Cat Grass

Most cats (especially those with lusciously long locks) will experience some digestion problems from time to time. Fortunately, they are biologically programmed to chew on grass in order to help them digest their food and dislodge those pesky fur balls from their throats.

But what if you don't have a garden? Or even if you do, you might be the proud owner of a house cat who rarely ventures out. You might soon find that your favourite spider plant has become your cat's new plaything.

But fear not: cat grass is easy to grow and can help your cat with his or her digestion problems in no time as well as gently dissuading them from eating your plants. Cat grass generally includes cereal grasses such as barley, rye, oat and wheat.

The benefits of cat grass

So we've established that cat grass can help your pet dislodge fur balls and aid their digestion. Cats get their necessary nutrients from traditional pet food, but the grass helps them to digest it more quickly. So they can eat again as soon as possible!

But cat grass is also handy for inducing vomiting. You may have noticed that your cat heads for the nearest green thing when they're feeling unwell and it's with good reason. If your cat has eaten something they shouldn't have, cat grass will quickly help them bring it back up.

If your moggy is suffering from diarrhoea or constipation, cat grass can help there too. It's a great source of fibre so can help restore balance to their system.

When you can't plant

Not all of us are blessed with gardens in which we can grow our own crop of cat grass. Fortunately, you can buy ready-to-grow grass trays which can start to germinate in as little as three days.

You just need to keep it moist and store it in a warm and bright place to encourage growth. You're advised to let the grass grow to around 4-5cm before setting your cat loose on it.

One container can last you for a few weeks. If properly looked after, the grass will regrow to a certain point after being nibbled down by your mog. Even if it doesn't last all that long, cat grass isn't expensive.

When growing cat grass yourself, it's a very good idea to use a wide container that sits quite low to the surface on which it's stored. This means your cat is less likely to knock the container over while they have a good chew.

If you hunt around, you might be able to find ready-grown cat grass but it will come at a higher price than seeds in a tray. Grow-your-own cat grass is much easier to come across.

Catnip

If you've heard of cat grass, you will have certainly heard of catnip. It's an indoor alternative to cat grass and proves utterly irresistible to felines. Catnip's a member of the mint family and it's just as easy to grow as cat grass, some would say easier. If you haven't seen your cat going mad with a catnip toy, you should...!

Use it with caution though: catnip can produce some fairly strong reactions in some cats. It's generally safer and more predictable to offer your cat some grass for their chewing needs.