Do you have a cat? Cat is one of the most favorite pets in the world. There are many people who pet a cat because cat is funny, especially if it is still a kitten. However, when the kitten grows older, it may not be as interesting as when it is still a kitten. Your older cat may look lazy. What your cat does may only be eating and sleeping. So, do you want to make your cat excited again? Fortunately, there is a plant named catnip. It is elieved that this plant is able to make any cat excited and happy like when it is still a kitten. How to Grow Catnip for Your Cats? To make easy, lets start learn how to plant catnip for your cats.
What Is Catnip?
Before we talk more about how to plant catnip for your cats, first it will be better to know clearly what catnip is. Catnip is a kind of plant that becomes one of the mint families. Besides that, it also belongs to Lamiaceae family. Commonly, you can find this plant in Asia and Europe because it will not e difficult to grow in Australia and Africa that are too hot. There are many people who say that catnip is the most faorite plant for cats. Even more, it can also make people addicted.
What Does Catnip Look Like?
There are still many people who don’t know about catnip in detailed. Or some people don’t know how catnip looks like. Firstly, you need to know that catnip is also well known as catmint. Catnip is a plant that grows with toothed leaves that look like a heart shape. Besides that, it also has small white flowers with purple spots. This plant is commonly able to live up to 2 years. However, it depends on the care and the area where it grows.
To recognize this plant, you need to know the characteristics of catnip. The first is that the flowers are arranged similar to pendants. That is why there are many people who cannot differentiate between catnip and pendant. In fact, they are different each other. However, both of them have the similar functions. They can make cats feel happier, more excited and get addicted. Anyway, you have to know how to be able to differ between catnip and pendant.
Besides that, the color of the catnip leaves is green like the common leaves. It is because it has chlorophyll and grows with the similar way to other green plants and leaves. Then, you also have to know that the leaves have rounded shape, not oval or any other shape of leave. In addition, catnip must have pointed tips. So, if the tips are not pointed, they may not be catnips. Lastly, you should know that the edges of the catnip leaves are toothed. If you find these characteristics on a plant, that plant may be catnip.
Is there any other characteristic that we can consider to recognize catnip? In relation to the shape, there may be many plants or grasses that have the similar looks to catnip. So, it will be difficult to know whether it is catnip or other plants. However, other plants may not have the same characteristics that I have mentioned above. Additionally, catnip usually has height up to 50 centimeters. For the stems, they also have green color wholly. Based on the explanation above, it is clear how catnip looks like, isn’t it?
The Advantages of Catnip for Cats
Before we go to the discussion how to grow catnip for cats, we need to know the benefits of catnip for cats first. As we know, catnip is the most favorite plant for cats. Of course, it has many benefits for cats. One of the benefits is that your cat will feel more excited and happy. That is why it is appropriate for you who have a lazy cat. Or you can also give catnip to a cat that gets older. So, your old cat will feel younger, feel more excited and like playing again.
Usually, cat will rub its chin, cheek, head, or other parts of body onto the catnip you give. This makes your cat feel enjoyed doing this. It may happen in a few minutes. Your cat will not eat the catnip but catnip can make your cat addicted. It means your cat want to play with the catnip for long minutes or even hour. However, some cats will only play with catnip for more or less 15 minutes only and they will act like usual. Anyway, it depends on how fresh the catnip you give and your cat itself. The age of cat may also affect it.
How Catnip Can Make Cats Addicted
After we know that cats love catnip, you may think how it can be. A study shows that it is caused by torpedoed property that is called as nepetalactone. So, how it works to attract cats? In fact, cats will respond this substance with helps of their smells and then this substance can cause hallucinogen. There are many people who say that catnip can cause addicted for cats because cats will love it so much and play with it for long hours.
However, this plant is actually not addictive. It is also reasonable because cats will stop playing, licking, and wipe their fur on catnip after a few minutes or hours. Actually, the response of cat is affected by some factors. One of them is the genetic factor which means the cat should inherit the right gen to react to catnip. Besides that, it may also be affected by the catnip plant. If the catnip is still fresh, it can affect the cat more strongly. Anyway, we have known how catnip can make cats addicted even though it is not totally right.
