The way to grow grass for a cat at home is simple, you don’t have to be an expert in gardening. It is enough to know the basic rules of planting and caring for plants. However, there are several tricks that will allow you to achieve a good harvest in a short time. For this, you can choose a good substrate or add mineral fertilizers to the soil.
Benefits of grass
Before starting to learn how to grow cat grass at home, it is recommended to first understand what benefits it brings to the animal. With such knowledge, it will be much easier to choose the appropriate variety:
- Getting into the stomach, the herb helps to cleanse the internal organ due to vomiting. However, along with vomit, there are also remnants of what the cat ate, but the stomach could not digest, for example, polyethylene film from sausage and sausage products, huge pieces of wool that accumulate after prolonged licking.
- Grass compensates for the lack of some trace elements in the pet’s body. This is especially relevant for those cases when the cat does not swallow the stems, but only bites them. It is far from a fact that the grass will give the animal’s body the required amount of trace elements. However, the owner can always correct this by changing the diet.
- The grass, which is still digested and enters the stomach, helps to remove worms from the intestines. Sometimes parasites simply cling to the stems of the plant, and sometimes the juices of sheep or wormwood contribute to the fact that ringworms simply die.
For a “street” cat, finding suitable grass is not a problem. But if the pet spends all the time in the apartment, then sooner or later he may start biting house plants, for example, ficus, aloe or even poisonous monstera. Therefore, it is better to plant grass in your house so that the pet can eat it at any time and cleanse the body.
Types of plants
The best option is to buy a small bag in an agricultural store, which has the inscription “Grass for cats”. In the composition of such a mixture, you can usually find a large number of medicinal herbs, for example, lemongrass or tonkonig. But, despite the fact that healing fees should cost pennies, the manufacturer of such products, apparently, very highly values the packages in which he sells seeds. It will be much easier to buy grass separately, for example, at a market or an agricultural fair. Preference should be given to the following varieties:
- wheat – it will not be difficult to find grain, and a small handful will cost only a few hryvnias;
- rye is a slightly more expensive option than wheat, but it is also excellent as cat grass;
- oats – only lazy people have not heard about the benefits of this plant, but you can find it on sale everywhere;
- barley – it is best to buy immediately after harvesting, so that the percentage of germination is high.
You don’t need to buy too much grass. Two or three glasses will be enough. Of course, it is best to buy several varieties so that the cat can choose the most suitable grass for him. You can plant them almost all year round. The most important thing is to ensure proper care and follow planting technology. You should plant grass in several pots at once in different months. This will ensure a year-round turnover of medicinal herbs. As a result, the pet will never need it.
Earth and a pot
To germinate grass at home, you first need to prepare the planting material for this procedure. For this, it is necessary to fill the grains with cold water and leave them for several days until the first sprouts begin to appear. You can also use hydrogel for this purpose, placing the grain in the center of the composition. You should not be afraid that oats or wheat will be saturated with water more than necessary. However, it is also not recommended to completely fill them with water, because they also need oxygen. Therefore, the amount of water or hydrogel should be optimal.
To grow grass for a cat, you can use an ordinary plastic container, in which packaged vegetables are sold in the supermarket, as a flowerpot. The advantage of such a pot is that it perfectly transmits sunlight to the root system and planting material. As a result, the percentage of similarity increases several times. However, plants should be sown in pre-prepared soil. To do this, you can buy a ready-made soil mixture in a store after consulting with a sales consultant, or mix the following components in certain proportions:
- 2 parts of peat;
- 1 part of a thorn;
- 1 part of sand;
- ¼ part of moss.
After collection, all components must be disinfected with boiling water. This will eliminate the risk of developing most diseases, as well as prevent the appearance of parasites. Most of their eggs are in the soil, waiting for optimal conditions for hatching. Therefore, the decontamination procedure should not be neglected.
It is enough to simply pour boiling water over the soil, and then leave it to dry on the stove or near the heating radiator. The soil must be dried before planting.
