Cat Grass vs Wheat Grass. What’s the Difference?

What is Cat Grass?

Cat grass refers to a variety of sprouted grasses and plants that are safe and nutritious for cats to eat (Benefits of Cat Grass For cats). It typically contains wheatgrass, rye, barley, and oat grasses. Cat owners often grow and provide cat grass for their feline friends to munch on.

Cat grass offers several benefits for cats. The fibrous nature of grasses aids digestion and helps cats vomit up hairballs, eliminating intestinal blockages (Is cat grass actually good for cats?). Cat grass also provides vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll to supplement a cat’s primarily meat-based diet.

cat grass aids digestion

Additionally, cat grass satisfies cats’ instinctual need to chew on greens and provides a safe alternative to houseplants. It gives cats an outlet for their natural grazing behaviors. Overall, cat grass can promote a healthy digestive system and provide enrichment for indoor cats.

Different Types of Cat Grass

There are several common types of grass that are safe and healthy for cats to eat:

Wheat Grass

Wheat grass is one of the most popular options for growing cat grass. It sprouts quickly, is easy to grow, and contains nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes that can benefit cats [1]. Wheat grass has a sweeter flavor that many cats enjoy. It can help with digestion and hairball control.

Oat Grass

Oat grass contains fiber and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. The fiber helps support healthy digestion while the vitamins support overall health and a shiny coat. Oat grass grows relatively fast and has broader blades than wheat grass [2]. It has an appealing taste for many cats.

Rye Grass

Rye grass is high in fiber to support digestion. It also contains antioxidants and enzymes for health. Rye grass has an appetizing aroma and sprouts quickly. It has thin blades and a tender texture cats love. Rye grass is slightly less sweet than wheat or oat grass [2].

Barley Grass

Barley grass is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It supports urinary tract health and may help with kidney issues, constipation, or bladder problems. Barley grass has a more bitter taste than other grasses so some cats may not take to it as readily [2].

Growing Cat Grass

Cat grass is easy to grow indoors from seed. The most important things you’ll need are the right soil and container. Cat grass grows best in a high-quality potting soil that drains well. Avoid regular garden soil which may contain chemicals or fertilizers that could be toxic to cats. Choose a shallow container or tray between 1-3 inches deep so the grass roots can access the soil easily. Plastic containers work well and allow you to monitor soil moisture.

Good seeds to use for cat grass include wheatgrass, rye, barley, and oat seeds. These grasses grow quickly and are safe for cats. Place the seeds close together to form a thick lawn of grass. Lightly cover them with a sprinkle of soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout in 5-10 days. Water them daily by misting or pouring a small amount of water. Make sure the soil doesn’t get soggy.

grow cat grass indoors
Once sprouted, cat grass thrives on a sunny windowsill. Rotate the container often so the grass grows upright instead of leaning toward the light. Cut the grass with scissors to a height of 2-3 inches once it reaches 6 inches tall. This encourages regrowth for a continuous supply of fresh grass. Cut grass can be offered to cats right away.

For sources see:
How To Grow Cat Grass For Cats

Is Wheat Grass Good for Cats?

Wheatgrass can provide many nutritional benefits for cats when given in moderation. According to IAMS, wheatgrass is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K as well as minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium [1]. It also contains antioxidants that support immune health.

Some of the main benefits of wheatgrass for cats include:

  • Improving digestive health – Wheatgrass is a good source of fiber that aids digestion and helps remove hairballs. The nutrients may also soothe stomach upsets.
  • Boosting immunity – Antioxidants like flavonoids protect cells from damage and support a healthy immune system.
  • Providing vitamins and minerals – Essential vitamins like A and C, along with iron and magnesium, help support overall health.
  • Aiding kidney function – The nutrients in wheatgrass promote kidney health.

Wheatgrass is safe for most cats to consume in small amounts. However, some risks include:

  • Allergies – Cats with plant or grass allergies may react poorly.
  • Upset stomach – Too much at once can cause vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Pesticides – Non-organic wheatgrass could contain traces of chemicals.

Overall, wheatgrass offers nutritional value for cats and is fine in moderation. Start with small amounts to test for any allergies first.

How Much Cat Grass to Feed

The amount of cat grass a cat should eat depends on the size and needs of the individual cat. Some general guidelines for how much cat grass to feed cats include:

For an average sized cat, aim to feed around 1-2 tbsp of cat grass per day. Very small cats may only need 1 tsp, while larger cats can have up to 1/4 cup.

Cat grass should be fed in several smaller portions throughout the day rather than one large meal. Offer a few sprigs 2-3 times per day.

Cats typically self-regulate and won’t overeat grass. Pay attention to signs your cat may be getting too much grass such as vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite. If this occurs, reduce the amount given.

