How to Eat Cattails for Survival: Top 4 Ways, Best Recipes

Cattails are among the plants that grow in abundance in different regions, especially in wetlands.

Growing up and spending my days hunting and being outdoors, I saw this plant everywhere.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, except that they reminded me of big corn dogs!

But this simple plant has edible parts that are nutritious and can be harvested at different times of the year.

Cattail all year round

Cats can be used in a variety of ways throughout the year. Knowing which parts to use in different seasons will help you determine how to prepare this equipment for consumption.


This is the best time of year to harvest shoots or stems, as they are tender and easy to eat.

The male spike, the part on top of the capitulum, can also be eaten in early spring.


The male spine produces large amounts of yellow pollen in early summer. This pollen has a high protein content and can be used in various recipes.

Pollen should be collected on calm days and put in a closed container.


In the fall, the roots provide a lot of starch that can be eaten raw or used as a thickener in recipes.

Harvesting and processing of rushes

As with any edible wild plant, care must be taken to correctly identify the plant and to choose a safe place to pick it and not to over pick.

Cats may resemble other plants growing in the area and proper guidelines should always be used for plant identification.

Many plants act as ecological filters, in the sense that they can absorb substances from their surroundings. Sometimes these substances can be harmful or even deadly to humans when used.

Rush trees are particularly suited in this regard because they grow in or near water sources.

Waters near or downstream of urban environments, farms and industrial complexes are more likely to contain harmful pollutants.

After all, choose only what you need and what you will eat. Because we are conservative, the cattail stand will not be destroyed and there will be opportunities for future harvests.


Making a cattail is easy, but there are a few tools that make the process even easier.

  • Knife or cutting tool. The cutting tool makes it much easier and more precise to remove certain parts of the plant.
  • Small scoop (optional) A small scoop is always a good tool when feeding wild handles. But because rushes grow in or near water, the soil in which they take root is very soft. The tails are easily removed by simply grasping the base with both hands and pulling up. This removes the entire plant and its roots.
  • Gathering container or rigging. Depending on the quantity of bars collected, a mode of transport is required. A simple basket or bucket can work well. By placing a piece of rope on the ground, you can center the ropes and tie them into a boot that you can carry in your hand or tie to the outside of your backpack.


Because they grow in wet areas, if all the bulrus is removed, the roots will likely be covered in sticky mud. This problem is easily remedied by shaking the root briefly in a nearby water source.

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To eat the roots, first wash them thoroughly with clean water and then cut off all small, branched and thread-like roots. You can then use a knife or a peeler on the roots to peel them like a potato.

This leaves the main part of the root, which can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be grilled, baked or boiled until tender enough to be eaten.

Starch collection

Because the roots have a high starch content, they can be used as a thickener in soups or stews.

To collect the starch, scrape the outer layer off the carrot and bake it in the oven at 200 degrees for several hours or until dry.

The roots must then be skinned and the fibres removed. Then the roots are ground to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar or a food processor. The powder may need further drying before use.

Preparation of the point/peak

The small tip at the end of the cattail is also called cattail and can be prepared in several ways.

Cats will be green in the spring, and they say you can eat them like corn cobs!

The cat should be washed and then boiled until very hot. Then eat the corn on the cob as you would a regular corn on the cob.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the spike matures and forms pollen until late summer. This pollen is rich in protein and can be used as flour for making bread, muffins, cookies, so just sprinkle it over various dishes.

Towing or chasing

Spring is an ideal time to harvest these two parts because they are at their most tender. The new shoots and the white part of the stem can be harvested and consumed.

Once peeled and cut, the sprouts and stalks can be prepared like asparagus.

To saturate the brussels sprouts or stalks, smear them with olive oil or your favorite oil and place them in a hot skillet. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Stir the sprouts or stalks frequently until the outer part is light brown. This gives the Brussels sprouts a delicate yet crunchy flavor!

If you prefer a softer texture, cook the Brussels sprouts longer at a lower temperature until they can be easily sliced with a spatula or spoon.

If you want a more earthy and spicy flavor, use the oil and spice suggestion above and cook the meat on the stove or grill. Let me tell you that fire gives unbeatable flavor to food!

But what if you can’t make a fire or don’t feel like making a fire? Don’t worry, the young shoots and stems can be eaten raw.

After the young are harvested, cleaned with clear water and cut to length, they can be eaten raw and fresh! They will have a crunchy texture similar to celery, and like this vegetable, you can add a spicy spread!

Czuchowka Sechelt

I found an interesting and delicious recipe for this chowder in an online agriculture almanac.

Everything you need:

  • 4 large bulrushes
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sliced fresh salmon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh pepper.


The four roots of the bulrush should be cleaned by cutting off the side shoots. The roots must then be roasted and dried in the oven.

Put the carrots in a pan with 5 cups of water and boil them for forty minutes.

After forty minutes, add salt, salmon and fresh pepper. Mix well and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

Acorn tail bread

Another excellent recipe comes from the blog Tactical Intelligence.

Everything you need:

  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Wheat flour
  • 1 cup acorn flour
  • 1 cup of cattail flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast.


Make this recipe by simply mixing all the ingredients and putting the dough in the baking machine for a few hours.

Although, as they say, the dough can also be baked on hot coals to make ashcakes.

If you have never eaten bread baked over a natural fire, I highly recommend it, because the fire and smoke give the bread a very special flavor!


For a survivor, cattails can be a welcome sight, as the plant can be used as a source of material for making fire, as well as food. The tails also indicate the presence of a vital water source.

Regardless of the season, cattails can be used as project materials and as a source for our food needs.

We hope that after reading this article you will consider this simple marsh plant to be a great root dog.

Thanks for reading and be ready!

Have you ever eaten a cat’s tail? Tell us how you used this versatile plant in the comments below.

frequently asked questions

What part of a cat’s tail can you eat?

Young shoots and roots of cattail plants are also edible parts. The young shoots can be found after cutting off the outer leaves and can then be used for cooking or stir-frying. They are called Cossack asparagus, although their tender white shoots taste more like cucumber.

What can you do with the rushes?

How rushes are used as fodder

To prepare the bulrus root, peel it and cut off the small branched roots, leaving the largest root. You can grill, boil or cook the carrot until soft. Eating cattail root after cooking is similar to eating artichoke leaves – extract the starch from the fiber with your teeth.

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