Cats are unique animals, for some cat owners, cat’s usually help them (the owners) calm their nerves and cats are also very affectionate with the people they trust. When it comes to the food they eat, they are typically picky eaters. Wet or dry? tuna or chicken? Chunks or tidbits? The options go on and on which can be overwhelming. However, there is one more option you can try to add something to your cat’s diet to improve their health. Plants specifically cat grass, catnip/cat mint and silver vine are the most preferred plants that are beneficial for cats.
What is Cat Grass?
There are a lot of edible grasses we have today, “Cat Grass” is just a universal term for edible grasses. Cat grass is a blend of seeds (mix of cat grass seeds), but there is also a single type of seed that grows (rye, barley, wheat), you can still call it cat grass.
Why do cats like Grass?
It is very natural for cats to eat plants and grass because it emits an aromatic smell called “Nepetalactone” and helps them somehow expel intestinal parasites by increasing muscle activity in the digestive tract. It even allows cats to expel hairballs, so cat experts always advocate that pet owners must and should cultivate some indoor grass for their cats to chew on. Overall, the purpose of cat grass or cat-friendly plants is to help quiet and soothe our cats and improve their psychological state and digestive health, while also providing an immune boost.
“It is very natural for cats to eat plants and grass because it emits an aromatic smell that is called “Nepetalactone” and it helps them somehow expel intestinal parasites by increasing muscle activity in the digestive tract.”
Why do cats vomit when licking and eating cat grasses?
After nibbling/eating, it usually gives them (the cats) a chance to exercise and trigger that innate behaviour of throwing up otherwise they call it intestinal peristalsis (the rippling motion of muscles in the intestine or other tubular organs characterised by the alternate contraction and relaxation of the muscles that propel the contents onward). Why does a cat vomit after nibbling grass or plants? you can relax and take it easy knowing they are not sick or aren’t doing it on purpose and it is just a natural physical reaction.
(Image courtesy from PDSA)
Is it safe to grow indoor cat grass?
Cat grasses are generally safe in small doses, it is even better than letting them munch on the grass on the lawn (outside) since most lawns are coated with fertilizer which could be toxic for your cat. It makes more sense to grow cat grass for your feline pets. You can opt to grow them inside your home or even outside so you can expose them to sunlight provided they have their own pot. Growing indoor cat grass isn’t just a trend but is a matter of practicality these days, especially for cat owners.
“Cat grasses are generally safe in small doses, it is even better than letting them munch on the grass on the lawn (outside) since most lawns are coated with fertilizer which could be toxic for your cat. It makes more sense to grow cat grass for your feline pets.”
Types of Cat Grass that we can cultivate indoors for our cats:
- one of the most popular seed choices for growing cat grass, and it is widely available. It's simple to set up and cats find it irresistibly delicious.
- can offer your furry friend a dietary treat. With its sweet taste and high fibre content, it's sure to be a hit with your cat! Indeed, many felines prefer it to wheatgrass.
- frequently overlooked, yet this cereal grain starts out as a pleasant grass. It's loaded with minerals and readily mixes well into cat grass mixtures.
- if your feline has been munching on your lawn, there's a good chance they found some ryegrass in the turf blend. Ryegrass is a popular forage grain for livestock and cats love it too due to its slightly smaller-bladed features. It's easily accessible as rye grains can be effortlessly bought from many stores.
(Image courtesy from PETMD)
Why do cat owners choose to grow or buy those soilless cat grass?
Cat owners prefer planting cat grass without soil because of the vast array of cat grass soilless seeds being made available today. Below are the reasons why cat parents opt to grow cat grass without soil.
- Super easy to grow and grows in 5-10 days.
- Caring for cat grass only requires the roots to be soaked with water, no need to water them like regular plants.
- If you are struggling to find a sunny spot, it only requires a little light and the grass will still grow.
- Indoor cat grass serves as a welcome substitute for cats who like to nibble at your other beloved plants.
- Soilless cat grass is a lot mess-free compared to those that grow using soil, soil spillover is avoided.
These are the types of soilless cat grass seeds with cat grass planters being sold in most pet stores today, typically rich in fibre, folic acid, minerals and other nutrients, take your pick!
Another type of plant ideal for cats would be the Silvervine, a member of the kiwi family, which is native to Asia and particularly common in Japan and China. It grows similar to a grapevine and produces beautiful spring flowers followed by small fruit in the summer. Contains kiwi alkaloids and Argentinean anthocyanins, which have the ability to lift cats' spirits. The dry twig toy can even help soothe cats while providing oral protection. It also serves as a healthy oral treat for cats in the form of a dental stick as a chew toy.
Above is one of the dental stick products on the market today, 100% natural silvervine sticks for cats from the silvervine ( also called Matatabi) plant. Organic and unprocessed, with nothing added and no preservatives, these are safe for cats to chew and tear apart during playtime. Like any other substance, overconsumption of anything is harmful. In this case, silvervine side effects are the following: vomiting, excessive hunger, overstimulation, and diarrhea. However, these reactions subside as the substance exits the bloodstream.
Catnip / Catmint
Most people refer to this as catnip, a plant from the mint family, the kind of cat grass that you could also cultivate. Catnip leaves emit an aromatic smell that stimulates their “Pheromone Receptors” which triggers reactions such as sedation, hyperactivity, rolling, and licking. Catmint/catnip can be used in a number of ways, it can be sprinkled all over their food/treat or even on the cat scratching board. It can also be stuffed and used in catnip toys for physical activity and play. Overconsumption is bad, be mindful when you use catnip for your feline pets.
These are some of the catnip interactive toys that help our feline pets de-stress, prevent boredom and encourage predatorial play.
“Like any other substance, overconsumption of anything is harmful. In this case, silvervine side effects are the following: vomiting, excessive hunger, overstimulation, and diarrhea. However, these reactions subside as the substance exits the bloodstream.”
These are some catnip lick ball toys that encourage and stimulate your cat’s senses, especially indoor cats. Promotes bonding and physical activity while keeping them entertained. You don’t have to worry about the toy breaking apart because they are made to be as durable and can withstand the toughest of cats. These catnip balls for walls come in various colours and have a super adhesive base/holder.
On a personal note, it is better for your cat healthwise to have access to these 3 types of plants for cats. We know the benefits of cat grass are relieving indigestion, parasite prevention & aids in removing hairballs plus many more. Having natural catnip toys, scratchers, etc. has countless benefits, but those that matter would be the euphoric & behavioural effects on cats. The same thing to silver vine plants, it has behavioural effects but what sets them apart is that it has oral health benefits aside from being a chew toy.
“Benefits of cat grass are relieving indigestion, parasite prevention & aids in removing hairballs. Natural catnip toys, scratchers, etc. give euphoric & behavioural effects on cats. Silvervine plants have oral health benefits aside from being a chew toy.”
After all, who wouldn’t want the best for our feline pets, whether it is cat grass, catnip toys or dental stick chew toys, the important thing is that we have a variety of things at our disposal to always keep our cats excited and engaged.