As soon as all the preparatory procedures are completed, you can plant grass for cats at home. To do this, it is necessary to take several seeds that have hatched and place them in a substrate slightly moistened with the help of a sprayer. It is not necessary to sprinkle the seed with soil, if the optimum growing temperature is observed in the room (from 18 to 30 degrees Celsius). Young sprouts need a large amount of oxygen. If you sprinkle them with earth, then the germinated sprout will experience a lack of oxygen.
If you have to grow a special medicinal mixture called “Grass for cats”, then you must follow the instructions on the package. Caring for such plants is usually quite simple. However, some exotic species often require regular feeding or diving. This especially applies to the “Professional mixture of herbs for cats” composition. The collection usually includes a large number of plants that not only provoke vomiting reflexes, but also restore some functions of the body.
As for the cultivation of ordinary oats or wheat purchased in a pet store or on the market, it will be enough to constantly maintain the substrate in a moist state. However, it is also not advisable to water the soil too much or often: this can provoke the development of root rot. This fungal disease is very difficult to treat and spreads quite quickly. To avoid infection, you should irrigate the culture using a sprayer no more than once a day. Before watering the grass, it is recommended to check how moist the soil is.
Light and air humidity
The cat can start eating grass already after the first sprouts start to bite. You should not allow the pet to do this, otherwise the growth of the culture will decrease several times. It is better to wait until the plant reaches a height of at least 10 centimeters: after that, you can safely place the flowerpot near the bowl with food. Until this moment, it is recommended to grow grass on a glazed balcony or on a windowsill in a room where the pet does not have free access, for example, in the bathroom. However, north-facing windows are not the best choice: the grass needs sunlight.
If you plan to grow crops in winter, you should take care of additional sources of lighting in advance. It is best to use special fluorescent lamps that have a warm white light in the range from 2K to 4K. The duration of daylight hours should be within 10-12 hours. In the winter season, this indicator can be about 8 hours. However, it is important to understand that the more light the grass receives, the faster it will grow. Therefore, you should not turn off the lamps during the day if it is not necessary.
Air humidity also plays an important role in crop cultivation, especially in the summer season. In the heat, it is recommended to moisten the culture with the help of a sprayer, setting the device for fine spraying of particles.
There is also an alternative option “for the lazy”, which involves the use of a steam generator or a simple three-liter can with water. At the bottom of the glass container, expanded clay can be poured to increase the intensity of evaporation several times. Such a device should be placed not far from a pot with grass.
What cats don’t like
Since pets have a rather sensitive sense of smell, not all grass is suitable for cultivation. Even some medicinal varieties, for example, wormwood, the cat will simply ignore, because they have a very strong unpleasant smell. When choosing herbs, you should first of all pay attention to those varieties that do not contain a large amount of essential oils. After all, even if a cat eats such a culture, it can seriously harm its health. Here are just a few types of grass you should avoid growing:
- lemon balm;
Most pets prefer not to be around these plants because they don’t like their aroma. This is especially noticeable during the flowering period, when the herbs emit a bitter aroma. Therefore, it will be extremely irrational to plant such crops at home. By the way, the sharp smell of lavender or lemon balm can be useful in order to wean a pet from defecating in an unauthorized place. To do this, you just need to put a few twigs in the cat’s “favorite” place.
As for wormwood, this variety deserves a separate mention. On the one hand, everyone is well aware of the benefits of this herb. Wormwood tincture helps fight parasites in the body and strengthens immunity. On the other hand, not all animals tolerate grass well in its pure form: in large quantities, it can become poisonous. Yes, “street” cats often eat it. However, it is important to remember that a pet does not know the measure and can get poisoned. So you shouldn’t plant it on your windowsill. It is better to stock up on dry matter, so that later you can cook a decoction or make a tincture.
Growing grass for a cat at home is not such a difficult task as it may seem at first glance. Since most varieties suitable for pets are not particularly capricious in care, anyone who wants to can cope with this activity. However, this does not mean that the basic rules of cultivation can be neglected. If a person does not moisten the soil well enough or give the plant light, then it will not please him with a large harvest.