meta name="google-site-verification" content="GVVnphmDyZK4aCulqTFlYckK1HT-PjYqu1BL70ZazFA" /> Catnip Treasure: 2008
Custom Search

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cat Wise Clue

When you goes toy shopping you`ll come across many catnip filled or catnip scented toys. Some companies make top qualities catnip toys, but others use the lowest grade of catnip. If you know that the quality of the catnip is good and your cat respond to it, that`s great but you`re in doubt, its better to buy plain toys and rub catnip on them yourself.

When shoping loose catnip, choose brand that state that only leaves and blossom are use. Lot of stem in the catnip indicated lower quality

Not every cat responds to catnip, so dont be concerned if it has no effect on your cat. The catnip response inherited, and about one-third of the cat population lack this gene.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How Can I Make Catnip Toys?

When you make catnip toys, you can also play with things like texture and appearance. If you stuff paper in with the catnip, the toy will crackle in an appealing way, for example. You can also sew fins, feathers, or wings onto the toy, layering paper between the pieces of material for stiffness and added crackle. Avoid the use of mylar and plastics for crunch when you make catnip toys, as these materials can cut a cat's mouth or pose a choking hazard if swallowed. Trailing streamers can be made from thick fabric ribbons which are too large for your cat to swallow, and catnip toys can also be stuffed with bells or squeakers. Many pet stores carry replacement squeakers which you can use when you make catnip toys.

The key thing to remember when making catnip toys is that they should be fun and safe for cats. This means that care should be taken during assembly to avoid the use of dangling strings which could detach and be swallowed, along with other small pieces which could pose a choking hazard. If cats swallow things like buttons, strings, and beads, they may be able to digest and pass them, but they could potentially choke or develop an intestinal blockage, which could require costly surgery. Therefore, catnip toys should be made from sturdy materials, and they should be well-constructed. They should also be replaced if they start to fray or fall apart.

There are a variety of ways to make catnip toys, ranging from simply hand-sewing toys to knitting and felting toys for cats. Hand made catnip toys can make great gifts for cat owners, and they can also save money for people with cats, as they can be made from scrap materials and homegrown catnip, rather than being purchased at a pet store. For people with cats who tend to go through catnip toys quickly, being able to make replacements can cut down on costs significantly.
Tools and Materials
Catnip Rat Template
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
Extra felt (optional for eyes)

Catnip Rat How-To

1. Using the 7 1/2-inch template, cut out the bottom and side pieces of felt, using the circles for ears.

2. Glue the top edges of the side pieces to each other. Glue the bottom piece of felt to the bottom of the side pieces. Be sure to leave an opening in the back to insert stuffing.

3. For your stuffing, use cotton batting and catnip. Cut a piece of rope for the rat's tail and stuff in the back of the rat. Seal with glue, and glue on the ears. To add eyes, use a marker or felt.

Things You'll Need:
Dressmaker Pins
Sewing Machine
Fresh dried catnip

Step 1
Decide on the toy shape: mouse, heart, ball or whatever shape catches your fancy.
Step 2
Make a pattern by drawing the shape on a paper grocery bag, leaving a 3/8-inch seam allowance around the design.
Step 3
Cut the pattern out.
Step 4
Fold a piece of the scrap material you wish to use to make the toy, keeping the nice sides together.
Step 5
Pin the pattern onto the scrap material, and then cut out the pattern.
Step 6
Straight stitch a 3/8-inch seam around the cutout, but double check that the right sides are together before you do.
Step 7
Leave about an inch opening in seam.
Step 8
Trim the seam at the corners or curves, cutting from the outside to the edge of the sewn seam.
Step 9
Turn the toy right-side-out, and fill with dried catnip.
Step 10
Hand stitch the remaining 1-inch opening closed.

Tips & Warnings
If you are doing a mouse shape, add a tail by placing a piece of twine or cord inside as you sew the seam, with the long end inside of the material. Once you turn the material right-side-out, the long tail will be outside.
Consider growing your own organic catnip to use inside the cat toy.

catnip toy ideas

  • Catnip toys shaped like balls can be made by using food-binding agents. By offering such a toy to your pet, you will ensure that it can play with the toy until exhaustion and then break it with its paws and eat the ball!

  • You may also offer wand-like toys that resemble tail or a worm, to your cat. Fill the toy with catnip leaves and use it to tease your cat, by dragging the toy on the floor or tossing it in the air. This is a nice way to play with your pet.

  • Cats seem to be fascinated by soap bubbles and try to catch them. The idea has been translated into a beloved toy for kittens, in which the bubble toy catnip-scented bubbles, every time its button is pushed that stimulates your cat to jump and chase them. They also have provisions for refilling the bubble solution.

  • Pizza-shaped catnip toys on a bed of moss are perfect platter for your kitty. They are accented with fresh organic catnip and tasty cat treats like tuna flakes, salmon bits, anchovies and shrimp.

  • You can also give the most beloved sleeping companion to your cat as a mat shaped like a Fish or a Bird with a pocket for catnip leaves on each corner.

  • Larger than cats though, stuffed toys with catnips inside can make your cats dig in and play with them for a long time.

  • Refilling an old toy is a wonderful idea to provide your cat with long hours of entertainment. If you have any refillable old toy at stock, then you can refurbish its entire functionality, by filling it with fresh catnip leaves. The aroma of the leaves will instantly attract your pet to the worn-out toy. In case the toy is not refillable, rub some dried catnip leaves on its outer portion.

