why not try growing them some!

Photos by slowping

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. The mom usually has cat grass in the house for us, particularly in winter. We like it, but a lot of it goes to waste--and not meaning regurgitated. LOL. We just don't eat it fast enough!

  2. Great post. I have tried to grow that grass from kits and my cats wouldn't touch it. Course most of them go outside. But now that I have inside cats, I think I will try again. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. Thanks, Julia! We always wondered about whether eating cat grass would make our cats yack in the house. Glad to hear this wasn't the case for you! :)

    Maybe we'll give it a try. I'm pretty sure Moosey will go to town on it.

  4. Oh yum, it has been a whilne since I,ve had any of that. We used to have it all the time but we got tired of it, but we should have some again ai think!

  5. I love grass ! I have to eat it every single day ! Not sure it's a cat grass, I just eat whatever grass in my garden. Mom used to buy cat grass once ( In the little pot ) and then I ate it once and then I just back to eat the one I used to eat in my backyard.

    I don't do yack every time I ate grass. Mom think I just eat it for my digestive system. or fix my tummy after I threw up cause I eat too fast. and then I feel better. Mom even think grass make me heathy !

  6. Me & Myself luvs my organicat cat grass that the Staff harvests year around in da house! Weeza buys a package in itza own container at Petsmart - justa add water and bamzatini itza green martini!

  7. Hee hee--I am not really 'llowed to have the cat grass since apparently I have no self control. As if!

    But I *do* eat some leaves from my (SPCA-approved) indoor tree each day and then I yak THOSE up--on the rug, of course. Why barf on the linoleum in the kitchen? That's child's play. Carpet, people, carpet!

  8. I might try to talk my mom and dad into growing me some of that. Sounds good!

  9. Hmmmm.... this is very interesting, because in our house, we no longer have carpeting! Maybe I will try this out!

  10. We had a batch of cat grass just recently. I don't care for it, but my buddy Tinker really likes it without any after-effects that I know of!

    You're right, easy to grow. A little darkness in the furnace room and wa-lah--a mini-lawn!


    pee ess Thanks fur your nice comments on our blog!

  11. We love grass but then we barf it all up and Mom has to clean up the yeck!

    Do stop by our Halloween spooktacular this week. Monday is the first post.

  12. We've had cat grass before and this reminds us, it's time for our mommy to grow us some more!

  13. Reading one of the articles on the net about giving wet canned food being much much better for kitties, I decided to slowly switch my cat to complete canned food. After the switch all went well for about 2 weeks, and then kitty is constipated. Decided to add dry kibble back so now she is eating 50% dry and 50% wet and a few blades of grass everyday. Constipation seems to have gone (dont u dare come back mr constipation). Does anyone give grass everyday? is it bad?


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