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