Catchgrass bedstraw - does it make your cat go crazy?

telkwa

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Catchgrass bedstraw is a fairly common weed in the PNW. It's also called "velcro grass" because it's fuzzy and clings to anything.

My wife came in from the yard with some catchgrass clinging to her pants leg. One of our cats (Neo) went nuts, meowing and following her around the house.

Coupla days later she brought some catchgrass inside the house on purpose. Neo started making weird meows like I've never heard him make before Patti even got inside with the catchgrass. He was yowling and getting under her feet and just acting like some crazy cat got inside the house and replaced our normal cat.

He ate some catchgrass, and he wanted more. We tried the same experiment next day and he went aborigine on us again. We read that catchgrass can give them an upset stomach so we stopped, but I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with catchgrass?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Sorry no one has responded to your post yet. I did a search on this site for ‘catchgrass’ and found nothing, but I suspect this grass/weed is likely known by other names as well.

When you mentioned upset stomach, I consider that to probably be the same result as when a cat eats grass in order to throw up. Not necessarily an allergy, but just the gut reaction to eating ‘greenery’.
 
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telkwa

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It happened again yesterday. We were in the garden for a while. Upon returning the cats did their usual thing - taking a sniff or two, wanting food and/or attention.
Then my wife went outside and picked some catchgrass. Same thing again - Neo started running around and making weird meowing noises before she even got thru the screen door.
How could he even know she had some more of that weed?
Anyway, he and his buddy both ate some more. I don't think there was any puking this time.
 

FeebysOwner

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Cats have wonderful noses to catch all kinds of scents – by far better than we can. It’s either that or your cat recognizes what your wife was doing when she started toward the screen door.

I tried to look up catchgrass and found nothing. Maybe you can take a pic of it and share in case someone recognizes it by another name?
 

FeebysOwner

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This from Wikipedia -

For some people, contact with Galium aparine can cause skin irritation. Although the plant's hairs are small, they can scratch more sensitive parts of the skin.[. Numerous such scratches can resemble a rash. As it contains caffeine, it can be used as a stimulant substitute for coffee or tea.

And, this about it being safe for rabbits (doesn't mean it is safe for cats, but naybe a better chance?) -
5 Rabbit Safe Weeds for Foraging (therabbithouse.com)

I also found that it is non-toxic to dogs, but again, no mention about cats.
 
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Kris107

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I had to google it too! I don't know that we have it where I live or at least not in my immediate area. It said it's herbaceous so maybe that's why? Some cats react to certain herbs more/less than others. And if they are eating it, I wonder if the small amount of caffeine affects them? Interesting!
 
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telkwa

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I still don't understand how he went wild before even seeing the catchgrass. Anyway, my wife is very protective of her kitties so we probably won't feed them any more of it.
 

xenonentity

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telkwa telkwa I don't know for certain if it's safe for cats, but I can say it's safe for (most) humans! It's super high in Vitamin C and can be used in tea for a nice boost of nutrients.

Could your cats be seeking some of the nutrients that's found in the cleavers? (Sorry - that's what we call them here! We use bedstraw, cleavers, or stickyweed, but there are a LOT of colloquial names for that plant.)

Here is a link to some info on bedstraw as a food / nutrient source for humans, if you're curious! (Note: If you've never delved into wild foods before, be sure to do your research! I don't know whether you may have some dangerous lookalikes in your area.)

I don't suspect that it's super toxic to cats, though I'm not a vet or a nutritionist, and I know cats are much more sensitive to plants than we / dogs / non-obligate carnivores are, so I would avoid giving it to them unless you can find more solid information, just to err on the side of caution.
 
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telkwa

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I hoped maybe someone else would try this with their cats.
My wife has given the cats small amounts of catchgrass the last few days. Neo still yowls at the door if he thinks she's bringing in some catchgrass.
 

xenonentity

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telkwa telkwa Here in Texas it's out of season already, or else I may have tried to see if any of ours reacted to it! Next spring I may see if the cats go for it, especially if I'm successful at harness training Storm (once she's big enough for a harness, that its!)
 

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Crabbysquatch

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We have Guinea pigs and they mostly eat hay. We give them 3-4 different kinds. The cats are always stealing it to play with and chew on. The vet told us to just don’t let them make a meal of it.
 
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