Cats are carnivores: their skull, jaws, and teeth all cry out “I’m a hunter. I eat things like you (but smaller) for breakfast.” Yet cats in both the wild and captivity consume grass voluntarily.
A good friend bought our cats some wheat grass as a welcome-home-from-the-shelter present when we adopted them, and both enjoyed nibbling on it. Unfortunately, though, we recently learned that one of our cats has a wheat allergy, and the vet wasn’t sure if the allergens being tested for were in the grain or the leaves. So, we stopped buying wheat grass for them.
But wheat isn’t the only grass out there. In fact, Wikipedia reports that oats are often called “cat grass”. So, we ordered some tack oats from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and planted it last week. Both Lucca and Kira have been eying it through the window as it grew, and today we brought the pot in for them to eat (it took about a week to go from seed to cat-ready size).
Within a few minutes both kitties were investigating:
Kira dove in and pulled a few plants out by the roots, eating the entire blades before quickly leaving to go bask in the glory of her successful hunt.
Lucca preferred to graze and just nibble at the ends, giving me enough time to get a few good shots of her:
Update August 2, 2011:
The cats loved the grass so much that in less than 24 hours the pot went from being full of 4-inch long blades of grass to this:
Getting Cat Grass
Germinated wheat grass is often sold in small pots at pet stores and the produce sections of grocery stores for $2-$5 a pot. We bought a pound of tack oat seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and planted it just below the soil in a small pot with peat moss soil. We paid around $12 for a pound of seeds with shipping, and this pound of seeds should be enough for dozens of pots worth of oat grass. Growing the grass ourselves should prove to save a considerable amount of money compared to buying it in the stores.
Oh, and if you give your cats grass, be prepared for the occasional regurgitation of the grass. As we like to say, “Yes, this will make most excellent barfs“.