My cat doesn't get to go outside much which causes me a great deal of owners guilt as there is nothing he would like more than to be able to get out and chase the birds that he sees through the window. Unfortunately I live near a busy road so I am not willing to take the chance that something might happen to him as I would never forgive myself. For this reason I think I over compensate and he is very spoilt and I rush to buy every new toy and accessory that I think he might enjoy.
The one thing that I can't give him however is outside space. I have a garden and he is allowed in that with me when he is on a harness and the tiny little patch of grass that I have is one of his favourite areas and he loves to nibble on the grass and look for bugs. Because of this I decided to buy some seeds to grow my own cat grass to put in his little area where I keep all his toys, scratching post etc.
The seeds come from the manufacturer Trixie who do loads of pet stuff and whose cat products I already own quite a few of.
I got a multi-pack containing three packets of seeds for £2.99 from zooplus (a website I am obsessed with). Now I have no idea how much grass is to buy at the garden centre but to me this seemed like not a lot of money for how much you get. Besides this is different to the grass you grow outside as it is made from cereal grain which is supposedly a lot softer and easier on for cat's to chew and swallow and won't hurt their throats.
To grow the grass is incredibly simple and all you have to do is pour the seeds in to a container and water them to get the seeds moist but not wet or else this will drown the seeds. Sit back and wait and within couple of weeks and the seeds will have sprouted loads of grass.
I didn't have a tray and was too inpatient to sow the seeds so I just put them in a couple of circular plant pots I had and I only used one packet of seeds as there was more than enough in that one packet for the two pots.
I was amazed with just how quickly the grass started to grow and after just a few days there was already loads of shoots and within two weeks there the pots were densely packed with grass. I also loved just how easy it was to grow the grass as they didn't need any sort of soil or compost and literally you only need the seeds, some water and somewhere to plant them.
Dashiel had already been trying to get to them on the windowsill where I grew them and when I gave the pots to him he really enjoyed having a good poke around them and chewing on the grass.
The shoots grow really long which means he can get his face right in to them and have a good hunt for bugs or whatever he thinks that he is doing. He seems to enjoy chewing on the grass and I see him quite often at them chewing away.
Until I bought the grass seeds I had no idea just how important things like grass are to cats. It helps them to regurgitate the hair inside them that they swallow on a daily basis and stop hairballs from forming inside their intestines which can end up causing problems and needing an operation. I remember my mum's cat having to have an operation when I was a child and unfortunately it ended up dying and this was from problems with hair being stuck inside her and I don't want the same thing to happen to my cat.
I really think these cat seeds represent great value for money and are so easy to use that almost anybody could grow them. The grass also lasts quite a long time before you need to replace it. I have had the same grass in the pots now for about 6 weeks and whilst it has wilted a lot and is looking a little yellow and frayed round the edges it hasn't stopped Dashiel from still chewing it. I have just used the new packet of seeds but I am sure that the grass I already have will last until that new batch is long enough for him.
My kitty, Simba, loves munching on grass; when he heads outside the first thing he does is find a patch of long grass and start munching. Grass is meant to be really good for the cat's digestion and and I wonder if the fact Simba eats grass is the reason he has not had a single furball. My grumpy old man cat, Shadow, is really prone to furballs but is too scared of the big bad world to go outside and eat grass. I wondered if cat grass might help him so bought some Trixie cat grass from Zooplus along with a pretty ceramic planter for £4.99. A pack of three packets of kitty grass seed without the planter will cost £2.39.
Kitty grass is not the same as the grass that grows in your garden. The Trixie cat grass is corn leaves and some other brands use barley. It comes in the pack with some moisture retaining granules and I had enough to grow two bowls worth from one packet. Trixie is a German brand and my grass came without English growing instructions, Zooplus said to place the seeds in a bowl with water which is what I tried and the seeds soon germinated. This, however, did not give the plants any support so I replanted using a couple of inches of compost and they grew quickly on the windowsill. The grass needed minimal care, I made sure the compost was kept nice and moist by watering it but never needed to feed it.
Within a week I had a nice crop of inch long grass, the grass kept growing for another fortnight or so reaching about 3 inches before it started wilting and dying. The grass was lovely and soft without the sharp edges which normal grass sometimes has and looked nice and lush and healthy in its bowl.
While the grass grew really well, neither cat showed even the slightest interest in eating it. Shadow did fall asleep once with his head in the bowl resting on the nice soft grass but that was the sum total of the interest shown in it. It is a pity the cats did not like it as, apart from helping with furballs, it is meant to provide vitamins and folic acid. The Trixie Katzengrass is a good product but my cats just didn't like it. I'm going to try some different brands of cat grass ie barley instead of corn to see if the cats will show more of an interest in it.