Cat grass: what is it actually and what is its use for house tigers?
As a result of extensive grooming, indigestible hairballs collect in a cat’s gastrointestinal tract, which they then choke out again. To stimulate digestion, the animals usually eat a few blades of grass. A healthy alternative is needed for house cats that don’t leave the house.
Are you wondering why your cat nibbles on indoor plants and then vomits in the apartment? There is a simple reason for this: if there is too little liquid in the animal’s stomach – for example because it only eats dry food – it can happen that too much hair collects in it. In too large quantities these are no longer digested and thus choked out. To make shedding easier, experts suggest that cats eat some grass. It should better bundle the hairballs and avoid (sometimes life-threatening) blockages. But what if the house tiger is not allowed to go outside and is only in the apartment? Just in case there is what is known as cat grass.
What is cat grass and what types are there?
First of all: not every cat needs grass and not everyone likes it equally. Therefore, there is no guarantee that your pet will accept the digestive aid. It is definitely worth a try – especially if you have often seen your house tiger nibble at your (perhaps not entirely non-toxic) houseplants. In that case, you should purchase the cat grass as a sensible dietary supplement. There are fully grown plants that you can order on the Internet, for example. Or you can go shopping set (including ceramic bowl, bamboo coaster, coconut soil and seeds) and simply grow the grass yourself. Read the next paragraph to find out how this works in detail.
Back to the cat grass: They are especially suitable for rearing Grain seeds (for example wheat, barley or oats) are particularly good because they have very soft stalks and are therefore easy to chew. Cyprus grass – called Cyperus alternifolius in botany – is also recommended as a digestive aid for cats because it is non-toxic. However, the stalks are sharp-edged and can therefore lead to internal cuts. Most house tigers, however, tolerate it very well. Alternatively, green lilies are also offered as cat grass, as they cause nausea and are therefore ideal for choking up hairballs. However, the plants filter nicotine from the air, which cats ingest when they eat. Therefore, you should be a non-smoker.
Growing cat grass: here’s how to take it step-by-step
In fact, it’s not that difficult to grow cat grass. All you need for rearing is a bowl, some potting soil and a handful of cereals – for example wheat grains or one Seed mix. Make sure, however, that these have not been treated, i.e. not fertilized or come into contact with pesticides. Then follow these steps:
- Soak the seeds in a little water for an hour or two.
- Take the bowl and fill it with some untreated potting soil.
- Put each seed individually two inches deep into the soil.
- Place the bowl in a light spot such as the window sill.
- Make sure the soil is kept moist but not too wet.
The seeds start to germinate after just a few days, so that you have ready-to-serve cat grass for your house tiger after two to three weeks at the latest.
Alternatives to cat grass: gas bits and malt paste
Many animal feed companies also offer so-called Grass bits which consists largely of dried cat grass and minerals. They are supposed to aid digestion if your cat has swallowed too much hair that can no longer be shed. They are to be understood as a kind of snack that is usually well accepted by velvet paws. But what if a cat doesn’t like grass, but still has problems choking up old balls of hair? In that case, the oily and high fiber should be Malt paste be a healthy addition to the feed. It stimulates digestion so that the hair is more easily excreted in the feces, but does not induce vomiting – which many pet owners will surely appreciate.
And one more note at the end: When cats choke up bundles of hair, the sound isn’t particularly nice – the same goes for the sight. However, this process is perfectly normal and not worrying. However, if your house tiger vomits several times a week and the vomit does not contain only hair and grass, it is better to consult a veterinarian.
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