  • Old pair of socks can be put to best use. Fill the old sock with catnip. Now, sew the end of the filled sock or tie it into a tight knot. Your cat will be delighted to receive the catnip toy.

  • You may make use of catnip itself as the toy. For the purpose, put few catnip leaves on the floor, or in an empty cardboard box. As the cat sniffs around, it will be attracted to the box (filled with catnip leaves) or the trail of leaves. That way, you will ensure that the pet hangs around and plays with the 'toy' for a long time.

  • A catnip mouse toy would be the best bet for your pet, in case you are planning to bestow upon a gift. Battery-operated catnip mouse toys are easily available, in different sizes.

  • If your cat loves to chase balls, then give her a ball that is dusted with dried catnip leaves. If the ball is stuffed, then you may refill it with catnip leaves

If you want to sew catnip toys, pick a strong fabric such as a lightweight canvas or felt which will hold up to teeth and claws. You can sew a basic catnip “cigar” by making a simple tube, stuffing it with catnip, and sewing it up. For more creative crafters, it's possible to make little cloth mice, balls, and other shapes. This wiseGEEK author's cats happen to be fond, for example, of catnip toys in the shape of well-known politicians. Velcro or a zipper can be used to close the opening of a sewn catnip toy so that fresh catnip can be inserted periodically. Patterned fabrics can be used for more color variation, and features such as eyes, noses, and whiskers can be added with a fabric pen, if desired.
You can also make catnip toys by crocheting or knitting. Lots of free patterns are available on the Internet, and you can also develop your own, since the basic goal is simply to create a pouch for catnip. For toys which can be recharged with fresh catnip, you can fit a flap of velcro onto the opening. Knitted or crocheted toys can also be felted in the washing machine for a sturdier, more long-lasting toys


that small mice filled with catnip are especially popular among cats.


How do I go about cleaning a Cat Nip Toy?
Without ruining the cat nip. Or perhaps there is no way
Best Answer
Unless its covered in something gross there really isnt any need to. A cat leaves its on sent on its toys and might not play with it anymore if you do clean it. I freshen them up by lightly misting them then rolling them in fresh catnip then toss it to my 'kids" and watch the fun!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catnip oil | Non-medicinal uses

Catnip oil is a product derived from catnip. One of the more common applications of oils of this type is to function as an herbal insect repellent. Along with the ability to repel mosquitoes, catnip oil is also used as a home remedy for a number of minor ailments. The oil is usually available in health food shops and other venues that sell organic oils. The origin of catnip oil is unknown, although catnip has been grown in parts of Europe for centuries. By the time that catnip was introduced to what is now the United States during the 18th century, catnip oil had already become considered one of the natural oils to keep around the house. As part of the mint family, catnip leaves can be crushed to release the oil and allow the liquid to be collected for use.

Catnip oil is used in small quantities as a scent in trapping bobcats and mountain lions. Catnip is also used as stuffing in animal toys for cats, such as bags and ‘mouse’. The dried, crushed leaves can be stuffed into cloth pouches to make these wonderful cat toys. There are many compounds (other than nepatalactone) present in the catnip oil, namely, citronellal, geraniol, citral, carvacrol, and pulegone. These are all excellent natural insecticides. Thymol extracted from catnip is used as a fungicide.

Catnip oil is also used in some places as a way to tenderize cuts of meat. This is especially common when preparing wild game for cooking. Applying the oil to the surface of the meat and either working the oil into ground meat or using a tenderizing mallet to pound the oil into the body of the meat helps to break down touch cartilage and make it easier to chew the cooked meat.

Catnip oil as a power Pest control is easily the most immediately recognized use of catnip oil. By applying a thin coating to the skin, the oil will effectively repel flies and mosquitoes. There is some anecdotal evidence that the essential oils found in catnip help to mask the scent emanating from the skin that attracts the attention of the pests and thus deters them from approaching the individual.

Along with repelling unwanted airborne pests, folk medicine identifies catnip oil as helpful with relieving the discomfort of several common ailments. The leaves and oil can be brewed as a tea to alleviate cramping. Rubbing catnip oil on the forehead is sometimes employed as a means of easing the pain of a headache. Poultices including catnip oil and leaves are also sometimes used to help with chest congestion during a bout with the common cold. A cloth soaked with catnip oil is said to help slow and even reverse fever when wrapped around the forehead and cheeks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Medicinal properties | Medical Uses of Catnip.

