Are you wondering why your cat nibbles on houseplants and then vomits in the apartment? There is a simple reason for this: If there is too little liquid in the animal's stomach - for example because it only eats dry food - it can happen that too much hair collects in it. In large quantities, these are no longer digested and are therefore regurgitated. To make it easier to eliminate, experts suspect that cats eat some grass. It is intended to bundle the hairballs better and prevent (sometimes life-threatening) blockages. But what if the house cat doesn't have any freedom and only stays in the apartment? In this case, there is so-called cat grass.
One thing in advance: Not every cat needs grass and not everyone likes it equally. Therefore, there is no guarantee whether your pet will accept the digestive aid. But it's definitely worth a try - especially if you've often seen your cat nibbling on your (perhaps not entirely non-toxic) house plants. In this case, you should purchase cat grass as a useful dietary supplement. There are adult plants that you can order online, for example. Or you can buy a set (including a ceramic bowl, bamboo coaster, coconut soil and seeds) and simply grow the grass yourself. You can read how this works in detail in the next paragraph.
Back to cat grass: Cereal seeds (e.g. wheat, barley or oats) are particularly suitable for growing because 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 have sharp edges and can therefore lead to internal cuts. However, most house cats tolerate it very well. Alternatively, spider plants are also offered as cat grass because 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.
In fact, it's not that difficult to grow cat grass. To grow, 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 they are untreated, i.e. have not been 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 pet within two to three weeks at the latest.
Many pet food 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 seen as a kind of snack that is usually well received by velvet paws. But what if a cat doesn't like grass but still has trouble regurgitating old hairballs? In this case, the oil-containing and fiber-rich malt paste should be a healthy addition to the feed. It stimulates digestion so that the hair is more easily excreted in the feces, but does not cause vomiting - which many pet owners certainly welcome.
And one more note at the end: When cats regurgitate bundles of hair, the sound is not particularly pleasant - the same goes for the sight. However, this process is completely normal and not cause for concern. However, if your cat vomits several times a week and the vomit contains more than just hair and grass, you should consult a veterinarian.
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