Here Kitty, Kitty
Growing grasses for your cat brings great satisfaction, and is easy, and fun.
Cats are constantly chewing on grass outdoors, and indoors they sometimes substitute your houseplants.
"No one really knows for sure why cats chew on grass," says Nicholas Dodman, DVM, professor of behavior pharmacology at Tufts University of Veterinary Medicine. One idea is that cats need roughage. Another thought is that cats have an instinct for chewing grass because it works as a laxative for the passage of hairballs. A third thought is that this is a way for cats to get more moisture.
Studies have not proved an exact reason. However, one fact is certain - cats do eat grass voluntarily.
Here are a few dangerous plants to cats: Bittersweet (American), Castor Bean, Daffodil, English Ivy, Foxglove, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Japanese Yaro, Jerusalem Cherry, Lily (most varieties), Lily of the Valley, Nightshade, Oleander, Rhubarb, Tulip. This is not an all inclusive list but, for a more intense listing please visit the ASPCA website. They have pages devoted to toxic and non-toxic plants here.
See, also Emily's FAQ.
Catnip and Grasses
You can provide a garden of fresh catnip, oat grass, wheat grass, rye grass, and barley grass. All are safe and cats do enjoy them. (Not all cats enjoy catnip, only those who possess a gene that allows them to react to it.)
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) can be purchased in ground amounts or you can grow your own. The seed is easily found in garden centers. There are catnip kits offered but obviously the least expensive route to take is buying seed and starting your own little dish.
If you don't own a cat this is a perfect way to bring in a little greenery for the winter.
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