The Easiest Way to Grow Cat Grass Indoors – No Dirt Needed!

One of the easiest ways you can keep your cat healthy, is to offer them Cat Grass along with their food and water. I’m excited to share with you How to Grow Cat Grass without Dirt and why it’s important to give you kitty grass for cats!

How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}We have had 4 cats, or should I say there are 4 cats that have lived in this house and we’re grateful that they allow us to live with them?!

In complete seriousness, I have loved all of our cats (Lainey, Zoe, Storm and Baloney) even though I’m not really a cat person, I totally prefer dogs, but after all these years these felines have definitely found a place in my heart.

Cats really do their own thing and as long as their human slaves keep up with food/water/litterbox cleaning they are relatively peaceful to live with. At least our very aloof cats have been. Only our male cat, Storm, has been one to to snuggle or cuddle. Weeks have gone by before I realize I haven’t even forced myself upon them by unwelcomely hugging-squeezing-loving them!

What is Cat Grass?

Not to be confused with catnip, which is a member of the mint family, type of cat grass are typically grown from cereal grains like rye, barley, oat, alfalfa or wheat seeds. No, there is really no such thing as “cat grass seed” in case you were wondering.

Nibbling on tender blades of grass is a natural behavior for all cats. If you have an outdoor cat, chances are it’s part of your kitty’s daily routine to indluge in healthy nibbling of the grass growing outside. (just one reason of many that you should never treat your lawn with pesticides)

So, if your pet spends all or most of its time indoors (like most domestic cats) without access to outdoor grass, you may want to consider growing cat grass in your home.

Cat Grass also gives your cat a healthy safe alternative to nibbling on houseplants and flowers, many of which are toxic to cats! In moderation; Fresh grass grown indoors is a wonderful addition your cat’s lifestyle giving them micronutrients that may be missing from their diet and help with their grooming by keeping their fur healthy and less furballs!

Why do Cats Eat Grass?

“Research has not yet shown why cats eat grass, but we have several ideas,” said Carlo Siracusa, animal behaviorist of University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “In the wild, cats eat grass after they have eaten their prey. In many cases, the grass causes the cat to vomit. We believe this is nature’s way of helping the cat expel the parts of their prey that are indigestible.” That roughage is beneficial for their digestive tract.

Cats are referred to obligate carnivores, meaning that they mostly subsit on a diet comprised of meat but will also eat some plants as needed. Did you know that when cats are eating ample animal protein they require less water?!? Since raw or real meat is hydating they just don’t need as much water as cats eating an all dry food diet, which makes sense!

Health Benefits of Cat Grass

Even if your indoor cat has never caught a mouse or bird, she will instinctively be attracted to cat grass. Why? “It’s a behavioral instinct,” Siracusa says. “Grass is also a form of fiber that helps cats either throw up hairballs or digest them by acting as a laxative.” Not only is cat grass safe, it’s also a natural laxative and helps to combat intestinal parasites!

Another theory is that cats may eat grass for some trace minerals and the vitamins A and D. Grass also contains chlorophyll, which, before the discovery of antibiotics, was a remedy for pain, infection, ulcers, skin diseases and anemia. Grass also contains folic acid, which helps with the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen into the blood to help kitty’s circulation. Plus, there’s the benefit of breath cleansing chlorophyll to the nutrition in cat grass!

How Grow Cat Grass Indoors

Like me, most often cat owners will purchase pre-grown cat grass (commonly oat grass) from their local pet store in little plastic planting pot. Until I learned that you can easily grown cat grass at home for less money and virtually no mess!

Growing Cat Grass is super easy and don’t worry if you don’t have a bright window with full sun or direct sunlight – Cat grass prefers indirect light and it will grow in even low light situations!

I’ve grown cat grass many different ways over the years for our cats and think I finally nailed the perfect way, that looks beautiful and doesn’t make a huge mess!

No need to purchase cat grass kits with this easy and inexpensive step by step guide to growing cat grass at home.

How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}

Here’s what you’ll need to grow your own Cat Grass:

How to Grow Cat Grass without Dirt

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, lets get to growing!!

To get started, fill your jar roughly 2/3 full with Grow Stones and top with a piece of paper towel that’s slightly larger than the top of the stones (see photo below)

DIY: Grow Cat Grass {No Dirt Needed!}

Arrange a thin layer of cat grass seeds on top of the paper towel. You can pre-soak your seeds in water over-night to speed up the germination process, if desired. (since the paper towel is porous, you do not need any drainage holes)

DIY: Grow Cat Grass {No Dirt Needed!}

Add water to fill the jar up to the paper towel, you will want to maintain this level while your grass is growing. The paper towel and grow stones will wick the moisture up to the seeds until the roots grow down into the water. You can periodically spray the seeds with water in a spray bottle, as needed.

DIY: Grow Cat Grass {No Dirt Needed!}

After a couple days your seeds will begin to sprout. And in 7-10 days it will be ready for your feline friend to feast on! To speed up the process you can lightly cover your cat gras garden with plastic wrap and place in a windowsill or other sunny spot with plenty of sunlight. Kinda like you have your own orgainc garden!

