Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cat Grass, Common Oat, Wild Oat
Avena sativa

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Avena (a-VEE-na) (Info)
Species: sativa (sa-TEE-vuh) (Info)

Synonym:Avena byzantina
Synonym:Avena fatua var. sativa
Synonym:Avena sativa var. orientalis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CurtisJones On Aug 20, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Are your cats munching on your houseplants? That's because they need the nutrients from greens that they're not getting in their diet. You can provide fresh greens for them year 'round with Cat Grass. Botanical Interests' Cat Grass is a type of oats with a smooth leaf blade, making it easier to swallow. The oats provide vitamins and minerals, assist in furball elimination, and give your cats a healthy alternative to eating houseplants or pesticide-laden turf grass outside. After your cats have eaten Cat Grass a few times, they will be less likely to gorge themselves and will keep it down better. If your cats are new to Cat Grass, give the container to them for just a few minutes after feeding time until they adjust and can have regular access. Sow more grass every week or two to ensure a continual supply, especially for indoor cats, and for outdoor cats that don't have access to fresh greens in the winter. Both small and large packets available.

Positive JimIowa On Jan 2, 2008, JimIowa from Marshalltown, IA wrote:

My cat loves this. We plant 30 to 40 seeds in a 6" pot, give it some sun, keep it watered and cut it down to 8" high when it gets too tall. easy to save seeds and grow year after year.

Neutral frostweed On Jan 3, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Cat Grass, Common Oat, Wild Oat Avena sativa is Naturalized in Texas and other States.

Neutral Terry On Jan 15, 2004, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Can be planted indoors in a container for your favorite feline. Provides them with extra vitamins and minerals in their diets, especially in winter months and/or for indoor-only pets.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lawndale, California
Merced, California
Taft, California
Longmont, Colorado
Marshalltown, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Cumberland, Maryland
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dallas, Texas
Manchaca, Texas
Princeton, Texas

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