The leaves of catnip have traditionally been chewed as a remedy for alleviating toothaches. The inhabitants of Southern Appalachia have used it since the eighteenth century as a remedy for cold. Tea made from catnip has been used to relieve intestinal cramps and gas discomforts. Recent researches show that consumption of teas containing catnip has anti-cholinergic effects. Catnip has been used for relief of insomnia and prevention of nightmares, and has a mild anti-spasmodic effect and is used to treat cramps. The juice from the leaves was used to stimulate menstrual flow. It has been used in the treatment of children’s ailments, such as colicky pain, flatulence and restlessness. The herb has also been used as a cold remedy, for hives, as a diaphoretic, a refrigerant and an anodyne. (Please refer to the Dictionary of Modern Herbalism by Mills for further information on these terms.) Poultices made from catnip have commonly been used for toothaches, though they can be applied to any part of the body. They have been applied to sore breasts of nursing mothers and to the neck for tonsillitis

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Catnip not just for cats

Catnip, the mysterious herb that cats love is also an effective herbal remedy for stress. This garden herb is a member of the mint family and is commonly brewed as a tea. It has a delicious fresh minty taste and fragrance and can be served warm or iced. Other names for catnip include catmint, catswort and fieldbalm.Catnip, like every other mint, has a short self life. The volatile oils dissipate quickly. The fresh plant has the highest potency and even one little leaf will be stronger than a whole dried catnip mouse. The old catnip toy probably has lost all aroma and only reminds the cat of its former effect.
Catnip helps to relieve nervous tension, anxiety and sleeplessness and has uses for many other stress related health issues. The dried herb includes flowers, leaves and stems from catnip plants that are cut while in full bloom. Catnip blooms in summer (from June to September) with small white to pale lavender flowers that have fuzzy, grey-green leaves.

Before freeze-up, cut all catnip plants down and after drying them, place all cut parts into a pillowslip. Place it in the place where you want your cat to sleep. It is the only guaranteed way of getting the cat to sleep there. If you have trouble falling asleep, borrow the pillow. It works.
Dried catnip, when brewed as a tea (catnip tea) is calming, promotes relaxation and helps to relieve nervous tension. Catnip tea will help you to fall asleep. All relaxant herbs lose their effect on your system with repeated use. Only use it in an emergency.

How to Make a Cup of Catnip Tea
Place 1 teaspoon of *dried catnip or 1 catnip tea bag into a cup and add 6 oz. boiling
water. Steep for 3 minutes. If using a tea bag, press the bag after steeping to release more flavor. Add honey or other sweetener if desired.
*A tea infuser ball or spoon is a convenient way to brew loose dried catnip to prevent the need for straining

Catnip benefits include:
Stress Relief - A soothing cup of catnip tea is a delicious and relaxing way to relieve nervous tension and calm jangled nerves after a stressful day.
Sleep Aid - Catnip tea enjoyed before bedtime promotes calm and relaxation to ease stress and promote restful sleep.
Digestion Relief - Catnip tea helps to relieve upset stomach and indigestion.
Headache Relief - The calming and muscle relaxation properties of catnip tea can help to relieve tension and migraine headaches.
PMS Relief - Catnip provides muscle relaxation benefits and combined with its calmative and stress relieving properties helps to relieve mentrual cramps and tension associated with prementrual syndrome (PMS).

To keep your cat from destroying the plants, use upside-down wire baskets over the herb. Let the cat chew on the parts which grow through the basket.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cats Behaviour

Have you ever wondered why a Cat does certain things? Cats have a large range of behavioural patterns and a secret language of their own. Most behavioural patterns can be traced back to when the cat was wild. Below are just a few of the most common behavioural patterns.

A purring cat is not necessarily a happy cat. A cat in great pain, distress or even a female giving birth will purr. A little known fact is that friendly cats that are in pain will purr when approached by people; this suggests that cats purr to show that they are friendly and approachable, ready to be stroked or helped. At two to three days old a kitten will start to purr, the purr is very quiet and can be difficult for a human to hear. As the kitten grows the purr gets louder. A kitten purring is a signal to the mother that all is well and the kitten is contented and getting enough food when suckling.

Cats normally greet each other by rubbing faces. When a cat greets you by standing on its hind legs, it is simply trying to reach your face. If you were to lower yourself so your face is within reach, your cat will rub their face with yours. This is only done to humans that the cat trusts. Another friendly way for a cat to greet its owner is to roll on its back, stretching its legs as far as possible, yawning and excersing its claws. The "belly-up" position is a very vulnerable position, it indicates total trust of the person involved. It is a lazy way for the cat to greet its owner, a more active cat would probably rub itself against your legs. Cats have scent glands on the temples, around the mouth and at the base of the tail. When a cat rubs itself against you, it is rubbing off some of its scent to say "this is mine". Only other cats can smell this scent.

Kneading is when a cat extends and retracts its claws, usually when it is resting on its owner's lap. This behaviour comes from kittenhood, kittens knead their mother while suckling to make the milk flow more freely. Adult cats will do this when they feel safe and contented. They see their owners as surrogate mothers and, as pampered pets, will retain some kitten characteristics through their adult life. If the cat dribbles or sucking of the owners clothes happens whilst kneading, the cat in question will probably have been taken from its mother too early and never had a chance to grow out of the behaviour naturally. These behaviours are usually for life.

Flehmening is when a cat screws up its face, the lips curl back baring its upper and lower teeth allowing more chemical aromas to register in the Jackobsen's Organ. The Jackobsen's Organ is situated in the roof of the mouth in two sacs. In wild cats this aids in knowing the "lie of the land", and aids in knowing what other animals may be in close proximity. In the domestic cat this is not so important as with the wild cat and the flehmening reaction is not so obvious. The Jackobsen's Organ is also connected to the part of the cats brain concerned with sexual behaviour and appetite.

Owners of outdoor cats will eventually be presented with gifts of dead creatures, such as mice and birds. For the cat, this is perfectly natural - this behaviour should never be punished in any way. A Queen will bring prey home to her kittens to introduce them to hunting. For this reason, the behaviour is most often seen in female cats. Neutered cats that have no kittens of their own and male cats will also bring gifts home.

