I was a junior in high school when my cat, Donut, came into my life. She was a rescue from the local ASPCA, and she’s been my ride-or-die ever since. Because I was young when I got her, I didn’t understand all of her needs. Over the last decade of us living together, the space that Donut takes up in my home grows larger and larger – because like any other living thing, she needs more than water and shelter to thrive. She needs play. She needs nutrients. She needs a place to sharpen her talons other than the side of my armchair. And just how I want only the best for my own health and wellbeing, I want the best for hers, too. Which is why it’s important that she gets her greens (or in this case, cat grass). I’m a self-proclaimed plant lady, and as it turns out, Donut takes after me. Most cats do. Dog-owners know from walking their pets outside that dogs frequently munch on grass (why they do is still unclear, whether it’s to make themselves feel better or because they crave fiber). Those of us with indoor cats whose little paws have never touched a blade of grass in their life don’t instinctively know about kitty’s craving for greenery.
While Donut is a carnivore by nature, she still likes chewing on grass. It provides her with extra nutrients, like fiber and B vitamins. It helps her digest hair balls. And having having access to plenty of greens means Donut is much less likely to chew on my houseplants and floral arrangements (this is key). Even though almost all of the plants in my home are non-toxic, they still look better without kitty teeth marks in them.
If you want to keep cat grass (or catnip!) in rotation in your home, here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh cat grass (you can also plant seeds if you can manage to keep your cat away from the grass long enough for it to grow! If you do use seeds, be sure to use organic, food-safe dirt as well)
- Command strips
- Small planter box
For your own sanity, I recommend adhering your cat grass planter in place using Command Strips. Once Donut gets a new batch of fresh grass, her aggressive enthusiasm is usually enough to knock the pot on the floor, spilling dirt everywhere. Save yourself the hassle, and stick the planter in place.
Keep your cat grasses in their original plastic pots, that way you can switch them out with ease once kitty has had her fill. Make sure to lightly water the grass every week if your cat doesn’t immediately demolish it.
Fresh grass makes my cat happy. Give her fresh catnip and she’s over the moon! What makes me happy is when she doesn’t scratch my furniture, and that’s a problem in our home. The folks over at Tuft + Paw sent us this sleek scratching post (known as the Turrim), and slowly Donut has been warming up to its presence. The inside of the post is infused with the scent of catnip, which she’s crazy about. It’s slim, modern-looking, and was easy to put together, which I’m crazy about. If you’ve ever visited your local pet store, you know how cumbersome pet furniture can be. Okay, I’ll be honest: most of it is just straight up ugly. Which is why I’m really digging on this minimal scratching post.
In addition to healthy nutrients and a comfortable living environment, cats also need lots of attention and affection. Don’t forget to play with your pets to keep their minds sharp, and to give them lots of cuddles to let them know they’re loved.