Of cats and yard toxins
May 3, 2021 8:11 PM   Subscribe

The landlord had their lawn service spread either fertilizer or weed killer on the grass. Our cats like to nibble on the grass. How soon, if ever, will it be safe for them to do so?

The yard service company spread some kind of strong yard-chemical-smelling, tiny white granular stuff all over the grass. I don't know what it was, and really don't feel like asking. It's rained a few times since then and I don't smell or see the stuff anymore. On their accompanied trips to the yard, our cats love to nibble on the grass. Is it off limits for the rest of the year?

We've tried many methods of growing cat grass indoors but it's a non starter: the cats only want the outside stuff.
posted by whistle pig to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
24-72 hours seems to be the general consensus - so "the rest of the year" seems far more cautious than is necessary.
posted by saeculorum at 8:28 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks saeculorum. I did come across some of those articles in my googling, but I didn't know if "safe to walk on grass 72 hours after fertilization" was equivalent to "safe to eat the grass xx hours after weed killer."
posted by whistle pig at 9:58 PM on May 3

Anecdata - we let the cats out 24 hours after the lawn is treated. One of them munches on grass with no ill effects. We're Midwest, USDA Zone 4, as what gets sprayed might be climate-dependent.
posted by Dotty at 5:59 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Munching on the grass is different from eating the little pellets, too. I would be more worried about my pet grooming those out of their paws than about eating the grass itself. If the pellets are gone, the leaves have been "washed" with rain (or sprinklers), seems to me it's basically just non-organic produce now. Seems fine.
posted by Lady Li at 2:00 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

really don't feel like asking

What it was really, really matters, as it could have just been limestone (comes in little white pellets), which are pretty much non-toxic. Or, it could have been hardcore weed killer, which is a very different thing.

If they were my cats, I would ask.
posted by nosila at 3:19 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

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