Burying Faeces
A subordinate cat will bury its faeces so as not to demonstrate its presence to more dominant cats. A dominant cat will leave its faeces uncovered. A cat kept on their own will bury its Faeces by scratching on the litter tray, this has nothing to do with cleanliness - it is a sign that the cat feels that its owner is dominant. In households with more than one cat, you will often find that one or two cats leave their faeces uncovered, whereas the rest will cover it up.

Wagging Tail
A wagging tail could mean the cat is angry or can mean that the cat is feeling indecisive - it wants to do two things at once and cannot make up its mind which action to take.

Eating Grass
Eating grass often occurs when the cat needs to clean out its stomach by vomiting (maybe to get rid of furballs!). If your cat does not have access to grass, house plants or anything similiar will be used by your cat. Vomiting will occur soon after the cat has eaten grass. It has been said that cats eat grass to obtain "Folic Acid", something that cats need in minute quantities for its well-being. "Folic Acid" cannot be obtained from meat.

Taking Food out of its Bowl
A very common behaviour with cats is taking food out of its bowl and eating it off the floor. There are many theories as to why cats do this, two of the theories that seem to make sense are:
Cats find the pieces of food too large and put them outside of the bowl so that it will be easier to chew them into smaller pieces. If the cats whiskers touch the side of the bowel the cat may find it uncomfortable to eat from the bowl, so will take the food out of the bowl.

Mad Dash or Charging Around
This behaviour is seen mostly in indoor cats, who, not able to burn off energy will dash around jumping off furniture with a wild look in their eyes. This usually occurs late at night with cats younger than five years old, but can be seen in older cats as well.

Scratching Furniture
A cat needs to sharpen its claws by stripping off the old shell to reveal a new one. Scratching at furniture is one way a cat will renew its claws. All indoor cats will do this if they have not been trained on how to use a scratching post from an early age. It is also a way for the cat to exercise its claws and paws, and for scent-marking (there are scent glands under its front paws).
Show your cat how to use a scratching post, start training as soon as possible, so they will be less likely to damage a piece of your furniture. The secret is to show the cat what to do. Hold them near the post and scratch their claws on the surface. Putting Catnip in and around the scratching post will also help to encourage your cat to use it.

If you have more than one cat then you may find that the dominant cat will not use the scratching post and may need discouraging by using a spray bottle filled with water (use freah water only). This has the advantage of keeping the owner remote from the cat and the scene of the crime. Quite simply, it involves squirting a jet of water at the cat with such force as to surprise and disconcert it, just at the time it is about to, or is actually, performing the behaviour pattern the owner wants to curb. It is very important that your cat does not associate you with the unpleasantness, as this can lead to a lack of trust, so make sure that you cannot be seen by your cat when using the spray bottle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Questions to ask

How to find a responsible breeder
With regard to finding a breeder, cat shows are the best places to meet and talk to breeders. You can see all the different colors and patterns, learn about the characteristics of the breed, and ask questions. Do your homework, and try not to fall in love with the first kitten you see.

How early do you let your kittens go to new homes?
Responsible breeders typically don't let them go until they're 12 weeks old (some wait until 16 weeks). There are many reasons for this, but proper socialization and having a fully functioning immune system are two good ones.

Cat Food - How to Choose the Best Cat Food
You needn't know a lot about cat food when choosing the best cat food. What you need to know, however, is your cat. What's his age? Life stage? Health history? Body type? When you can answer these questions, choosing the best cat food will be a relatively simple choice. many brands of premium, or ‘natural' cat food will contain higher-quality, more nutritious ingredients. Whether canned or dry, it is nutritionally complete, and has few artificial ingredients or fillers. Your veterinarian, the AAFCO, approves it and, most importantly, it is given the gold-star approval rating by your cat.

Why Do Cats Spray?
Cats mark their territory by spraying urine in order to deposit pheromones.
If your cat is spraying, there are several things you can do:
..Have your veterinarian examine your cat to rule out the possibility of a medical problem.
..If your cat has not been
neutered, consider having it done. This may solve the problem
..Clean urine marks thoroughly with a special product designed to neutralize the odor. Avoid
ammonia-based products, which smell like urine. The smell of urine or ammonia encourages
the cat to spray on the same spot again.
..If your pet is in a stressful situation, try to identify and eliminate the cause of the stress.
..Use a commercial pheromone product such as Feliway® to discourage your pet from spraying.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

Catnip has a common name of "cat mint", and it comes from the mint family. It is actually edible by humans, you can put the pretty purple flowers into your salad in the spring (if you've got any left and the neighbourhood cats haven't got there before you). The Latin name for catnip is Nepeta cataria, and originally was grown as a weed in Europe, but now the plant grows all over the world, since it's commercial value in cat related products has been realised. All cats respond differently to catnip. Some of them walk away cuz they couldn't care less, but others go ape. The cats that do go crazy are responding to the active ingredient in catnip called Nepetalactone. The reaction to this chemical is caused by the organ that operates a cat's five senses (touch, smell, sight, sound and taste.)

