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If you’ve ever observed a cat with a green thumb, you know they have a natural curiosity when it comes to plants. They may even nibble a bite or two, especially with catnip. But what exactly is catnip and why do cats love it so much? Unlike catnip and catmint, which belong to the mint family, catnip is a grass derived from grains such as wheat, oats, and barley. It’s still a bit of a mystery why cats like to eat catnip, but some theories suggest that it may help soothe their stomachs, aid in expelling dander or even serve as a way to control parasites. intestinal infection. Luckily, catnip is easy to find at pet supply stores or nurseries and you can even grow your own catnip in your home or garden. So if you have a curious cat, consider adding some catnip to their environment with Beaconpet for a little extra variety.
What Is Cat Grass?
Cat grass is a type of grass that is specifically grown for cats to nibble on. It is not the same as catnip or catmint, which are plants belonging to the mint family. Cat grass is actually the grass of cereal grains such as wheat, oat, barley, alfalfa, and rye. It has a different appearance compared to catnip and catmint and is specifically cultivated for cats to enjoy.
Why Do Cats Like Cat Grass?
The exact reason why cats like to nibble on grass, including cat grass, is still unclear. However, there have been some theories and research that provide possible explanations. One belief is that cats eat grass when they feel ill, as a way to settle their stomachs. However, a study found that only 6% of cats in the survey were described by their owners as being ill before eating plants, suggesting that this theory may not be accurate for the majority of cats.
Another theory suggests that cats eat cat grass to help expel hairballs. It is thought that if eating grass induces vomiting, it may be beneficial for longhaired cats who struggle to cough up hairballs. However, a study found that there was no significant difference in the incidence of vomiting between longhaired cats and shorthaired cats, suggesting that this theory may also be debunked.
There is also a theory that eating grass, including cat grass, helps cats control and expel intestinal parasites. A study on various wild carnivores, including wildcats, showed that these animals also ate grass, indicating that it is a natural behavior among all cats.
Where Can You Purchase Cat Grass?
Cat grass is relatively easy to find. You can purchase cat grass from pet supply stores, where they may have small trays available for sale. Additionally, nurseries also carry cat grass. It is important to note that cat grass can be marketed as wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa grass, or rye grass. You can also purchase seed packets to grow your own cat grass, which may be labeled as wheat, barley, alfalfa, or rye grass seeds.
Where Can You Plant Cat Grass?
Cat grass can be grown both indoors in a container and outdoors in your garden. If you choose to grow cat grass outdoors, you can either plant the seeds directly in the soil or transplant already thriving cat grass from a container to the soil. When growing cat grass indoors, you can sow the seeds anytime of the year. The seeds should be sown 1/4″ deep into the soil and the soil should be kept moist. After a week or two, the seedlings should start to emerge. It is important to keep them in a spot that receives regular sunlight. If you decide to plant cat grass outdoors, it should be planted in the spring and require full sun.
Why Is It Better For Cats to Eat Cat Grass Than Regular Grass?
There are a few reasons why it is better for cats to eat cat grass rather than regular lawn grass. When cats nibble on regular lawn grass, there is a risk of ingesting pesticides if any have been used to treat the yard. This can pose health risks to your cat. In addition, nibbling on lawn grass can also expose your cat to parasites, fleas, and ticks. To minimize these risks, it is recommended to wash clippings before giving them to your cat or to grow cat grass indoors, where you can control the environment.
The information provided in this article is based on high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies. We at The Spruce Pets strive to provide accurate, reliable, and trustworthy information to our readers. Our editorial process ensures that the content we publish is carefully reviewed and fact-checked.
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