Cat Grass Vs. Cat Nip: Which Should You Grow? Differences and Similarities

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It may seem slightly odd, but cats like to nibble on grass. Let’s compare cat grass vs. cat nip. We’ll help you decide which plant to grow for your pet.

When cats eat catnip or other feline grass, they are just doing what comes naturally to them. Although cats are carnivores, they require a small amount of plant matter in their diets. Grass contains fiber which can help to improve a cat’s digestion.

Wild cats and those living feral naturally eat a very small amount of grass and grains in their prey’s stomach. If a cat eats a mouse, it will consume some plant matter that the mouse has recently eaten.

Cats will also nibble on grass occasionally, and cat nips and grasses are commonly grown by pet owners for their felines. There are some differences and similarities between cat grass vs. cat nip. The two types are both attractive to cats, but which should you grow? This article will help you decide!

What is cat grass?

Cat grass is can be grown both indoors and outside and is a general term used to describe a variety of grasses that cats enjoy eating. Many people choose to grow their own cat grass as a house plant, as the seeds are available at most pet stores.

The most common types of cat grass are wheat, oats, and rye. However, there are many other varieties of cat grass as well, including pearl millet and buffalo grass. You may also find that your cat nibbles on the grass in your lawn, especially if you are growing a seed mix that contains ryegrass.

What is cat nip?

Catnip is a member of the mint family and is commonly used to stuff cat toys, making them more attractive to felines. The plant is also referred to as catmint or catwort and has the botanical name Nepeta cataria, and is part of the Lamiaceae family.

Catnip is less commonly used as an herb in cooking and has also been cultivated for its medicinal properties for centuries. 

The chemical found in cat nip is known as nepetalactone and is responsible for causing euphoric, excited behavior in cats. These compounds can make cats either hyper or sedated. 

However, the same chemical can cause issues in some cats, and the ASPCA lists catnip as a toxic plant on its website. Catnip can produce symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea in some cats.

Cat grass vs. cat nip: Similarities

There are some similarities between cat grass and cat nip, including that they cause cats to exhibit certain behaviors. Many cats will roll around on cat grass or catnip or lick and chew at it as if they are getting a treat. Some cats are more affected than others and will run around in a hyper state.

Cat grass vs. cat nip: Differences

There are many differences between these two types of grasses. It’s essential to be aware of these differences if you want your cat to have a happy and healthy life. The first major difference between cat grass and catnip is the fact that catnip is a member of the mint family, while cat grass is a type of cereal grain.

Cat grass is generally considered safer for cats to eat than cat nip. Too much cat nip can cause upset stomachs or other gastrointestinal issues in cats, whereas cat grass is typically easy for cats to digest.

Cat nip can be less difficult to find than cat grass as it’s readily available and is easy to grow in a garden or indoor pot, whereas it may be challenging to find convenient outdoor locations for your cat to graze on cat grass.

There are also some differences in the smell and taste of the two types of grass. Both cat grass and cat nip typically have a very mild, slightly sweet flavor in common, but there can be some variations in smell and taste between different plant types.

Tips for growing cat grass or cat nip indoors

If you are interested in growing either cat nip or cat grass inside your home, there are several things you can do to make the process easier.

  • Choose a large enough pot for your cat to comfortably lie on or stand beside to chew while they snack on the grass. 
  • Try placing pebbles or small rocks around the base of your cat grass to help it stay in place, and also add a little water every few days to keep your plant healthy. 
  • Place the pot near a window where sunlight can reach it, as this will help your cat grass grow faster and remain green throughout the year.

Cat grass vs. cat nip: Final thoughts

Whether you are interested in growing cat grass or cat nip, it is important to research beforehand. There are many things to consider when choosing a type of plant for your cat, such as the size of the pot and placement in a location where sunlight can reach it.

Additionally, you should be aware of the different health and nutritional benefits of each plant and how they may affect your cat. Ultimately, the key to having a happy and healthy cat is providing them with plenty of love and proper nutrition.

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