Cat grass: why the cat eats plants and what kind of grass to buy?
In pet stores you can find special mixtures of grasses, described as "cat grass ". Are they essential in a cat's diet? Is it worth investing in this form of diversifying the cat's environment?? Does every cat have to eat grass?Cat grass
Certainly, every cat keeper knows the preferences of these animals for green plants.
Responsible keepers know that all houseplants should be placed in places where cats cannot reach them. It is also worth making sure that the home jungle does not contain any specimens that can cause severe poisoning in your pet.
There are many sites on the Internet for a reason, with a long list of potentially poisonous and toxic plants (here you can find a list of plants prohibited in the cat's environment, along with photos // cowsiers.en / rosliny-pojace-dla-cat /) .
In the following article, I will try to describe the topic of plants allowed in a cat's diet.
- Why does the cat eat plants?
- Vomiting in a cat after eating grass
- When to buy cat grass?
- What grass is best for a cat?
- How much is cat grass?
- How often should the cat eat grass?
- How to care for cat grass?
- Does the cat necessarily have access to grass??
Why does the cat eat plants?Why does the cat eat plants?
Cats are ruthless carnivores.
This means that a cat's food should consist mainly of animal protein.
However, a large amount of protein in the diet can slow down the passage of intestinal contents. Taking care of hygiene and the resulting eating of large amounts of hair can also affect the peristalsis of the gastrointestinal tract - they clump into hair balls and can affect defecation disorders.
Plants contain fiber (i.e. dietary fiber), which significantly improves the passage of the contents, and acts as a natural laxative.
Good-quality dry foods also contain fiber, so not every cat feels the need to eat grasses and plants.
The green parts of the grass also provide vitamins, some sources mention folic acid and water-soluble vitamins. It also contains trace amounts of vitamins A, D and niacin.
It is not true that a cat eating grass has internal parasites. Regardless of their presence, your cat may crave green, succulent grass, or may feel the need to increase intestinal peristalsis.
Vomiting in a cat after eating grassVomiting in a cat after eating grass
However, as evidenced by vomiting in a cat after eating the green parts of the plants?
Most likely, the portion of the greens was too large, not chewed thoroughly (after all, the cat is not a ruminant, it bites off quite large bites of food and swallows them quickly).
A blade of grass that is swallowed too long can easily induce vomiting.
If a cat vomits after eating grass, the parts may have been too sharp and mechanically irritating the stomach.
Not every mixture of grasses is suitable for a cat - if the producer selects not exactly the right species, the substances contained in them can also induce vomiting.
Outdoor cats can eat grass that has been treated with pesticides or other pesticides. Such a harmful additive may also cause vomiting, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and, in extreme cases, severe poisoning.
If your cat vomits once after eating grass, don't panic. However, it is worth checking what exactly is in the vomit.
It is possible that the hair balls, or pieces of a previously ingested foreign body, a fragment of a toy, or parts of the victim's body that are not fully digested were vomited.
It is then worth taking into account the content of the vomit content and correct the pet's diet, remove inappropriate toys or include debossing pastes in everyday use.
The reason for visiting the veterinarian should be:
- parasites present in the contents of the vomit,
- vivid red or pickled and ground blood,
If vomiting is repeated and persistent, it is also worth visiting your attending physician and checking that your pet is okay.
When to buy cat grass?
As mentioned before, not every cat feels the need to eat grass.
However, when it is necessary to decide to put a flowerpot for our pet? It is worth doing this when the cat shows excessive interest in the plants in the apartment.
Not every plant can be safely eaten by a cat, and the fact of smelling plants, licking or nibbling leaves indicates that they are looking for edible greens.
It is also worth sowing grass in the case of frequent episodes of gastrointestinal obstruction caused by the presence of hair. Not every long-haired cat has a problem with this, but Persian, Maine Coons, Siberian, Norwegian, Ragdoll and Himalayan cats are particularly predisposed to excessive stuttering.
As I mentioned, grass can also be a valuable source of folic acid. Therefore, if your pet has a problem with anemia, in addition to the recommended treatment and supplements, it is worth diversifying its environment with a small lawn with permitted plant species.
What grass is best for a cat?What grass is best for a cat?
It is believed that the safest thing to do is to sow oat grains.
They grow quickly, producing a lush green, medium-soft grass with lots of fiber.
Oatgrass is quite neutral in taste, and some cat gourmets may not be entirely satisfied with it.
For those more picky cats, it's a good idea to sow wheat. Wheatgrass is more delicate and sweet in taste, which will satisfy even the most demanding cat palates.
Cereal grains for sowing are also the most cost-effective option - they are often sold by kilograms for a few zlotys, in garden stores.
In ready-made mixtures, available at pet stores, you can find grasses from species such as, for example, Cypriot grass. It is considered not harmful, but has very sharp edges - some cats can damage the delicate lining of the mouth or tongue if consumed too quickly.
Its advantage is its decorative appearance, and if properly cared for, it retains its functionality for a long time.
Sternberg's Chlorophytum is also often found in cat mixes. It's a plant that causes nausea.
Therefore, if we want to diversify the cat's environment, without inducing vomiting, it is worth controlling the composition of the ready seed mixture for sowing - herbaceous is not a good choice.
Some species of papyrus are also considered low-toxic to tetrapods. Their shoots are also quite sharp, but at the same time juicy and tasty. Papyrus grows quite quickly under the right conditions - it needs a very humid environment and a lot of light.
Perz and cocksfoot are also plants that are eagerly chosen by cats - they have soft leaves and are not toxic.
How much is cat grass?
Ready mixtures in special containers with the substrate are available in pet stores. Their cost ranges from PLN 6 to PLN 40.
How often should the cat eat grass?
There are no set standards. If the grass is introduced to the pet's diet, it should have constant access to it so that he can nibble a leaf or two if he wants or if necessary.
It is certainly a disturbing situation to eat very large amounts of grass and frequently induce vomiting. The pet should then be examined and its diet carefully analyzed for possible nutritional deficiencies.
Grass should not be introduced into the diet of young kittens before the age of 5 months - it is believed that the young body is not yet adapted to the intake of large amounts of fiber.
If your pet is looking for plants to diversify its diet and at the same time despises specially selected grass, it is worth getting other plants that are allowed in the cat's diet.
An example would be catnip.
The fresh plant has an interesting, slightly citrus aroma, fine dark green leaves, pretty flowers and has a mosquito repellent effect.
You can provide your cat with herbs such as mint, borage, parsley, basil, lemon balm, thyme or borage - some of these plants have an inviting aroma for the cat and are known for their healing properties (not only for humans).
However, it should be ensured that they come from a proven source. Plants bought immediately in a pot should be thoroughly washed before possible consumption.
How to care for cat grass?How to care for cat grass?
Like any plant, cat grass needs to be watered regularly and has access to sunlight. It is worth removing withered, yellowed or dried stalks, they are unattractive to pets.
It is necessary to control whether there is no mold growth on the substrate - such grass should no longer be provided to the cat. It is worth remembering that properly cared for grass can serve for a long time.
Does the cat necessarily have access to grass??
No, grass is not essential food for a cat. However, it is an interesting enrichment of its environment (especially if the domestic cat does not go outside) and diet.
Not every cat will be interested in it, sometimes the grass is only sniffed and ignored, but it is worth giving the home tiger the opportunity to try fresh plants.
As mentioned above, the basis of a cat's diet should be animal protein, but a small addition of plants, such as grass, can be a nice diversion for a cat.
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