Catnip High

August 25, 2012

The different ways that cats deal with catnip are a source of endless fascination to feline lovers.  Some cats cuddle with anything containing the herb.  Others yowl and cry and behave in unusual fashion.  And some cats don’t react at all to catnip.

Shonie likes her catnip toys.

Catnip is a member of the mint family of herbs.  It’s easy to grow and sometimes is considered a weed.

The oil of the plant – nepetalactone – has a hallucinogenic effect on many felines.  The “high” only lasts a few minutes, but it’s quite entertaining to observe.  The cats involved seem to enjoy it.  Kittens don’t react to catnip until 3-4 months of age.

You can purchase catnip in several forms.  Most retail pet supplies stores sell containers of the herb and prices vary.  The better quality product is organic catnip.  The most powerful part of the plant is the bud, or flower, because the nepetalactone is stronger in that area.

I prefer the organic variety for my cats, because I know the herb was grown without any chemical pesticides.

There are a lot of catnip toys on the market but if they aren’t refillable, they won’t last long.  You can purchase refillable catnip toys, which are a more economical toy in the long run, because they will last longer.  You may want to try a Catty Matty, which is a catnip-filled, quilted nap pad with hook and loop openings on all 4 sides where fresh catnip can be Bubba on his Catty Mattyinserted.

Perhaps you would like to make your own catnip-filled toys.  Any shape made with any cotton fabric will work, as long as it’s small enough for a cat to get it between its teeth.  It’s very important to use machine-sewn toys for cats, because loose threads caused by hand-sewing pose a hazard for kitties.

Some cats like their catnip served loose.  Try sprinkling some inside a cardboard box and watch Fluffy roll around in it and play.  Other cats will actually eat the herb.

Whatever method you choose, your are sure to enjoy the antics of your cat , if she does react to catnip.

Smokey hogs his Catty Matty.

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