Cat grass is exactly what it sounds like – grass that is safe for your feline to eat. Many cats like to eat it as well, though an equal number of cats are completely uninterested. However, for cats that enjoy noshing on a bit of green, it can provide some stimulation and keep them entertained. Typically, cat grass is actually a mixture of different grasses. Depending on what cat grasses are included in your particular set of seeds, cat grass can also provide a variety of different nutrients. Luckily, cat grass is pretty easy to grow and maintain. Even if you aren’t much of a green thumb, you should find this plant pretty easy to grow.
Growing cat grass is extremely similar no matter where you are growing it. However, when growing it indoors, you do need to be more concerned with lighting. It does require quite a bit of light. Therefore, you need to be sure to place it somewhere near direct sunlight. Otherwise, a growing light may be necessary. However, you also don’t have to worry as much about diseases and pests. After all, the odds of bugs finding your grass inside are quite low! With that said, it is still possible, especially if you have other plants inside. Beyond these slight differences, the growth procedure is identical for indoor and outdoor cat grass.
1. Pick Your Grasses
There are a few different types of grass you can utilize as cat grass. The most common sorts are barley, oat, rye, and wheatgrass seeds. In the end, which seeds you choose doesn’t matter all that much. You can purchase a mixture of cat grasses from a local pet store or online. Alternatively, you can purchase a specific type of seed separately. We recommend getting your seeds from a high-quality source – preferably organic. Otherwise, you don’t really know what you’re getting. On top of grasses, you’ll also need to pick out soil and a small pot. Be sure that the soil is safe for your feline, as they will likely be digging around in it quite a bit. You don’t want to choose soil with fertilizers mixed in, as many of them are not safe for felines.
2. Plant Your Seeds
These seeds are extremely easy to grow. In many cases, you may simply be able to throw the seeds onto the soil, and they’ll sprout within a week or so. Technically, you should plant seeds about an inch or two into the soil. However, the specifics are not super important for these seeds. There is no need to get your ruler out and measure. You can partially cover your pot with plastic wrap to speed up the sprouting process. This step makes it more humid within the pot, which can encourage the seeds to germinate. Of course, you should place the seeds in direct sunlight. While they will often grow without sunlight, the blades will be tall and lanky – not actually very beefy. You should notice the seedlings sprouting after 2-3 days. However, some may take a bit longer to get going.
3. Location, Location, Location
Whether you’re planting your cat grass inside or outside, it’s essential to plant them in the correct location. Cat grass is pretty sturdy, but it can’t grow well when put in the wrong location. It needs quite a bit of sunlight, for example. Therefore, you should plant it in a location that gets direct sunlight. Indoors, this can be a bit more difficult. However, it is essential if you want your grass to be thick and edible. The most important part of planting cat grass is the location. Beyond this, it can survive in a variety of conditions. Put it in the right place, and you can basically leave it alone beside watering.
4. Keep the Soil Moist
The soil should stay moist. Don’t overwater, as this can lead to root rot. However, if your pot has good drainage, this is less of a problem. After all, the excess water should drain out of the bottom of the pot. Generally, you don’t have to be very specific about the watering pattern. As long as you are providing water, the plant will probably be just fine!
5. Don’t Let Your Cat Eat It Right Away
You may be tempted to see if your feline likes the grass as soon as it sprouts. However, at this stage, your cat can easily overeat the grass at a faster rate than it grows. Therefore, you should be cautious about letting your cat go to town as soon as the sprouts are up. They may destroy the plant pretty quickly! Therefore, you may want to put the grass up somewhere high where your feline cannot get it. If you have indoor cats, the beginning stages may be a good time to grow your grass outside. If your cats are indoor and outdoor cats, you may have to be a bit creative with where to hide the grass before it gets long enough. Once the grass is about 4-6 inches tall, you can introduce it to your cats. At this point, they likely won’t eat it faster than it can grow. If you have multiple cats, we recommend waiting until the grass is closer to 6 inches. After all, multiple cats will be eating the same cat grass.
6. Trim as Needed
Your cat will likely be eating the grass regularly. However, if you don’t consume enough, you’ll need to trim it back at least an inch each week. Otherwise, the ends may flop over, which can cause growth problems. Plus, if the stalks get so heavy that they touch the ground, diseases are far more common. If the leaves start flopping, you should plan on trimming them more.
7. Resow Regularly
You will need to add more seeds to the pot regularly. The first few stalks won’t last forever. You want to promote regular growth, which will ensure that your felines continue to have grass for years to come. Plus, it will also prevent your feline from eating all the grass. If the new seeds are sprouting, there will be backup growth once the new plants are tall enough. However, you don’t need to hide the pot again when the new grass is younger. The tall grass should provide some protection and prevent your feline from chewing the newer grass. Plus, if it doesn’t, then your cat isn’t destroying the whole pot, at least.
8. Watch for Pests
You should carefully watch for pests. These can hurt your cat grass and are not appetizing for your felines. If you’re growing the grass indoors, this is often less of a problem. However, it can still happen, especially if you have more house plants. Sometimes, the parasites can jump from plant to plant. Diseases can also spread from plant to plant. Again, these are most common for outdoor plants. However, it can occur with indoor plants as well.
Many cats love cat grass. It provides them with some extra nutrients, as well as some entertainment. Luckily, cat grass is extremely easy to grow. Generally, you can simply put the seeds in the correct soil and location and leave them be. Regularly re-sow them to ensure that there is a steady supply of grass. Of course, don’t use anything on the grass that isn’t safe for your cat. They will be eating it, after all. This includes fertilizers and similar substances. Everything should be made for safe consumption. When in doubt, don’t use it. The last thing your cat needs is to get sick from grass!
Featured Image Credit: lam vika, Pixabay