Most cats love catnip, each cat has it's own little way of reacting to it, some cats will rub themselves all over it, and others with spend all day trying to eat it. My cat insists on licking the area of catnip until there is nothing left. Nobody particularly knows why cats go so mad over catnip, it could be the scent of the plant, there may be a plant hormone similar to cat hormones, or it could act like a drug to your cat, no one cat be totally sure, as each cat will act in its own way. Even though cats go crazy and some even seem drugged around catnip it's not a drug. It's actually an herb that belongs to the mint family. When the leaves are broken it releases a certain chemical that most cats respond to. All cats respond differently to catnip. Those cats that do react will eat it or lick it; some roll in it and others just sniff it. The catnip reaction is inherited so not all of them respond. Young kittens and old cats rarely respond although large cats like tigers will. If your cat's behavior doesn't change around catnip it's nothing to worry about. About 10 to 30 percent of cats don't go berserk over catnip.

If you have a cat that simply loves catnip, why not grow your own. Visit your local garden centre and simply look for the Cat Mint plant or seeds. It's very easy to grow and can take over your whole garden (it's very invasive) if it's not contained. So try to grow it in a container, buying a small plant is better than growing from seed, as your cat may be far too interested in the seedlings to let them grow to maturity. These won't set you back much and due to the spreading nature of the plant you'll probably only ever have to buy one. This will save you loads of money, as in the shops catnip can be very overpriced. Simply cut off a few leaves at a time when you need it. Or you can cut off whole stems at the end of the summer and hang them to dry in a warm and dry place (like and airing cupboard), and then crush them up and keep them in a jar, as long as there is a lid on the jar they will keep indefinitely.

Catnip is completely safe and isn't addictive to cats so give your feline friend a treat like Catnip Puffs every now and then. The most amusing thing about giving cats catnip is the behavior change. Although it's safe, keep in mind you can have too much of a good thing. If a cat eats lots of fresh catnip it could puke or have diarrhea but this is rare. If it does happen don't give your cat as much catnip or any at all. Catnip doesn't affect all cats, some are not bothered by it at all. It will affect about half of the cats in the world. This is because there is a gene that is inherited that will determine whether or not your cat will go mad for cat nip. You will not be able to tell whether your cat likes catnip until it is about 4 months old, as they do not show any affect before this. Also when your cat gets older (an elderly cat), it will show less and less interest in catnip. You can almost guarantee if your cat's relatives were from a region that was originally native to catnip, then they will be effected, where as those from other parts of the world probably will not be.

How much catnip should be given?
You only need a little bit. If you are using the fresh catnip, you may need just enough to fill the palm of your hand. If you are giving them the catnip that is still on the stem, only one sprig should be fine. The lasting effect of the catnip is anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. After that, the cat usually walks away or takes a nap. The cat may come back for more a few hours later.

What is the Best Catnip?
If you are able to get fresh catnip, it works the best. If you are not able to get the fresh stuff, you can get dried organic catnip. It is almost as good as the fresh stuff, but a little bit of the oil is gone. The non-organic dried catnip is the cheapest, but most of the oil is gone. There are toys stuffed with catnip, but they are not as effective because the leaves are too dry and most of the oil is gone. You can buy catnip spray to use on scratching posts. This helps gets a cat interested in using the scratching post. There is a pure spray and an artificial spray. The price of the pure spray is much higher, but you don't need to use very much of it.

Catnip is great for training your cat. If you have a sofa scratching cat, you can encourage you cat to use a scratching post, by placing it near the area it is scratching and spraying some catnip on it, you cat will then become far more interested in the post rather than the sofa. Don't go mad with catnip, as your cat will loose it's sensitivity to it. So give is as a treat, and your cat will be far more appreciative.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cat Mint

The catmint adds blue color to any garden. Works well in hot dry conditiions. Blue Wonder catmint prefers full sun. Another name for the catmint is Nepeta x faassenii.

The many blue flowers each plant produces grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches. Each plant should be spaced 18 inches apart. Recommend you put the plant in well drained soil. It is a perfect plant to place in those dry areas you always forget to water.
Catmint is easy to propagate, easy to trim, and equally easy to rip out if you get sick of it. It does flower well in autumn if it's been trimmed back.The catmint blooms in June and July. Its recommended as ground cover for planting below shrubs. Or it also works as a sunny blue border plant. It is an aromatic plant.
I got some "cat mint" from a swap last year. Is this the same as cat nip? It certainly looks like it's in the mint family.
Chuck R. from Grand Rapids, MI

Catnip and Catmint are not the same (although the two are often lumped together) but you're right, Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) is related to Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Botanically, both are in the genus Nepeta. To make things even more confusing, there is also Lesser Calamintha (Calamintha nepeta) a subspecies of catnip and several other varieties and hybrids in the Nepeta genus.

Many cats are attracted to both plants, but their response tends to be more intense to Catnip. The chemical responsible for their crazy behavior is called nepetalactone, which is found in the leaves, stems and flowers. The amount of this chemical found in each plant varies a bit by species. It seems that catnip has larger amounts of it and so attracts more felines. Incidentally, all members of the cat family (Felidae) are supposed to be attracted to it, so take care when giving it to lions and tigers. As for telling the two plants apart, Catnip generally has a taller, more upright growing habit, and Catmint tends to mound and has more pronounced purple/pink flowers.

You can remove spent flowers to produce a second bloom. Trim unwanted growth to keep it looking well groomed. The flowers of the catmint tend to be a lavendar color. The leaves are gray-green.

