How to Grow Cat Grass Plant?

Cat grass is not a specific variety of grass seen outdoors. It is a mixture of grass grown from different types of seeds like wheat, oat, barley, and rye. Unlike other types of grasses and plants, cat grass is grown mainly for cats. 

Cat eating the cat grass plant

Image Source: iStock(insonnia)

Cat grass is not a specific variety of grass seen outdoors. It is a mixture of grass grown from different types of seeds like wheat, oat, barley, and rye. Unlike other types of grasses and plants, cat grass is grown mainly for cats. 
Cats always like to munch on something, especially grasses. If your cat is grown indoors, this can be a problem. The cat grass is grown mainly to solve this problem. Moreover, having cat grass indoors will lure your cat away from other dangerous items. Cat grass seeds are available in pet stores or online shops. You can also prepare it on your own.

What is Cat Grass?

Growing indoor cats can be challenging as they like gnawing on everything green. They do it out of boredom or due to the attractive scent. Whatever the reason is, cats destroying the houseplant is not something that homeowners can accept. Thus, growing organic cat grass or plant is the best alternative. 
As mentioned above, cat grass is not a plant per se. It is a combination of different types of grasses like wheat grass, oats grass, rye grass and barley grass. Thus, by growing cat grass, your feline friend gets all the benefits of each individual grass.  

Types of Plants for Cats

What attracts cats to a plant is its aroma and chemical composition. Sometimes the look of the plant can also be appealing to cats. Here are a few of the plants that you can grow for cats. 
Catnip: Catnip is a plant that belongs to the mint family. It is non-toxic to cats and very easy to grow. The plant contains oil that stimulates the senses of the cat. This makes the cat happy. 
Cat thyme: If cat nip is not effective for your feline, you can try out cat thyme. The plant mainly grows in summer with scented pink flowers. These flowers can stimulate cats and make them happy. 
Licorice root: These are roots with a unique taste that cats love. The root also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe cats. 
In addition, you can also grow your own cat grass which is a combination of different types of grasses. 

Types of Cat Grass Specifically

Now let’s talk specifically about cat grass. 
Cat grass is a type of pet grass that is a combination of different types of grasses. A few of the common cat grasses are
Barnyard Grass (Dactylis glomerata): This grass is otherwise called barnyard grass or orchard grass. It is a cool-season perennial native to Europe and West Asia. The plant grows 20-140 cm tall and has grey-green leaves. The flower head is triangular in shape and comes in red to purple color. 
Barley Grass (Hordeum vulgare): Otherwise called barley grass, this grass is a native of Western Asia. It grows well in a temperate climate and provides vitamins and fiber for cats. 
Wheat Grass (Triticum Aestivum): This grass is called wheat grass or common wheat. The origin of this grass is Southeastern Turkey. You can grow wheatgrass from wheat berry or wheat kernels popularly available in stores. 
Oat Grass (Avena sativa): This grass is called oat grass and belongs to West Asia. It is an annual growing plant that can grow as tall as 14 to 40 inches. 
Cat grass is an annual grass that grows very fast. You can propagate the grass from seeds. It requires direct sunlight, moderate watering, and well-draining soil for its healthy growth. 
Cat grass produces pink flowers that bloom during summertime. You can place it on the south or east-facing windowsill, kitchen, or patio. Along with cat grass, you can also grow cat nip, cat mint, and lemongrass as companion plants. 

How to Grow Cat Grass Plant?

The peculiarity of the cat grass plant is that you can grow it indoors and outdoor. If you get direct sunlight outdoor and the temperature does not go below freezing point, you can grow the grass outdoors. In the case of indoor cat grass, you can plant it on a windowsill where bright sunlight is available. 

 Growing Cat Grass Plant Indoors

Cat grass is a fast grower and needs bright light for its healthy growth. 
  • Take the container where you want to grow the grass and fill it with soil. The soil should be ½ to 1 inch below the container’s rim. Now moisten the soil.
  • Take seeds from cat grass kits and moisten them. But do not soak it in water. Now scatter the seed on the soil. You can fill the container with the seed as the plant grows straight up. 
  • Cover the seeds with more soil and moisten them. 
  • Place the container in an area where bright sunlight is available. 
  • Mist the seed every day until sprouting takes place. 
  • Water the indoor cat grass once in 2-3 days.  

Growing Cat Grass Plant Outdoors

Cat grass is different than lawn grass. You should grow cat grass in the spring after all frost has subsided. Growing cat grass outdoors is easy and involves the following steps. 
  • Remove all the weeds and till the soil. Now level and smooth it. 
  • Sow the grain about ¼ inch deep into the soil. 
  • Moisten the soil well. 
  • The grain will sprout in 1-2 weeks. 

How to Care For Cat Grass Plant?

