Most cats love catnip. Whether it’s fresh from the plant, dried and crumbled on the floor, or in a catnip pillow or catnip toy, cats attack catnip like many humans go after their favorite ice cream. The best catnip for any cat who truly loves it is the catnip she is rolling in at the moment.
Not all cats enjoy the effects of catnip, which is an herb from the mint family. According to the peteducation.com website, about one-third of cats don’t react to the effects of catnip. Nepatalactone is the active chemical agent in catnip, which is similar to a chemical found in the urine of female cats.
Grow Your Own Catnip
Catnip seeds can be purchased online or in garden stores that sell specialized seeds. Catnip or catmint is a perennial plant, meaning the plants come back each year. The Gardener’s Network states that catnip grows easily and thrives in sun or partial shade. Seeds should be planted in the spring according to the directions on the package. Catnip can take over a garden so allowing enough space for the plants to spread out is essential.
Pinching off the shoots promotes bushy growth. If planted in the spring, blooms will first appear in the middle of summer. When the catnip plant’s flowers begin to bloom, harvest the top leaves, stems, and flowers. It’s possible, according to The Gardner’s Network, to harvest catnip plants three times each year.
Fresh catnip is usually the best catnip variety and a favorite of cats. Cat owners can allow cats access to the catnip plants themselves if desired. If the plants are available to cats who love catnip, cats will lay on the plant, chew the leaves, and may possibly love the thing to death.
Use Dried Catnip to Make Catnip Toys or a Catnip Pillow
After harvesting catnip leaves, drying them is a good way to preserve the catnip for cats to enjoy later. Spreading the leaves to dry in a cool, well-ventilated area promotes good drying. Storing dried catnip in an air-tight jar helps keep the catnip fresh, and it will be more enjoyable for felines.
Creating catnip toys or a catnip pillow for cats to play with or lie on are good uses for freshly dried catnip. Sewing a simple ball or other shape out of two or more layers of sturdy cat-friendly fabric then stuffing it with fiberfill and some dried catnip will provide hours of enjoyment for cats who love catnip. A catnip pillow also can provide hours of enjoyment for a cat. Making the catnip pillow small enough for the cat to toss in the air, lay its head on, and generally, treat as its best friend will be rewarded with affection by the cat.
Give Catnip Responsibly
Cats who love catnip should only be given catnip once a week, according to peteducation.com’s article “Catnip & the Response in Cats.” If catnip is given more often, some cats become immune to its effects. Protecting catnip plants that are growing may also be necessary so cats don’t “love the plant to death.”