Make sure cat grass doesn’t make up more than 10% of your cat’s total daily food intake.

Always provide fresh, clean water along with cat grass.

Monitor your cat’s preferences and eating habits to determine the ideal amount of cat grass for their needs.

If in doubt, consult with your veterinarian, especially if your cat has any underlying health conditions.

adjust grass for each cat

With proper monitoring and precautions, most healthy cats can enjoy cat grass regularly as part of a balanced feline diet.

How to Feed Cat Grass

When feeding cat grass to your cat, you have two main options: letting them graze directly on the live plant or cutting pieces to serve.

Letting Cats Graze on Cat Grass

One way to provide cat grass is to grow it in a pot and let your cat munch on it freely. This allows them to eat as much or as little as they want. Make sure the pot is sturdy so they don’t tip it over. Place it in an area your cat frequents so they can graze whenever the urge strikes.

Cutting Pieces of Cat Grass

Alternatively, you can use scissors to cut pieces of cat grass and serve it. This allows you to control the portion size. Many owners recommend providing around one tablespoon of fresh cat grass pieces per day. You can place the cut grass in your cat’s food bowl or offer it by hand as a treat. This is a good option if you don’t want your cat grazing freely on a live plant.

Some owners find a mix of both methods works best – letting their cat nibble directly from the pot but also cutting some grass to mix into meals. This satisfies your cat’s cravings while ensuring they get some greens even on days they don’t graze the plant.

Benefits of Cat Grass

There are several key benefits that cats receive from eating cat grass:

Aids digestion – Cat grass can help cats with digestion issues like constipation, vomiting, and hairballs. The fiber content of grass can help move things along in the digestive tract. Some studies have found grass can stimulate peristaltic motion in the intestines and promote healthy digestion 1.

Provides nutrients – Grass contains folic acid, vitamins, and dietary fiber that can supplement a cat’s regular diet. The chlorophyll in grass may also have detoxifying properties 2.

Satisfies chewing instinct – Chewing on grass stems satisfies some cats’ instinct to chew and provides mental stimulation. The act of chewing helps remove plaque from teeth as well 3.

Risks of Eating Cat Grass

While cat grass can provide benefits to cats, there are some risks to be aware of when feeding it to your feline companion.

Certain types of grass can actually be toxic to cats. Wheatgrass and ryegrass for example contain alkaloids that can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. It’s important to only grow cat grass varieties that are safe for cats, such as oat grass or barley grass.

Pesticides and fertilizers used on grass can also pose a danger. Make sure any store-bought cat grass or grass seeds are organic and free of chemical additives. If growing your own cat grass, avoid using pesticides or fertilizers.

There is also a risk of choking if a cat eats grass too quickly. It’s best to supervise your cat when initially introducing cat grass. Watch for signs of gagging or difficulty swallowing and interrupt the feeding if necessary.

While cat grass has risks, they can be mitigated by choosing safe varieties, avoiding chemicals, and monitoring consumption. When care is taken to feed cat grass appropriately, it can provide important benefits for a cat’s health.

Cat Grass vs Regular Grass

There are some key differences between cat grass and regular lawn grass that cat owners should be aware of:

Nutritional Differences

Cat grass is grown from wheat, oat, barley or rye seeds and is packed with vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes that can benefit cats. It contains folic acid, vitamins A, C, D and E as well as niacin, riboflavin, calcium, and iron. Regular grass from the yard does not provide the same nutritional value.[1]

Toxicity Differences

Regular grass may have been treated with pesticides or contain toxic plants like azaleas, lilies or aloe vera that can be dangerous for cats if ingested. Cat grass grown indoors from certified organic seeds is free of any toxic chemicals or plants.[1]

Appearance and Texture

Cat grass has a softer texture and is easier for cats to chew and digest than regular grass. It has long, tender green blades that appeal to a cat’s natural instincts. Regular grass tends to be tougher with thick or waxy blades that are not as palatable for cats.[1]

In summary, cat grass provides more nutritional benefits, less risk of toxicity, and a more appealing texture for cats compared to regular outdoor grass.


Key Takeaways

In summary, cat grass typically refers to wheatgrass or oat grass grown specifically for cats. It provides a variety of health benefits including aiding digestion, preventing hairballs, boosting the immune system, and satisfying chewing needs.

Cat owners should look to grow cat grass themselves or purchase it. Make sure to get organic, pesticide-free grass. Offer it daily but monitor intake, as too much can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Cut the grass with scissors versus pulling it out to ensure it regrows. Place it in a clean pot or box away from other plants.

buy pesticide-free cat grass

Feed cat grass little by little to see if your cat likes it. Make it part of their regular diet for optimal health. Cats that go outside may eat regular grass, but cat grass is ideal since it is grown safely indoors and designed for feline consumption.

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