The Benefits of Catnip for Human
Actually, catnip is not only beneficial for cats. However, it also has many benefits for human. So, what are the benefits of catnip for human? The first benefit that is most popular is to keep away from mosquito and other small insects because insects don’t like the smell. Besides that, there are also many people who use this plant to help them to sleep better. So, it is very useful for you who have insomnia. Its benefits also include for children where catnip is very good to treat puffed stomach. Considering the benefits above, it is very important to know how to grow catnip for your cats or for any other purpose including for you and your family.
Still related to the benefit of catnip for human, it is also often used for drink. In this benefit, what I mean is tea. However, what you need is not the leaves, flowers, stems, etc but the seeds. You can process the catnip seeds for tea and you can drink it deliciously. The aroma of the tea made from catnip seeds is very tasty. So, if you are bored with the usually tea, you can consider making tea from catnip seeds.
How to Find Catnip for Sale?
We will talk about how to grow catnip for a cat but sometimes people prefer buying than growing catnip. So, it will be better to know how we can buy catnip. You can buy catnip either on store or online. It depends on your desire. If you buy it on store, you can choose it directly and you can make sure that the catnip is in a good condition. However, today there are so many online shops that ease you to buy catnip. So, decide it wisely.
How to Buy Catnip
After you decide where you will buy catnip, you have to make sure that you buy the good catnip. It means you have to know some tips how to find the best quality catnip. There are some tips that you need to consider. The first is that you should decide whether you will buy it as small plant, seeds, or even catnip products. In fact, today there are so many products of catnip that are designed in practical contains. If you want to grow catnip at home, you have to consider small plants or catnip seeds.
If you want to buy catnip plants, you have to make sure that the leaves look green and fresh. If the leaves are yellowish, it may be that the catnip is faded. So, you have to find another one that is better. If you want to buy catnip seeds, you have to make sure that the seeds are still in a good condition. If you want to buy a processed product of catnip, you have to make sure that it is processed rightly and does not contain chemicals so that it will be safe for your cats.
How to Grow Catnip and Care Catnip
Now, it is time to discuss in detail step by step how to grow catnip seeds for your cats. There are many tips and steps that you need to follow. Here is the detailed tutorial how to do that:
- Decide What to Plant
Firstly, you have to decide whether you want to play small catnip plants or catnip seeds. It is very important because it does not only affect the ways but also the growing process.
- Prepare Where to Plant Catnip
After that, you need to prepare the area or space where you will plant and grow catnip. It may be indoor or outdoor depending on your desire. Catnip is easy to grow so that wither indoor or outdoor is not a problem as long as you care for it well.
- Choose the Best Quality Seeds
Commonly, people prefer planting catnip seeds to small plants. In this case, you have to find the catnip seeds that have good quality. If you consider planting small catnip seeds, you have to find the fresh and healthy ones.
- Sow Catnip Seeds in the Right Time
As it is mentioned before, you can plant catnip seeds either indoor or outdoor. However, different places have different best time. If you want to sow catnip seeds outdoor, the best time is in the spring season. You can sow the seeds in your garden directly. However, you have to keep the distance where a couple of catnip seed should be parted for about 15 inches.
On the other hand, you can also sow the catnip seeds at indoor area. In this case, the best time is in the fall season. Besides that, you can also sow the catnip seeds at indoor area in the spring season. You can consider using pots or other containers. Pots can also be placed outdoor, too. Besides the right time, the care has the more important role to affect the growing process.
- Plant Catnip in Full Sun
Commonly, catnip will grow well in the full sun area. However, it doesn’t happen if you live in hot and even dry area. You cannot let the sun expose the catnip too hot. Catnip plants need shade especially when it is afternoon. However, it needs the sun for about 6 hours a day. So, deciding the location or area is very important.
- Keep Catnip in Space
Then, you also need to keep the distance for one catnip plant to another. Even though you have parted from one plant to another, sometimes when it grows with overcrowded leaves you need to cut the leaves so that it will not be too crowded.
If you plant the catnip in pots, you can move the pots from one place to another so that you can keep the distance in space. If the pots are too small and cannot hold the grown catnip, you can move the catnip onto new bigger pots so that it can grow faster.
- Cut the Dead-head Plants
Growing catnips doesn’t stop here. You need to care catnip during the growing period. One of them is to cut the dead-head of the plants. Sometimes, certain parts of catnip die and it is commonly on the tips of the plant. It can be the catnip flower or leaves. So, you have to cut it out. It functions to promote the new growth and doesn’t disturb the other parts of catnip. That’s why you have to check and control your catnip every day so that you can do what you must do soon.
