What is Cat Grass?
Cat grass is a general term used to describe various grasses.
And yes, it is different from Catnip which is a plant.
Unlike catnip, which usually refers to one plant species, cat grass is a more general term. You might have heard it referred to as wheatgrass too – this is one type of cat grass.
Other common types that might be sold as cat grass include other grains like barley, oats and rye.
You can easily grow cat grass from seeds, and it’s an excellent thing to have for indoor cats in particular, who don’t get to access the naturally growing grass outdoors.
Good cat grass will grow in pots and bowls, which you just place on the floor once the grass has sprouted up, and let your cats access at their own will!
Cat grass kits are available which contain everything you need – the seeds, a container and even potting mix. Or, you can buy the seeds on their own and use whatever gardening accessories you already have at home.
Organic seeds are, of course, the safest and healthiest seeds to buy.
Once the seeds start to germinate and sprout up to a couple of inches in height, that’s the time you can provide it to your cat.
Why do cats want to eat grass? Anyone who has an outdoor cat run would be well aware of most cat’s tendency, and even enthusiasm, in munching on the grass. It’s believed to help with digestion, thanks to the fiber content. It can also help with hairball elimination.
The benefit of growing grass for cats in a pot is that you have full control over what’s growing. You’ll know it’s totally safe, and that there’s no potentially harmful plants in there. It also allows you to rotate pots when your cat has trimmed one down, and of course, you can place them inside in any spot that’s convenient for your cat.
What Are The Best Seeds For Cat Grass?
At the most basic level, this is what I look for when choosing cat grass seeds:
- They need to be organic
- They need to be non-GMO (not genetically modified)
Although our cats are unlikely to ever eat enough grass to be affected by the undesirable aspects of non-organic or GMO based seeds, I see no reason not to just stick with the healthier and safer option whenever I can. Thankfully these are widely available, and in fact have become the most sought after and thus, easily obtainable types of cat grass seeds and kits.
The next choice to make is: do you need a complete grass growing kit, or do you just require the seeds? If you already have pots, potting mix or another plan in place ready for planting the seeds, you can just get a big pack of seeds and start planting.
Cat grass kits are however a fantastic way to get started and usually include a planter, soil, and of course, the seeds.
What is Catnip?
Catnip is a plant like any other. This is the common name for the herb Nepeta cataria (that’s its botanical name).
You might see it called Catmint as well, because it is part of the mint family of plants. But this particular plant seems to have a strong affect on cats.
There’s a natural compound in this plant called Nepetalactone which brings about some unique behaviors in many cats – and not just our domestic cats, but big cats as well.
So what does catnip do to cats? It acts as an attractant and brings about behaviors like rubbing on, licking and chewing the plant itself, and if they eat eat it, they might purr, growl, leap around, and generally display a heightened level of behavior. They can also become sleepy!
Young kittens are known not to be affected at all by catnip, with the youngest age that shows behavioral reactions being about 6 months.
Not every single cat will be affected by Catnip; some studies have shown around two thirds of cats are, and at various levels. It is believed that catnip responsiveness is in fact hereditary – so it runs in the family of each cat.
You can grow your own Catnip plants just the same as you grow other herbs. They look just like the Mint plants we’re familiar with, and grow up to around 3ft high (if your cat lets it). They’re ideal for planting in an outdoor cat enclosure or enclosed patio area, or you can grow them in pots! As long as they get some sunlight
There’s another plant that brings about a similar reaction in many cats, Lonicera tatarica or the Tartarian Honeysuckle. Sometimes parts of that plant are used in cat toys.
There are tons of catnip products available. Should you try them all so you can find the perfect match for your cat(s)? For the sane amongst us, that’s unlikely to happen. So which is the best, or some of the best catnip brands and products we can buy?
Read on.. I’ve spent too much time researching all things catnip so you don’t have to!
Xtreme Catnip Leaf Review
Made by Synergy Labs, Xtreme Catnip Leaf is marketed as being “more crazy fun” than any other types of catnip out there. And they guarantee this. Sounds great – but is there a real difference between this and other catnip products?
I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking in depth at what this catnip product is all about and how it might differ from others.
Firstly, Xtreme Catnip is grown in North America at high altitude. If we are to look at the potential benefits of this, according to the manufacturer, the higher altitide growing conditions result in more concentrated catnip oil in the plant; in other words more powerful catnip.
And because this catnip is grown by experienced herb farmers, they would (we assume) know that harvesting the herbs in high altitude in the early morning results in an even higher concentration of oils
If you’re going to give Xtreme Catnip Leaf a go and want to learn first hand whether it really is more potent than others (remember, every cat will react differently anyway), then comparing your cat’s reaction between various brands of catnip is the way to go.
Xtreme Catnip is available as a leaf form, but also in a spray form. The leaves can be used in toys sparingly or just left loose for your cat to play in at will.