Have you ever wondered where does your cat’s irresistible urge to nibble on houseplants, come from? And why she does that? No matter how odd this indulgence appears to you, it is your cat’s way of saying
“I want more greens on my menu’’.
There is a theory suggesting that all pets are instinctively attracted to chlorophyll-rich plants. Although cats are obligate carnivores, they are capable of digesting plants and utilizing their nutrients. It is assumed that prior to domestication, cats hunted small, grass-eating animals such as birds, rodents, reptiles and when consuming them whole, they would receive green nutrients through the content of their prey’s digestive tract. Therefore, adding wheatgrass to your cat’s menu is the best alternative for enhancing your domesticated cat’s health and satisfying its attraction to greens5. Furthermore, adding wheatgrass to your cat’s diet is a smart and simple way of discouraging your cat’s appetite for harmful and potentially toxic household plants and chemically-treated outside grasses.
Wheatgrass contains a plethora of useful micronutrients such as chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, several minerals and a complete set of amino acids7. In a nutshell, this leafy green’s powerful nutrients are known to provide the following benefits:
- Chlorophyll, also known as liquid sunlight, is a green pigment that acts as the life force of plants and is produced through sunlight exposure. Being a natural blood booster, chlorophyll aids the cat’s health by enabling her body to produce stronger blood and by eliminating toxins that lead to bad smells11. In older cats, chlorophyll has been proven to slow down the aging process. Containing up to 70% chlorophyll, wheatgrass is a great cat product.
- Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they can harm your cat’s health. Free radicals cause damage in the form of oxidative stress and the oxidative stress is directly linked to aging and disease.
- Vitamin A is essential for your cat’s night vision, maintenance of soft mucous tissues, and normal growth.
- B-complex vitamins are vital to the health of the nervous system
- Vitamin C is important in supporting a healthy immune system. In synergy with vitamin E, it acts as a powerful antioxidant. It also aids the assimilation of essential minerals.
- Vitamin E is the most potent fat-soluble antioxidant. The more polyunsaturated fatty.
- Vitamin K is crucial for regulating the blood clotting process and activating some clotting factors. It is also essential for proper kidney function and bone metabolism.
Overall, wheatgrass improves your cat’s health and is beneficial for:
- Weight loss decreases the cat’s appetite by turning off the appestat in the brain.
- Enhancing fertility hormones since it is rich with Mg, which produces enzymes essential for binding and healing sex hormones, wheatgrass is an important addition for pregnant cats and cats that are being bred on a regular basis.
- Expulsing hairballs and feathers acting as a laxative by increasing the intestinal motility and adding valuable vegetable-based fibers, wheatgrass supports healthy digestion and helps to control and eliminating harmful hairballs. Furthermore, eating too much wheatgrass can cause vomiting. In the process of vomiting the grass, the cat also throws up indigestible products, including hairballs or feathers.
- Skin moisturizing stomach issues often cause dry skin and flaking. By eliminates bad bacteria whilst helping good bacteria in the stomach flourish, wheatgrass makes the skin soft and moist and the coat, silky.
- Relieving musculoskeletal pain by restoring bone and muscle tissue and acting as a nerve tonic, especially in older cats.
- Removing potentially harmful elements such as fluoride and heavy metals by binding with them.
- Amplifying dental health wheatgrass is rich with substances able not only to cure but prevent teeth decay and eventual teeth loss.
It is advisable to get a wheatgrass kit and have fresh growing wheatgrass in your home, year-round.
Growing your own wheatgrass (instructions):
Step 1. Acquire the needed materials, such as:
- A low-wide glass or ceramic tray
- Water beads
- Coffee filter or unbleached paper towel
- Organic wheatgrass seeds
- Preferably filtered water.
Step 2. Fill 2/3 of your tray with water beads and cover them with a paper towel.
Step 3. Disperse a thin layer of wheatgrass seeds on top of the paper towel. To speed up the process, you can pre-soak the seeds in water over-night.
Step 4. Add water to fill the jar up to the paper towel. That is the water level you need to maintain while the grass is growing.
The seeds usually sprout in 7-10 days. After the roots grow down into the stones, the water levels do not have to be kept as high as during the sprouting time. Wheatgrass can grow in poor light conditions too.
If your cat does not start grazing the wheatgrass on her own, add clippings in her food and treats or try mixing them with water.
Once she consumes this leafy green, she will realize that it is a tasty treat and will be encouraged to graze on it. If your cat does not enjoy any of the previously mentioned methods, try adding a small amount of wheatgrass juice or wheatgrass powder in her meal.
No matter what the label displays, commercially produced nutritious cat products often lack necessary greens. Therefore, improving your cat’s health by implementing green nutrition is not only an emerging trend but also a conscious choice of cat parents " going green’’. Due to its powerful nutrients, today the wheatgrass is considered to be a sought-after cat product and its popularity increased dramatically over the past two decades. This leafy green is a natural supplement and potent booster for your cat’s health. Additionally, wheatgrass is gluten free because it is harvested before it develops the gluten-forming grain.
Want more information about wheatgrass?
Here is a comprehensive review of the scientific research into wheatgrass benefits:
Check out How to grow soil free cat grass!
— Meow for now —