It’s normal for cats to eat plants, but many of our plants are not safe (see ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic if you’re not sure). Their ancestors would eat grass to protect their digestive tract. That instinct remains in our domestic cats, and by providing cat grass, it’s a great way to let our cats act out a natural behavior that they enjoy. Cat grass is typically grown from rye, barley, oat or wheat seeds, and is safer than grass grown outside as it’s not treated with pesticides. Cat grass is typically found at farmer’s markets and local pet stores and kits can be found online. They are easy to maintain: spray with water, and occasionally cut off an inch if it’s getting too long. Replace as needed. Researchers from the University of CA, Davis, who studied over 1,000 indoor- only cats who eat grass concluded it’s great enrichment for our domestic cats.
Jennifer Van de Kieft is a Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist residing in Brooklyn, New York City.