Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inexpensive Cat Grass

Our very old indoor cats like to chomp down on grass to help digestion, satisfy some kind of primal urge for fiber, re-mediate hair balls, etc. In South Carolina, the oldest cat would try to run outside and munch the grass next to our deck behind the house. In Arizona, our yard is rock - and very dusty, so we don't let her out.

I was tired of paying $4 for a tiny packet of kitty grass that takes a week to grow, and then turned brown a week later. And the tiny plastic cup it comes in is so light that when a cat goes to chomp it and pull out a blade, the whole mini-planter over-turns and spills about the floor. There had to be a better way.

So I got a packet of Pennington "patch grass seed" at Home Depot for all of $3. Three different Home Depot personnel tried to warm me "that's Winter grass" and "you don't want that", "it'll die if you plant it" (we hit 100F this week in AZ). They each looked at me as if I was insane when I told them I was planting it inside. Well, a week later after planting, it's thriving now. And the cats are enjoying it. And I have 95% of the bag of seed remaining - enough to last the next 10 years (or the seed goes bad, but in 10% relative humidity, that's unlikely). It's not "organic" seed, but neither was the grass that grew behind our house in South Carolina, and the cat has lived to be 16 years old, so it has not caused her to develop any kind of gastro-intestinal malady or cancer.

Another successful experiment in optimization & cost reduction. And so far, I've not seen a single instance of grass-blade-containing-cat-puke, since going to the normal grass seed. Hopefully, this pristine record will continue.


  1. Interesting. Our oldest cat Max lived to 18+ and would routinely saunter out the front door, graze a moment and head back inside. His diet was also very nontraditional cat, usually what I was eating. Max sculpted hairball from day 1 until day last, like a champ.

    His younger sister is at 14+ and will not touch grass for anything. She also will not touch anything except crunchy cat food, does not care for canned yet. She also does not experience the hairball issues that Max had even though she is a smallish Maine Coon, beaucoup hair. She is very dirt-phobic, eschewing the outdoors at all costs, perhaps the grass seems too rural for her.

    The newest member of the pride is only at 2ish and hairballs are not an issue yet, but she also exhibits the same diet and preferences the older girl has, no dirt or non-crunchy food. Anecdotally it seems that the desire to graze is affected by several elements - diet and perception of what should stay outdoors.

  2. We were gone for 5 days, and the indoor grass (without any watering) yellowed slightly and drooped. A few ounces of water this morning, and it's perking back up. Had it died, it would have cost me another 10 cents to rejuvenate a new batch! LOL!


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