Perennial Full sun
Remove spent flowers for a second bloom well drained soil - can tolerate heat and dryness
Variety of flower colors, blooms from May through August height 12 to 15 inches
Deer resistant width 18 inches
The catmint flowers in dry conditions and can be placed near walkways, patios, and porches so you can enjoy the lovely aroma.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Catnip Toys

Making organic catnip toys can be so easy and profitable too. They can make great gifts for people to give as gifts for their hard to buy for friends.If you love to sew or a crafts expert, then making catnip toys can be a breeze. First you need a good quality catnip. You can either grow your own and dry it, or buy it from a reputable health food store that has human grade organic loose catnip.A couple of ideas would be take get some orange felt or duck cloth and a sew it into a long shape like a carrot and stuff it with some fiber fill and catnip. Close the end off with some grean yarn to make a carrot top.

Another idea would be to get some brown felt fabric and make a short fat angular shape like a mouse, fill it with fiber fill and catnip, sew the large end shut. Use a sharpie pen and draw eyes and whiskers for the face. Then sew a long piece of cord for the tail. It would be okay if it frays as long as they pieces can't come lose and cause a health hazard for your kitty.To make these original organic catnip toys even more enjoyable and fun for you and your feline friend, would be to tie a long piece of yarn to a wooden dowel and pull the toy for your cat to chase. Or tie the toy to a solid object like a door handle for your cat to play with by themselves.

Think about making large quantities of these and selling them at your local crafts shows or setting up your own online business selling your cat toys through the internet.

By Karen Gall

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Are catnip flowers more potent than the leaves? Catnip plants are beautiful. They have white or lavender flowers and the leaves are grayish green. They are very easy to grow.Catnip flowers is so called because of the curious behavior of cats when they get a sniff of this feline favorite. It have as a component of potassium , iron , selenium,manganese, chromium & moderate quantity of other minerals & vitamins. It is beneficial as a medicinal tea to abate coughing, cold symptoms, upset stomach and to assist sleep.It gives excellent nutritional advantage.It is used in various botanical preparations. The plant is described as being a favorable calmative for hyperactive children & used as a curative in the treatment of tension and anxiety.As an herbal apothecary,Its distilled oil is supposed to be a very efficacious appetite stimulant, and has been used in the treatment of anorexia. Catnip contains high amount of vitamins A, C and B-complex and have magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium and some parts of sulphur.It aromatic property assist the nervous system by way of its influence upon the digestive system.It is also best known to use as a treatment for flatulence and relax the intestinal tract. In addition, it enhance circulation and in eliminating mucus from the body.

Catnip flowers bring people closer together, enhancing friendship and common bonds. it is indicated for those who feel inhibited socially or are in unfamiliar social situation. Catnip flowers soften preceived boundries, eliminating apprehension and promoting contentment. Catnip flowers well with india howthorn to encourage a sense of oneness around others.

Catnip flowers were use in a tea to alleviate insomnia colid, cold, menstrual cramps and fever. Catnip flowers are properties are basically antipasmodic. Native American brewed the flowering tops to soothe a sore throat. the generic name Napeta is from Nepeta, Italy where it was cultivated. During the middle age, women sat over the stem of catnip flower tea to take away of barrennes. Directly seeded plants are said to be of no interest to cats.


this is a relaxing tea, especially beneficial for the onset of acold and flu.
1 cup water
1 teaspoon camomile flowers
1 teaspoon lemon thyme or thyme leaves
1 teaspoon catnip leaves or blossoms (catnip flower)
boil one cup water. Remove from heet. Steep one teaspoon of each herb, fresh or dried for ten minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and sin one or two cup daily.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wild Catnip

Wild catnip will put life back into old decrepid cats, and put a gleam back into their eyes. It seems that cats almost 'get high' on catnip, yet they aren't drunk, stoned, or in any way intoxicated. Catnip in the wild grows very often in poor soil, and can be found around old abandoned farm buildings, railway lines and the like. If you are going to gather your own catnip, be sure it is from pristine areas where no spraying with herbicides/pesticides has been done.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

GrowingCatnip/catnip plant

Growing catnip
Tips for growing catnip (Nepenta cataria). How to start from seed and cultivate in the garden. Advice on harvesting and drying for winter use by cats
Catnip (Nepenta cataria) is a perennial herb than causes most cats to fall into a state of unbridled ecstasy, complete with half-lidded eyes and copious drooling. It is rare for a cat to be unresponsive to this plant, and since it is harmless to them, there is no reason to deprive your pets of the pleasure. The very best catnip is grown in your garden and dried for use in the winter. The dry catnip available in pet stores is a pale imitation of the real, fresh item, and does not even belong in the same category as what you can preserve for kitty's winter enjoyment.


Catnip is a member of the mint family and a perennial, which means it will come back every year from a single planting. It will also self-seed, giving you lots of baby plants to share with friends as the years go by. This is an attractive plant, growing to three feet or more and producing bluish flowers in mid-summer. The leaves are light green, slightly furry and have an attractive scalloped edge. As with all members of the mint family, the stems are square and hollow.

Catnip is easy to find in the spring. Most garden centers and large home-supply centers sell it, along with other herbs. Mail-order nurseries are also a good source. However, be sure that you do not buy an ornamental catnip by mistake. There are now at least four different types of "catnip" grown as ornamentals. They will not get kitty high or even slightly tipsy. You want common catnip, Nepenta cataria.