Be sure to keep your cat grass watered, after the roots grow down into the stones/water are it’s not necessary to keep the level as high as when your seeds were just sprouting – just be sure it doesn’t dry out! Excess water can cause mold or a moldy smell. You can always drain out the water and replace it with fresh!

DIY: Grow Cat Grass {No Dirt Needed!}

Just look at that healthy root system! That’s some really healthy cat grass!

Occasionally, as your cat grass matures (espeically if you don’t change the water or over fill the container) you may notice pests like aphids or gnats, no worries! Simply dump out the water, rinse and refill!

There is no reason to add fertilizer or worry about slugs when you grow grass for cats without dirt indoors!

AND… in perfect cat-like-behavior… Lainey refused to nibble on the freshly grown blades of grass for her photoshoot! #BadKitty

DIY: Grow Cat Grass {No Dirt Needed!}

Growing Cat Grass Tips & Tricks

I you have a multiple cat-household and need LOTS of cat grass to keep them happy, check out my How to Grow Wheat Grass without Dirt Post for an easy solution for a larger scale harvest!

If your cat grass is growing too slowly in the winter (if your home is extra cold) try using a small see starting mat underneath your Cat Grass to give it extra warmth; especially during germination.

When your kitty has nibbled back all the grass and it’s not growing as well, simply take apart your own organic garden of cat grass and resow the seeds to start over!

If you love this Cat Grass Post; Check out these Healthy Pet Posts Next:

This post was originally written in 2018, sadly since then all of our beloved cats have crossed the rainbow bridge (2002 to 2021). Eventually we will get another cat just not yet 🙂 we are enjoying spending less money at Chewy on cat toys and kitty litter 🙂

How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}

The Easiest Way to Grow Cat Grass Indoors (without dirt)

One of the easiest ways you can keep your cat healthy, is to offer them Cat Grass along with their food. I'm excited to share with you How to Grow Cat Grass without Dirt and why it's important.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • Fill your jar 2/3 of the way full with grow stones and cover with unbleached paper towel or a coffee filter
    How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}
  • add cat grass seeds on top
    How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}
  • fill with water to the bottom of the paper towel
    How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}
  • Keep in indirect light for 7-10 days or until ready to let your cat enjoy!
    How to Grow Cat Grass {without dirt}
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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  1. 5 stars
    My cat was just diagnosed with FeLV so I’m looking up ways to make her short time with us as rich as possible. I’m so sorry your neighbors stole Baloney, I would be pressing charges if it were me.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your kitty! Many cats can live a long life with a positive test, hopefully that is the case for you!
      Thanks for your compassion about Baloney – I came to peace with their choices and to be honest, it’s not the worst scenario for her. They are providing her a good home, it’s just shitty how it happened.

  2. HI – just ordered my supplies to make. Question – do you just leave it out so they can eat as they want or can they get too much?

    1. You can leave it out 24/7 – they will self regulate. Think of cats outside with access to fresh grass, they know when to enjoy it and when they’ve had enough.

      1. Hi – was thinking of buying ‘craft’ stones/glass pebbles from the dollar store…would this work?

  3. Is there anything that you can find around the house that you can use as an alternative to grow rocks ? I’m trying to grow some cat grass for my cat but don’t have the money to spare for the rocks .

  4. I grew my cat grass as per your instructions. It’s amazing how fast it grows. You can almost see it grow right in front of your eyes!
    Well, my cats are not cat grass eaters. I’m hoping they might start eating it🙏🏼 Thanks for the great instructions.

    1. I did this and it grew great, I tried little pots but I still have the issue of them pulling the grass out at its roots and ended up lifting the whole lot out at once. Suggestions how to stop it happening?

  5. The linked grow stones are not available. Is there another alternative? What type of stones should I look for do you think?

  6. Was wondering if this technique will stop gnats? I have a problem with that currently growing the cat grass.

    1. Use a dark container, letting light into the root area will grow algae (which depletes the oxygen in water) and roots will suffer because of the light.

      1. Thanks for your comment, I”ve been using this method for YEARS and have not had any issues that necessitated using a dark container. And adding that this method is also a beautiful addition to your home.

  7. Hello, I just moved to an apartment and am trying to keep my now indoor kitty happy. Can the grown stones be re-used to your knowledge?

    Thank you so much !

  8. I’ve refreshed and reloaded your article several times but none of your photos is appearing. 🙁
    I would love to see the, all as part of the “tutorial”.

    1. I’m so sorry that your having a difficult time viewing the photos in this post. Unfortunately it is not an issue with my site, I have confirmed that the photos are visible for others. I suggest reaching out to your internet provider or trying a different internet browser.

  9. The Growstones I bought says gnat control. Is that safe for cats? I’m hoping it’s a safe, natural control, as it says to cover surface of soil with the stones. Thank you

  10. Do you have any updated suggestions for the links above? The seeds and grow stones seem to be unavailable at this time. Thank you!

  11. Hi! Do you know of a way the revive one of this plants? It grew very well at the beginning but from one day to another it dried itself and cant seem to grow again.