- Divide Root Systems
If you want to propagate the catnip plants, it can be realized by dividing the root system of the catnip plant. It is best done in the fall or spring. It should be done rightly so that you have to pay attention to these tips. Firstly, you have to make sure that every division has at least 3 stems of catnip. Then, you can divide it into a pot or plant it in other area of different soil. After that, you have to water it regularly and you cannot let it dry. In addition, the separated space shouldn’t be too close.
- Protect Any Pet to Go Around Catnip
What pet do you have? You may have other pets besides cat. Anyway, whatever the pet is, don’t let them to go around the catnip during the growing period. Your cat may love catnip. However, you should keep your cat away from catnip plant at your garden or pots until you harvest it. It will danger the catnip and the catnip plant cannot grow or even die. In this case, you can protect the catnip using fences. You can make it by your own using bamboo, metal, etc.
- Water It Regularly
Do you need to water catnip? Of course you need to do that. Watering becomes the regular care for catnip plants. Whether you plant it indoor or outdoor, whether you plant it at the garden soil or pots; watering is a must. In this case, you need to water catnip regularly every day in the morning and afternoon to keep the soil moisture and the plant and root fresh. If you don’t water it regularly, catnip may still be able to grow but it will not be optimized. So, it affects the growing process and the health of catnip.
- Give It the Sun Light
Besides watering, you also need to give catnip the sun light. If you plant it at an outdoor area, there is no problem because you just need to let it exposed by the sun light. However, if you plant catnip indoor, you have to make big windows to let the sun light expos the catnip plants. If you cannot, you can move the catnip onto the area that can get the sun light at least 6 hours a day. Without the sun light, catnip cannot grow well and even die.
How to Harvest Catnip
After the catnip plants grow up to at least 50 centimeters, you can start harvesting it. Catnip can grow again and again even up to more than a meter height. So, after you know how to grow catnip for your cats, it’s time for you to know how to harvest it. Harvesting catnip requires you to follow these steps:
- Don’t Lift up the Roots
The first thing that you need to know is that you cannot lift the roots up. Lifting up the roots means that you kill the catnip and you need to practice how to grow catnip for kittens again. In fact, the catnip can give the new growth after you harvest it if you do it rightly. So, you shouldn’t plant it again.
- Cut the Stalks above the Joint
How to harvest catnip rightly can be done by cutting the stalks above the leaf joint. So, this catnip plant will grow the new leaves. After the new leaves of catnip grow again, you can harvest it again until it doesn’t grow anymore.
- Cut the Leaves Only
You can also harvest catnip by cutting the leaves only. This catnip plant will promote the new growth quickly as long as you care for it well.
That is all how to harvest catnip for your cats. It’s easy, isn’t it? Now, you can practice following this at home. So, you don’t need to buy catnip for your cats but you can use your own catnip after you harvest it.
What Does Catnip Do to Cat?
We may know that catnip can make cats happy or more excited. However, do you know what does catnip do to cat? How can catnip make your cats love it so much? Here are the reasons why:
- You need to know that catnip contains nepetalactone property. This property functions to triggers an effect or response to the brains of your cats. So, it will make your cats feel happier and more excited. The response is like euphoria. It seems like how human responds to hallucinogenic drugs. The difference is that catnip does not contain addictive essence so that it will not make your cats addicted. So, the reaction depends on whether your cats eat or sniff the herb.
- Commonly, cats will only sniff the catnip, even though some cases show that cats may also eat catnip. If your cats sniff catnip, they will show amazing reaction. Sometimes, your cats will roll around the catnip, slap at the catnip, rub against the catnip, or paw at this plant. Even more, some cases show that the cats may go bonkers, drool, purr, or growl for a while. After a few minutes or hours, your cats will stop doing that crazy reaction.
- If you give catnip to your cats, they will be more aggressive than before. Your cats will not act like the usual lazy acts. So, if you have more than one cat at home, you cannot give one catnip plant to all of your cats. They may fight to take away by force. So, it will be better for you to give catnip for each cat you have. So, they can play with their own catnip.
- Catnip cannot only make your cats happier or more aggressive. Even though your cats may only respond to catnip, you can also make your lazy cats really more aggressive if you give catnip every day. It can control your cat’s behavior. So, giving catnip to cats should not only once but regularly and periodically.
Why Do Cats Like Catnip?