If you decide to grow your plants from seed, start about eight weeks before the last frost in your area. Consult an almanac or call the local extension agent if you are unsure of the date. Start the seed in two-inch pots, using sterile potting mix. Moisten the soil mix, press the seeds lightly down and cover with a tiny bit of mix. Cover the pots with plastic, and keep warm. The top of the fridge is a good place for the seeds to germinate. Expose the young plants to full sun as soon as they start sprouting, and do not allow them to dry out. Gradually acclimate the plants to outside conditions, and plant them outdoors when the danger of frost is past.

As with most herbs, full sun, adequate moisture, and reasonable soil are all that is needed. Catnip will grow happily in patio pots or as a part of the vegetable or flower garden. Nearly pest-free, the worst damage usually comes from outside cats that discover the plants before they get well established. If your pet is allowed outdoors, by all means show him the plants. After the initial delight wears off, they usually leave the plants alone to grow strong and tall. Catnip can survive long periods of drought once it is growing well. In fact, this often intensifies the aroma by concentrating the essential elements that kitty loves.


You can begin harvesting catnip as soon as the stems get to about one foot tall, and continue cutting all summer. In mild climates, the plant will maintain a low rosette of leaves and can be picked through the winter. During the summer, you can cut a few sprigs of fresh catnip for kitty whenever you want to give him a treat. Don't be alarmed if kitty eats all the leaves.

Cut the stems when the leaves are dry of morning dew and hang upside down in an airy, shaded place to cure. When completely dried and crunchy, crumble the leaves into a paper bag and discard the stems. Store in plastic bags under lock and key. It has been my experience that many cats are able to open cupboards and remove bags of catnip. Most cats will have no trouble tearing open a plastic bag to get at the catnip inside.

When you give your cat toys filled with catnip, remember to keep a few extras inside the bag for later. Pom-poms of yarn are very nice cat toys that can be purchased at craft shops or made at home. A few of these kept in with the dried catnip will ensure a ready supply for rotating.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Catnip Leaves

Catnip (Nepeta cataria, also known as Catnep, Catmint, and Field Balm) is best known for its mysterious effect on cats, from the lowly barn cat to the mighty mountain lion. It's also a useful herb for humans. One of catnip's effects is to induce perspiration without raising body temperature. If you have a fever, catnip can help break it. If you have trouble sleeping, tricking your body into thinking it's warmer might help. On a hot summer's day, a little catnip tea can cool you off.

Catnip Leaves Give Cats A Harmless High But Helps Humans
The leaves, slightly larger than peppermint, are downy above and below. When its essential oil production reaches its peak, catnip is harvested. The leaves and fragrant flowers are then carefully dried to preserve these oils.As you might suspect, catnip got its name because of its affect on cats. Cats are most interested in the smell of the plant. Cats will rub against, bite, chew, and roll in catnip – generally go crazy for several minutes. This will release the volatile oil trapped in the leaves. Then suddenly the cat will lose interest and walk away. Two hours later he could return and do it. Why he acts like this we don’t know, we do know that it is related to the chemical nepetalactone in catnip. It is a reflex response, and, though a small percentage of cats are totally unaffected by it, even tigers can be sensitive to it.

Catnip has been used in the kitchen and in traditional herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years. Catnip tea was a favorite of the British before trade with the East brought great quantities of green tea and black tea to the island. It's a native of the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, but catnip escapes its captors everywhere and grows wild under even the harshest conditions. Once catnip arrived on the shores of North America, Native Americans used it to treat colds, sore throats, fever, cough, and colic. As an herbal treatment, catnip sooths the stomach and digestive system. This means it aids with flatulence, diarrhea, and colic. As an enema it can cleanse and heal the lower bowel. Taken as a hot infusion, Catnip promotes sweating and this helps with colds, flu, fevers, and infectious diseases. It is soothing to the nervous system and can help to prevent a miscarriage, premature birth and to decrease symptoms of morning sickness.

Catnip is most commonly used as a digestive aid because it relieves stomach cramps, intestinal spasms, bloating and gas. It's even said in the old herbals that catnip will dispel nervous headaches. Drinking a nice, warm cup of tea containing catnip after eating a good meal will settle your stomach so you can relax and enjoy. A touch of lemon and honey make catnip tea heavenly.Catnip is not recommended in large quantities for pregnant women; take it as part of an infusion blend. Weak catnip tea is mild enough for babies who are eating solid food, but be double sure it's organic and free of pesticides. When combined with Spearmint, Lemongrass, Calendula flowers, Skullcap, Rosemary, Sage, and Fennel, Catnip makes a really lovely tea, and the effects of all these herbs used together enhances all.

Catnip is beneficial for young children. It stimulates the body, settles the stomach, and soothes the nerves. The combination of catnip with Fennel has long been used as a remedy for colic, gas, teething difficulties, and indigestion in children. It also helps clean out mucus in the body.

Combined with garlic’s infection fighting properties, the duo is a powerful enema. It has the ability to induce sleep while producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system. This makes it a valuable drink when someone has a fever. Its sedative action on the nerves adds to its generally relaxing properties.