Cat Grass Plant is a mixture of grain grasses primarily composed of oat grass, wheat grass, barley grass and rye grass. Cat grass plant care involves the following. 

Water

You should water cat grass once every two days. Check the top of the soil to see whether it is moist. Water the plant only when the soil moist level is low. Overwatering should be avoided at all costs as it can cause mold formation. 

Sunlight

Though cat grass requires abundant sunlight for healthy growth, you should avoid placing it in direct sunlight. This can result in the plant dying off due to overexposure to the sun. In the case of an indoor plant, place it on the windowsill with indirect, bright light where abundant sunlight is available. 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for cat grass is 60-66 degrees Fahrenheit. You can keep it on a windowsill where you can maintain the temperature. But remember not to expose it to direct sunlight. As long as the plant has enough water content, it can take the rising temperature. But the plant cannot tolerate cold weather. Thus, once frost begins, you should bring the plant indoors if you're growing it outside.

Humidity

Humidity is not a problem for cat grass. If the humidity levels are very high, you will notice the plant drooping. On the other hand, if the humidity level is low, you can use a spray bottle or humidifier and mist the plant. It is best to moisten the seeds before sowing them. 

Soil

Organic potting soil is best for growing cat grass. You can also use regular garden soil provided it can hold moisture. If you use a soil-less medium, you can opt for two-part coconut coir, half part vermiculite, and one part perlite. 

Cutting and Pruning

Once the grass blades have grown to around 5 inches tall, you can prune them with shears. This promotes new growth. You can sprinkle the cut portion on your cat's food or water. Make sure you use sterilized garden shears to avoid any bacterial infections.

How to Propagate Cat Grass Plant?

Cat grass is very easily grown from seed. Below are the steps for propagation
  • Fill the pot with organic potting soil. You should stop 1-2 inches from the top of the pot. 
  • Scatter the seed on the pot and cover it with some potting soil. 
  • Pour around ½ cup of water to keep the soil moist. 
  • Cover the pot with plastic wrap. It would help if you left a small opening for airflow. 
  • Keep the pot in a dark and warm location. The seed starts sprouting on the second or third day. 
  • Once the plant has grown a bit, you should remove the wrap and place it in a bright area. 

Common Cat Grass Plant Pests and Diseases

Like most other houseplants, cat grass is also not free from pests and diseases. Keep in mind that you should never use pesticides on cat grass as your feline friend feeds on the same. You can use neem oil to treat pests and diseases as it's not toxic to pets. Since most bugs do not harm cats, you need not worry if the grass is infested. 
Below are a few of the pests that can infest cat grass

Pests

  • Aphids: Aphids are sucking insects found underneath the leaves of the cat grass. They are either black, red, or green in color. Aphids leave a sticky residue on the leaves that can attract ants. The best way to get rid of aphids is to attract natural predators like lady beetles and wasps that feed on aphids. Use neem oil for natural treatment.
  • Armyworms: These are dark-colored worms that leave holes on the leaves, eventually making them skeletonized. You will notice a cotton-like covering on the leaves, which are the worm’s eggs. You can use neem oil to treat and make sure to pick off all the armyworms off and wash the plant to wick away any larvae. Another way to get rid of them is to use natural enemies. But these enemies can be dangerous for your pet. If the infestation is unmanageable, it is best to throw away the grass. 
  • Whitefly: These are white-colored flies that fly up when you disturb the grass. You can try neem oil to control them. If it does not work, it is best to throw away the grass. 

Why is Cat Grass good for pets? 

Cat grass is highly beneficial for the digestive system of the cat. It contains folic acid, which is highly essential for a healthy bloodstream. It also acts as a laxative that helps the animal excrete hairballs or other undigested items. Besides, the chlorophyll present in the grass helps freshen the cat’s breath, so next time they wake you up early morning, you won't be smelling their stinky breath.

5 Care Tips For Cat Grass Plant

Here are some tips for cat grass plant care. 
  1. Water the plant when the surface of the soil turns dry. Do not overwater cat grass. 
  2. Provide bright light to the plant. But do not keep it under direct sunlight as it can kill the plant. 
  3. To promote the fresh growth of grass, you should trim it once every two weeks. 
  4. Keep the container weed free as it can suck the nutrients and water from the soil. 
  5. Always check for pests and diseases. Discard the grass if you cannot treat the pest. 

Where to buy Cat Grass Plant?

You can either purchase a cat grass plant as such or propagate it from cat grass seeds. The seeds are primarily available in pet shops. But you can also purchase it from online gardening shops like Neverland
Visit Neverland today for more tips and useful resources. Plants bring a lot of joy, so we strive to help you have the best plants growing experience possible!

FAQs on Cat Grass Plant

Neverland logo
Let nature be your guide.
Enter Neverland, download the app that helps you explore your green side.™
Neverland QR Code
Neverland surfer