Why Cats Eat Grass & How to Satisfy Their Appetite Indoors
While cats need meat to survive, they do seem to love the texture and flavor of grass. "They may eat grass because it adds fiber to their diet, which helps work food through the system," says Marty Becker, DVM. "It lets them vomit indigestible contents such as hairballs from grooming and feathers, fur, and bones from eating small prey." Don't worry: Vomiting may seem repulsive to you, but it's healthy for your cat, he says.
Outdoor cats will find their own green delicacies in the wild, of course. But you can give your indoor cat the flavor of outdoor life with a tasty patch of edible grass and a bowl of water. It's easy to grow cat grass from seed in a wide, low container. Usually oats or a mix of oats, rye, barley, and wheat will attract your kitty. (You can probably find these seeds at your favorite pet store.) Add a small bowl of water to your mini landscape, too. Because your feline friend always appreciates easy ways to stay hydrated.
Overindulging on grass can cause digestive upset, so limit your cat's access to the grass if she gets too voracious.
How to Create an Indoor Kitty Garden
- Fill a container approximately 12 inches wide with potting soil and sink a small bowl about 2 inches deep into the soil. Sow cat grass seed around the bowl, following the package instructions to determine the depth of the seeds.
- Move the container out of your pet's reach to prevent digging while the seeds take hold. Keep the soil moist and warm (about 70˚F) and near a sunny window or under a plant light.
- In 10–14 days, the grass should be tall enough to share with your cat. The water dish will draw your cat to the grass, so remember to clean and refill the water dish frequently.
A version of this article first appeared in Happy Paws Spring/Summer 2020, with reporting by Marty Becker, DVM, and writer Risa Quade.