About the only culinary use of catnip is candied catnip as an after-dinner treat. Sprinkle sugar on catnip leaves coated with egg white and lemon juice glaze, let dry for a day, then consume. An interesting little treat the next time your in-laws come over for dinner.
As if its digestive settling properties weren't enough, catnip is also said to repel cockroaches, cure dandruff, and rid humans of worms. Folks say planting it around your house will bring you love and good luck--it will certainly bring you cats!

Catnip is a safe herb but must be stored properly. As is the case with most bulk herbs, Catnip should be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. Refrigeration or freezing prolongs its value. The petalactone in catnip is UV photosensitive and, therefore, it is important that it be stored out of the sun. Some recommend caution for use by pregnant women but others say it is perfectly safe, even beneficial for expectant mothers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Your Own Catnip

Catnip is a 50-100 cm tall herb resembling mint in appearance, with greyish-green leaves; the flowers are white, finely spotted with purple.Catnip is a 50-100 cm tall herb resembling mint in appearance, with greyish-green leaves; the flowers are white, finely spotted with purple.

Catnip (or catmint) produces Nepetalactone oil and that acts something like an aphrodisiac for cats. Is it harmful to them? Experts say no, there are no short term or long term ill effects on a cat.Although approximately 1/3 of cats couldn’t care less about catnip, the rest flip for it. And drool. And race around! Why do cats love it so much? It’s great for cats that are a little too laid back (ummm, lazy). They get a good workout and a little exercise with their happy time. If your cat is really old or has health problems, it’s probably not a good idea to give it to her since she will get excited and hyper.
The best luck I’ve had with growing catnip is planting it in a hanging basket, then hanging it off a tree branch at the very end. Strong enough to hold the pot if it’s windy out, yet out of reach of climbing kitties.

If you live in an apartment but have a balcony, see if you can’t have a plant hanger bracket off the outside wall to hang the pot on. You could also try a high stool or tall legged plant holder with nothing around it for the cat to crawl up on and tear into it. Make sure it’s very sturdy–cats are smart when it comes to catnip and they’ll bulldoze the legs out from underneath if they realize they can flip it over!

As the plant grows, pinch the the new leaves frequently so that it bushes out, it will produce a lot more that way.

The downside of planting outside is neighborhood cats. I don’t get armies of cats milling about, but I did have a nightly visitor or two trying their best to get at the plant. If you don’t like other cats in your yard, plant the catnip inside.

If you decide to try growing it as a houseplant, you will need to grow it in a place that gets some sun–but protected from the cat somehow. The high stool or tall legged planter are probably your best choices. If you don’t mind ceiling hooks, try an indoor hanging basket. The sunnier the spot–the better.
You can grow catnip from seed, but check the local greenhouse for a plant that’s already started. It’s a little more money, but well worth it since it’s healthy and hardy, raring to go right from the start.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cat Mint

The catmint adds blue color to any garden. Works well in hot dry conditiions. Blue Wonder catmint prefers full sun. Another name for the catmint is Nepeta x faassenii.

A fragrant, ornamental herb that prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

Common Name: Catmint
Botanical Name: Nepeta
Type: Deciduous Perennial
Soil Preference: This plant tolerates drought and will also grow in moist soils but prefers moist, well-drained or loamy soils with a netural pH. 'Walker's Low' is sensitive to humidity.
Light Requirements: Full sun, partial sun, partial shade
Attributes: Attracts butterflies, good for naturalizing
Pests: Leafhoppers
Diseases: Black root rot, wilt, powdery mildew
Good Companion Plants: Beardtongue, Bee Balm, Hollyhock Mallow, Pincushion Flower, Shasta Daisy, Yarrow
Care: Prune back older foliage on the outside after blooming to encourage new growth and a denser plant. Division can be done in the spring if necessary.
Planting Instructions: Perennials
Water & Fertilizer Schedule

The many blue flowers each plant produces grows to a height of 12 to 15 inches. Each plant should be spaced 18 inches apart. Recommend you put the plant in well drained soil. It is a perfect plant to place in those dry areas you always forget to water. Catmint is easy to propagate, easy to trim, and equally easy to rip out if you get sick of it. It does flower well in autumn if it's been trimmed back.The catmint blooms in June and July. Its recommended as ground cover for planting below shrubs. Or it also works as a sunny blue border plant. It is an aromatic plant.


I got some "cat mint" from a swap last year. Is this the same as cat nip? It certainly looks like it's in the mint family.
Chuck R. from Grand Rapids, MI

Catnip and Catmint are not the same (although the two are often lumped together) but you're right, Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) is related to Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Botanically, both are in the genus Nepeta. To make things even more confusing, there is also Lesser Calamintha (Calamintha nepeta) a subspecies of catnip and several other varieties and hybrids in the Nepeta genus.

Many cats are attracted to both plants, but their response tends to be more intense to Catnip. The chemical responsible for their crazy behavior is called nepetalactone, which is found in the leaves, stems and flowers. The amount of this chemical found in each plant varies a bit by species. It seems that catnip has larger amounts of it and so attracts more felines. Incidentally, all members of the cat family (Felidae) are supposed to be attracted to it, so take care when giving it to lions and tigers. As for telling the two plants apart, Catnip generally has a taller, more upright growing habit, and Catmint tends to mound and has more pronounced purple/pink flowers.

You can remove spent flowers to produce a second bloom. Trim unwanted growth to keep it looking well groomed. The flowers of the catmint tend to be a lavendar color. The leaves are gray-green.