Catnip can serve as a variety of uses for both humans and felines. Catnip can be used by humans in the form of a tea or infusion to act as a mild sedative, which can help relieve nausea, headaches, toothaches, and potentially even insomnia. Catnip contains the chemical nepetalactone, which can trigger a response in the brains of cats, typically resulting in a euphoric response.
While Catnip is neither harmful nor addictive for felines, not all cats are affected by catnip. Experts estimate that approximately 50-75% of facts have a reaction and sensitivity to it can be inherited. Different cats can have different reactions to catnip, so ensure that it is introduced individually in a multi-cat household.
After the plant’s first flower has completely bloomed, remove the spent flowers by cutting the stem back from the flower by one-third. Always ensure to remove dead or dried leaves throughout the growing cycle.
To harvest catnip, trim down a plant just above a leaf joint for more regrowth or completely to fully harvest.
Dry Catnip by trimming the leaves off of stems and laying them on a paper towel beneath a sunlit window for 2-3 days. Try to prevent cats from getting to the leaves while they are drying. Once dried, place in an airtight container for storage.
Making a catnip “tea” to dispense to cats in a spray bottle is a fun and easy way to deliver it to cats. To do so, begin by boiling 4-5 cups of water. Once it has reached a steady boil, remove it from the heat and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Next, add 1 tsp. of dried leaves or 1 tbsp. of fresh catnip to a tea ball or infuser and lower into the water. If these accessories are unavailable, add the catnip directly to the water and strain out the leaves later. Let the catnip steep for about 5-7 minutes, then either remove or strain out the leaves and set the tea aside, allowing it to cool to room temperature before adding to a spray bottle. Store spray in the refrigerator for future use. Potential uses of the spray can include spraying the catnip on the cat’s bedding, toys, or food, but avoid spraying directly onto or at a feline.