Sweet Greens: Cat Grass Grow Kits
Not to be confused with catnip (or other buds).
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Cats may be strict carnivores that will stalk your bird feeder before raiding your vegetable garden, but there are some greens they do crave. Not to be confused with trippy catnip, cat grass is a mix of ‘cereal’ grasses, typically wheat, rye, barley, and oats. “We don’t know why cats of all creatures would seek out grass, and there is little scientific study on cat grass,” says Dr. Karen Hayworth, DVM, a veterinarian at VCA Northview Animal Hospital. “But it’s likely a source of moisture and, theoretically, it could help prevent hairballs as a source of fiber.”
“Cat grass may not be an essential part of a cat’s diet, but it has been known to provide digestive benefits thanks to its impressive vitamin content: vitamins A and D, folic acid, niacin, and chlorophyll,” adds Dr. Lori M. Teller, a professor at A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. (Fun fact: the wheatgrass in your smoothie? Cat grass!) It’s a healthy fibrous snack “and alternative to other [potentially toxic] plants that your cat may try to nibble on — or actual grass in your yard that may be treated with harmful chemicals or home to parasites or bacteria.” On that note, if your cat tends to eat things they shouldn’t, cat grass can induce vomiting and also be used as a laxative.
Growing cat grass is easier than keeping a succulent alive. There’s even a MasterClass taught by Ron Finley, a.k.a. the Gangster Gardener, who explains how to sow the seeds and care for it long after your cat has sunk their teeth into it. You can also find grow kits at most nurseries, pet stores, and on Amazon. Once the seeds have sprouted and grown a few inches, you can let your cat chew on the blades. “It is perfectly fine to offer cat grass as a treat or leave it freely available for your cat to nibble on,” says Dr. Teller. “However, if your cat seems to eat it voraciously or in place of their normal diet, then you may want to consult with your veterinarian to make sure there is not an underlying health problem.” Dr. Hayworth adds that if your cat vomits up cat grass on the regular, then they’re probably eating too much, and portions should be restricted. Below, the best cat grass products we could dig up.
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
Kellie B. Gormly is an award-winning journalist based in Pennsylvania who writes for many national publications, including The Washington Post, Woman's World, Catster, and Dogster. Kellie is a volunteer rescuer who fosters kittens and cats at her home, where she has several of her own cats and betta fish.