  12. I think this is great. I’m glad I found it. But my coffee filter gets moldy. I am using unbleached filters and filtered tap water. Should the water be changed while growing? Should I use bottled water?

    1. How long has your cat grass been growing? Are you using growstones? How quickly is the mold growing?

      1. After the seeds start to sprout so a few days white fuzz covers the non bleached filter or paper towel. I am using growstones. Any ideas?

        1. Id try to put some small pebbles over the top. To block out the light. Also use a dark container. The seeds will sprout and make their way outta the pebbles but will block the light from the top and you won’t get the mold/algae.

          1. Thanks for your comment, I”ve been using this method for YEARS and have not had any issues that necessitated using a dark container. And adding that this method is also a beautiful addition to your home.

    1. You can try. Since they are porous and typically have a hole in the bottom, those pots don’t normally hold water well so you’ll have to add water and it may make a mess.

  13. At any time are holes poked into the filter for the roots to reach the stones because some seeds sprouted and are loose and falling over and stay on top of filter overall I don’t have a thick growth as your photo (I used 3 smaller clay pots instead). Thanks much, love this idea!

    1. by filter do you mean the paper towel? the roots will form a mat. they only need moisture which they get through the paper towel.

  14. Very useful article, thank you very much, very creative approach to such a thing as growing grass for a cat. Grass garden is very very beautiful and stylishly vygldit, and also how much benefit this can bring to your beloved cat!) “Cats really do their own thing and as long as their human slaves keep up with food / water / litterbox to live with. At least our very aloof girls are. “Neither of our cats wants to snuggle or cuddle.” But this is a very correct idea and many owners of cats do not understand it yet.

    1. Not necessarily cover, the paper towel wicks the water up to the seeds to keep them damp.

    1. you can use any stones, but be careful. heavy stone make breaking the jar easier and it’s overall heavier. You will also probably have more alge

    2. You can use clay pebbles for hydroponics, or Rockwood, aquarium rocks, anything can be used. (Aquarium or hydroponic)

  15. I had a go at this but as soon as my cat started pulling on the grass, she managed to pull the coffee filter paper out! How do you avoid this please?

  16. I’ve had the cat grass growing for a couple of weeks & noticed today it smells terrible. What did I do wrong?

  17. I just put my first seeds out to grow. Do they need sunlight to grow? Where should I put this to grow it?

  18. Does it have to be a clear glass jar? Or can a regular planter work. Wondering if the roots need to see light, hence the glass jar. I too have stopped growing grass because the soil needs to be completely dumped and refilled each time (which the grass only lives about 2 weeks). Thanks.

  19. I quit growing grass for my 3 cats because they would pull the grass, roots and dirt out of the pot. What a mess! They wont eat the grass that I cut for them, so I gave up. I can’t wait to try your method. Thank you.

  20. Sprouts are also very good for our dogs, so the cats need to move over and share. I like this article by Karen Becker

  21. I have grown oats and wheat in dirt for my cats many times but I end up with dirt full of roots that I have to dump out and fill with new dirt to start over. This seems so much easier. I’m going to try this. Thanks for the idea. :-))

    1. There are links to everything you need, including the seeds in the post. You’re just one click away 🙂

  22. I’ve grow cat grass for my cat’s because they are indoor cat’s only. I get it at Wal Mart but they don’t seem to like it much. is it the same grass? they have plenty of fresh air with the windows open. MUCH healthyer by being indoor cats only. I’m going to try this maybe they will kike it better. Thank you for this idea.

    1. Toni – I’m not sure of the variety of grass you are buying but I do know that our cats love homegrown.

  23. I grew it for Cowboy’s Birthday in April. Just started another batch yesterday but will definitely try this method next time!

  24. My 2yr old rescue cat appreciates everything I do for her and shows me love & affection every day. She is an indoor girl and I’m going to get this started today. I know she will love it! Thanks so much??

  25. I need to try this! It’s so funny because I totally didn’t peg you as a cat person 😉 They get into your heart though!

        1. They are lightweight stone specifically used for growing plants, just CLICK on the word Grow Stones in post to learn more about them and where to purchase.

          1. the grow stones a re not available at amazon. any other ideas to substitute them?

        2. Please, what are growing stones, I understand the concept. Can I buy the in Queensland , Australia.
          I have adopted an 8 year old cat from a friend who had to get ‘rid of him’ (how disgusting). He has settled in really well with myself, my two dear little dogs, he walks the yard with me while I attend to my 5 Avaries. He doesn’t like to be nursed or cuddled, but he does love his tummy and chin scratched and his head stroked. So I am learning all about cats as I have always been a dog person. He is also being very good and learning to stay indoors at night. Now anyway.
          As I am new at living with a cat, I want to do the best for him. Thanks for any information on my request. BC.

          1. Thank you for saving the kitty! Just click the link for the grow stones in the post and you’ll get all the info you need.

      1. Try 18 cat’s feeding, water and litter boxes.
        The litter and food cost is over the roof but we do this for the love of animals.

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