Actually, not all cats respond to catnip. However, it doesn’t mean that some cats don’t like catnip. I can say that all cats like catnip but the response depends on your cats themselves. So, a question arises that why do cats love catnip? Catnip is not like other plants. Catnip is different from any other plants even pendant. Catnip contains certain essence named nepetalactone that can make some cats addicted. At least, your cats will love it so much. This essence has a good smell where cats love it. That is why your cats will roll or play on the catnip plants. Anyway, catnip becomes a good solution for you who have a lazy cat and want to make your cat more aggressive.
Various Facts of Catnip
Besides the benefits, there are so many facts of catnip that you need to know. It may relate to some aspects. Because the facts are very important, let’s check it out here:
- Catnip is a kind of perennial herb. It belongs to mint family of Nepeta Cataria. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and also has stems or stalks with heart shaped leaves. Besides that, the stem tips have small lavender, pink, blue, or white blooms. Actually, catnip can grow in America and Africa too. However, mostly it can only grow well in Asia and Europe.
- Catnip can make cats respond to it and becomes more aggressive. However, do you know that only about 50 to 7 percents of cats that want to respond catnip? It doesn’t only depend on the catnip but it can also be affected by the cat itself. For example, most Australian cats won’t respond to catnip. Besides that, too young cats or too old cats may also have less reaction to catnip. On the contrary, big cats like leopards, lions, and tigers are very sensitive to catnip and they will be very aggressive.
- Catnip can also be used to fight against insects including mosquitoes, flies, termites, and cockroaches. Even more, its effectiveness can be up to 10 times compare to other plants. However, catnip cannot fight against bugs if you apply it onto your skin.
- Catnip is very useful not only for cats but also for humans. Commonly, catnip is used to make a tea. In fact, tea made of catnip can treat some health problems or diseases such as toothaches, headaches, and nausea. If you have insomnia, I suggest you to drink catnip tea and it will fix your insomnia problem. However, you have to note that catnip shouldn’t be used by pregnant women.
- Today, you can also find catnip inform of capsule. You can buy it in many stores. It is usually used by you who want to treat certain diseases. So, buying catnip should depend on your purposes.
- There are also many organic products of catnip that you can find. For example, you can find catnip sprays. Besides that, there are also many catnip loose leaves available. Then, some stores also sell catnip toys, scratching pads, dental chews, pellets, buds, and flowers.
Is Catnip Bad for Cat?
We have discussed how to grow catnip for cats clearly. However, some people say that catnip is not really safe for cats. So, which is true? Is catnip safe or bad for cats? It is very interesting to be discussed so that you can use it rightly without a doubt.
Firstly, you need to know that mostly, cat will not eat catnip. However, some cats may eat catnip. In fact, cats are not herbivore. That is why they don’t like eating catnip. Commonly, cats only sniff catnip and the cats will act crazy. Anyway, if your cats eat catnip, it doesn’t matter and it is safe surely.
Your cats may only sniff or chew catnip without eating it. A study shows that catnip is safe for cats. However, some cases show that cats may experience vomit or even diarrhea after too much chewing catnip. You shouldn’t be worry because you it doesn’t happen for long, only a few minutes or hours and your cats will be healthy again.
You may store your catnip at cabinets or other kinds of storage. However, your cats will be able to sniff it. Does it mean that your cats addicted in catnip? I can say that cats love catnip but as long as catnip doesn’t contain addictive essence, catnip won’t make your cats addicted even though they will love it so much.
Based on the explanation above, it can be concluded that catnip is safe for your cats as long as your cats are not overdose. As we know, everything is bad if overdose. So, after knowing that catnip is safe, now you shouldn’t worry to practice how to grow catnip for lazy cats.
How to Use Catnip
After knowing how to grow catnip for your cats, now we will talk about how to use catnip. However, before we go to this discussion farther, it will be better to know how effective catnip is. On the other words, you need to know what effects given by catnip.
- Catnip Can Reduce Stress
If your cat is stressed, you should entertain it. It means you have to give something your cat loves. In this case, catnip is very effective to treat stress for cats. Stress commonly happens to cats when you move to a new house or some other situations. To prevent stress, just give catnip to your cats and let them sniff and play with the catnip.
- Catnip Can Make Cats Confident
Are your cats mousy? If you have mousy cats, you can make them more confident. In fact, catnip can make your cats happier, more excited, and more aggressive. If you train your cats with catnip regularly, they will be confident can be like the common cats. Your cats will also be braver.
