Extensive grooming causes indigestible hairballs to accumulate in a cat’s gastrointestinal tract, which it then regurgitates. To stimulate digestion, the animals usually eat a few blades of grass. House tigers that don’t leave the house need a healthy alternative.

Are you wondering why your cat nibbles on the indoor plants and then throws up in the apartment? There is a simple reason for this: If there is not enough liquid in the animal’s stomach – for example because it only eats dry food – it can happen that too much hair collects in it. These are no longer digested in large quantities and are therefore choked out. Experts suspect that cats eat some grass to facilitate elimination. It should bundle the hairballs better and avoid (sometimes life-threatening) blockages. But what if the house tiger does not have free access and is only in the apartment? In case there is the so-called cat grass.

What is cat grass and what types are there?

First of all: Not every cat needs grass and not everyone likes it equally. Therefore, there is no guarantee that your pet will accept the digestive aid. But it’s definitely worth a try – especially if you’ve often seen your house cat nibbling on your (perhaps not entirely non-toxic) indoor plants. In that case, you should buy the cat grass as a useful dietary supplement. There are mature plants that you can order online, for example. Or you can buy a set (including a ceramic bowl, bamboo saucer, coconut soil and seeds) and simply grow the grass yourself. Read the next paragraph to find out how this works in detail.

Back to cat grass: Grain seeds (e.g. wheat, barley or oats) are particularly suitable for rearing, as they have very soft stalks and are therefore easy to chew. Cyprus grass – called Cyperus alternifolius in botany – is also often recommended as a digestive aid for cats because it is non-toxic. However, the stalks are sharp-edged and can therefore lead to internal cuts. However, most house tigers tolerate it very well. Alternatively, green lilies are also offered as cat grass, as they cause nausea and are therefore ideal for regurgitating hairballs. However, the plants filter nicotine from the air, which cats absorb when they eat. Therefore you should be a non-smoker.

Growing cat grass: how to do it step by step

In fact, growing cat grass isn’t all that difficult. For the rearing you only need a bowl, some potting soil and a handful of grain – for example wheat grains or a seed mixture. However, make sure that these are untreated, i.e. not fertilized or come into contact with pesticides. Then follow these steps:

The seeds begin to germinate after just a few days, so that you will have ready-to-serve cat grass for your house tiger after two to three weeks at the latest.

Alternatives to cat grass: gas bits and malt paste

Many animal feed companies also offer so-called grass bits, which consist largely of dried cat grass and minerals. They are intended to support digestion if your cat has swallowed too much hair that can no longer be excreted. They are to be understood as a kind of snack that are usually well accepted by velvet paws. But what if a cat doesn’t like grass but still has trouble choking up old balls of hair? In this case, the oily and fiber-rich malt paste should be a healthy addition to the feed. It stimulates digestion, making it easier to expel the hair in the faeces, but without causing vomiting – which many pet owners will certainly appreciate.

And one final note: when cats choke up a bundle of hair, the sound isn’t particularly pretty – neither is the sight. However, this process is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. However, if your house tiger vomits several times a week and the vomit contains more than just hair and grass, it is better to consult a veterinarian.

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