Do you have an indoor only cat? I do. While she doesn’t seem to mind not being able to go outside, I wondered what I could do to bring the outside to her. The answer is a simple one: cat grass. It’s very low maintenance and easy to grow, regardless of how much space you have. Cat grass is theorized to have health benefits and if you ask my cat, Laila, she’ll tell you it’s just plain fantastic.
Bringing the Outside Inside
Sometimes I feel bad that Laila is an indoor cat. Although she is not allowed outside for safety reasons, I couldn’t help but think she was missing out. Cat grass seemed like a great way to add some greenery to my home (most plants and flowers are toxic to cats) and give my cat a treat. A treat she would normally miss out on since she never goes outside. This way she has a little garden of her own in the safety of the indoors.
How Does it Work?
Cat grass grows really quickly and is typically lush within a few short days. It just needs a little water and a constant temperature around 20°C. You don’t even need sun!
The first time I grew cat grass I bought seeds, soil and a pot and planted it myself. There are different options depending on how much time and money you want to put in. You can get cat grass seeds and plant them in a pot like I do. Or you can get a pre-mixed package, kit, or even a special cat grass growing system. The cheapest way is to just buy the seeds yourself – we found ours at our local garden store. If you don’t want to mess around with soil and pots, then I would suggest a pre-mixed package.
We use the pre-mixed packages now because we are traveling in Europe. We find them at our local grocery store. They cost about €2 each. While I prefer to grow cat grass myself from seeds, we travel light and do our best not to accumulate extra stuff. Buying new pots and soil every 6 months in a new location doesn’t make sense for our situation.
The only problem we’ve encountered is where to keep the cat grass while it’s growing. If it is within the cat’s reach, she will eat it before it grows. She loves it THAT much. I have tried to reason with her, telling her it will be better if she waits but she doesn’t listen.
We now keep ours outside when it is growing, out of her reach. If you have high shelves or a fridge that is too high for your cat to reach, those are good spots to let it grow.
Cat Grass Happiness
Laila ADORES her cat grass. She can’t get enough of it. If she sees me bringing the container in from outside she loses her mind. She follows me around meowing – practically begging for me to put it within her reach. Since the first time I grew the cat grass and I realized it made her so happy, I have tried to grow it as much as possible. I think she will only be satisfied if she had a bed to sleep on made up entirely of cat grass.
I grow cat grass for Laila’s happiness, not for any health benefits. If you are looking to grow cat grass for health benefits, there are theories that cat grass can be beneficial. It can induce vomiting. I know, it sounds bad but this can be a good thing. If their stomach is irritated the grass can help them bring up the problem and get rid of it. Laila does throw up occasionally after over-indulging on cat grass but it’s pretty rare.
Cat grass can help with passing hairballs, speed digestion and treat constipation due to the fiber it contains. It also contains nutrients cats would not normally get from their meat-only diet. The nutrients differ based on the type of grass you buy. They’re carnivores so I have trouble believing that the nutrients help all that much. But, to me the health benefits of cat grass are minor. It’s really a treat intended to improve the quality of life of my cat.
We love our cats, don’t we? Why not do whatever we can to make them happy? Growing cat grass takes minimal effort and adds a new dimension to the lives of indoor cats. Get your seeds and soil and happy planting!