- Catnip Can Make Cats More Active
Your cats may not be mousy. However, your cats are lazy. If you want your cats more active, you can consider giving them catnip. If your cats more active, they will be healthier and funnier. So, you will love them more and more.
Those are the effects that you should know about catnip to cats. So, we can say that all the effects are good. There is no bad effect can be seen there. That is why you should understand how to plant catnip for kitten. Now, we will talk in detailed how to use catnip for your cats.
- Give Catnip Toys
Today, we can find various toys that contain catnip for cats. However, you have to know that the effect will be reduced time by time. It is like herbal ingredients where the smell is reduced by the time because of the air and light exposure. In this way, you just need to give the toys to your cats and let them play with the toys. They love the toys because of the smell of catnip.
- Spread Catnip on the Floor
Besides that, you can also spread catnip on the floor and then let your cats to sniff, play, roll, and do crazy acts with catnip. It is very simple, isn’t it?
What to Keep in Mind
Using catnip to your cats is very simple and easy. However, you know some things related to it. You cannot give catnip carelessly because it may not be effective or even danger your cats. So, pay attention to these tips:
- Don’t Give Catnip to Too Young Kitten
Can you give catnip to kitten? Actually, it isn’t recommended but it is allowed. In fact, kitten is commonly active and not lazy. They like playing around. So, you don’t need to give catnip to your kitten. However, it is allowed as long as your kitten is not too young. At least, your kitten should be more than 2 months because too young kitten will not respond it. Anyway, it will be better to let your kitten play naturally without catnip so that the kitten won’t be addicted.
- Give Dry Catnip to Cats
Before you give catnip to your cats, you have to make sure that the catnip is dry. However, it shouldn’t be too dry. So, after you harvest catnip, you cannot give it to your cats directly but dry it out first. After you are sure that the catnip is dry, give it to your cats and let them play with it.
- Give Catnip Leaves to Cats
When you harvest catnip, you may cut the leaves only or with the stalks. If you only cut the leaves, you can give them to your cat. Just spread them onto your floor and your cats will sniff then approach to the catnip leaves.
- Give Catnip with Stalks
If you harvest catnip by cutting the stalks, you can give them including the stalks to your cats on the floor. Your cats will go to the catnip soon because they can sniff the smell even though the distance is a few meters.
- Let Your Cats Chew or Eat Catnip
In some cases, cats may also like chewing or even eating catnip. What should you do if your cats do that? You shouldn’t stop it because it is safe. Just let what your cats like to do to catnip even eating it because after a few minutes or hours your cats will stop sniffing, chewing or eating catnip.
- Don’t Give Catnip Too Much and Too Often
Even though catnip is safe for your cats, it is not recommended to give it to your cats too much and too often. Just give a few stalks or leaves of catnip to your each cat. Then, how often can you give catnip to your cats? Ideally, you only need to give it once a week. However, twice a week is still allowed but three times a week will be too often.
Which Is Better Between Catnip Toys or Catnip Plants?
As it is mentioned before, there are many products of catnip toys today. They are available in many markets. Nowadays, you can buy catnip toys either via online or on store. However, a question raises that if we compare between catnip toys and catnip plants, which is better?
Actually, catnip toys and catnip plants shouldn’t be compared. They are both good for cats because the effect is same. However, the effectiveness of catnip plants is higher because they are still natural whether catnip toys only contain small catnip. So, when we talk about the effect, catnip plants have the bigger effects.
Can Cats Be Tempered After Given By Catnip?
There is also a good question whether cat will be tempered after you give catnip to them. As we know, catnip can make cats more aggressive. However, it won’t change the temper. So, if your cats are not tempered, your cats won’t be tempered after you give catnip to them. Temper may change but it isn’t affected by catnip. On the contrary, catnip can make your cats funnier and even look drunk.
What to Do If Cats Get Vomit by Catnip?
There are some cases that cats experience vomit caused by catnip. Usually, it happens to cats that chew or eat catnip. If your cats don’t chew or eat catnip, they won’t experience vomit. However, it vomit happens to your cats, what should you do? Just stop letting your cats from chewing or eating catnip and your cats won’t vomit again. Overall, catnip is safe for cats and it can be a solution for lazy cats. So, are you ready to follow how to grow catnip for your cats?
Description: How to grow catnip for your cats should be done rightly. You can plant from seeds or small plants. You can also grow it indoor or outdoor. Anyway, catnip is safe for your cats.