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Welcome Crazy Cat People
Catnip! It’s the cat’s hidden secret! If you have ever seen your cats around catnip you will know what I mean! Catnip can lead to hours of fun for you and your fur babies! Now your asking ”How much catnip to put in a homemade cat toy”?
As a general rule, one tablespoon of catnip is all that is needed within a catnip toy. Catnip should only be used with cats a couple of times a week. Cats have a scent organ on the roof of their mouth called the vomeronasal gland which can become desensitized to catnip if it is used too frequently.
Like a lot of things, less is sometimes more. Read more below to discover some interesting facts about catnip, its history, and even better some imaginative ways in which you can use catnip for puuur-fect play sessions!
Recommended catnip products!
Try this Catnip with added valerian for extra strength its called ”Meowdicinal Catnipbis” Apparently the addition of valerian boost how cats react to catnip by 87%!
If you haven’t tried a catnip flippy fish then you haven’t lived yet! Your cats will love them! – Click here to see them!
What Is Catnip?
Catnip or its original name Nepeta Cataria is a common herb of the mint family. It is native to China, Europe, and central Asia. When it grows in the wild this plant can grow to three feet tall, so quite a large plant. Its flowers bloom from late spring and well into Autumn and its leaves are greeny brown which is common with species of plants that originate from the mint family.
I bet you didn’t know that catnip can also be used by humans too! Yes, this wild herb that is associated with cats is also a relaxant and a sedative for humans. How about you and Kitty have a catnip session together sometime and get high 🙂
We can just call it interactive play!
What does catnip do to cats?
Please tell me you have seen Cats on catnip!
If you haven’t then you so need to! Cat’s love catnip, the ones that are susceptible to it anyway. Yes, that’s right unfortunately not all cats get the effects from this potent herb.
According to this post by PETMD – ”Not all cats will respond to the active compound in catnip. Veterinary studies suggest that about 60% of cats will have a behavioural reaction to catnip.”
Very Unlucky for the 40% who don’t get stimulated by the nip!
How does catnip work in cats?
So Cats have a scent organ in the roof of their mouth, for anyone who wants to know it is called the vomeronasal gland.
Inside the plant is an oil called Nepetalactone which when cats detect this oil causes the effects of catnip.
What are the effects of catnip?
There are numerous different effects from catnip, cats will roll on catnip, rub themselves on the leaves or dried herb, and experience relaxation and happiness but some cats can also show signs of playfulness and in rare instances aggression.
it is said that catnip mimics feline sex hormones and targets their ”happy centres” in the brain to cause the effects we often see in cats.
I love giving my cats catnip, it stimulates them into play and my cats will often run around the house from one room to another in a crazy fit. They seem to rub themselves all over the catnip, lick it and even roll around on the herb, which is said to help the oils come out of the leaves.
They then run from room to room frantically for 10 minutes or so before becoming relaxed and zoning out. Catnip doesn’t tend to last very long with cats. After the initial 15 minute rush that they get, they are quickly back to baseline and then are unable to feel any further effects for at least a few hours.
Cats are also known to drool, purr, growl and Meow when they have catnip.
Some say that just sniffing catnip causes the stimulation effect whereas eating catnip is what causes Kitty to feel relaxed and spaced out.
Imaginative ways to use Catnip
- Use catnip stuffed toys
- Use catnip in an old sock
- Sprinkle catnip on scratching post
- Use catnip in a cat carrier to induce relaxation
- Add a pinch of catnip to the food
- Use Liquid catnip spray on toys and cat beds
- Catnip deters pests so grow in the garden
- Make yourself a relaxing catnip tea
Has you can see there are lots of ways to use this herb for yourself and your kitty. There are also some other cute ideas for the arty people out there on this blog post by the honest kitchen.
I am one of those crazy people who did actually try a catnip tea and I can honestly say I did feel some sort of relaxation effects. I would say it felt a little like camomile tea which is one of my favourite relaxing nightcaps.
The taste wasn’t too nice if I am being honest but nothing that a teaspoon full of honey could not sweeten.
How to make a catnip sock
- Take an old sock that is no longer needed
- Add one tbsp of dried catnip to the sock
- Screw up a ball of tinfoil and add it to the mix
- Add a ball or two of screwed up paper
- Add a little bell from a craft store (optional)
- Tie the top of the sock shut
- Add some yarn to the top of the sock
- Spray the sock with catnip spray – (You can purchase the spray here)
You can pretty much use your imagination on this one as you can add all sorts of things to a catnip sock and what a great way to use those odd socks we all end up with after the washing machines monster decides to devour them!
Conclusion: How much catnip to put in a catnip toy
So as already discussed above less is more, fill your catnip toys with just one tablespoon, that is all you need. No need to fill an entire sock with catnip! Save your money and let the catnip go a lot further.
I thought I better add this here to that giving a cat excessive catnip can lead to nausea so limit the amount given, please.
”There’s no evidence that catnip is harmful to cats or young kittens. However, if they eat a lot of the fresh or dried catnip leaves, they can get an upset tummy along with vomiting or diarrhea”.ASPCA Pet health insurance.
As always take care of yourself and your babies.
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)