Growing your Own Catnip
With Spring in full bloom we are becoming more and more green fingered as a nation and choosing to plant the most pawfect of plants right in the comfort of our own homes. As our previous posts have explored the dog-friendly wonders of what our glorious gardens can behold, we thought it right to inform our feline fans out there that you can grow one plant that your cat certainly can't resist.
Cat lovers across the globe are well aware of the use of Catnip to help with certain behaviours and aid in the relaxation of their four-legged friends. From discouraging the destruction of furniture to soothing anxiety, the benefits of catnip are amazing and you can easily grow it in your own back garden. So, from first time kitten owners to avid cat lovers, here’s why Catnip is so amazing and how you can get your paws on some this Spring.
What is Catnip?
Nepeta Cataria, or commonly known as Catnip, is a plant from the mint family grown across the world. It is a plant from the int family with light purple flowers and has been used for medicinal purposes in both humans and felines for many years.
The scent will induce playful and erratic behaviour (normal play for cats) and can last up to 10 minutes. Once over, the effects can lead to relaxation and sleep making it an ideal additive to their daily routine during times of play.
Benefits of Catnip
As Catnip induces the play sensation in felines, spraying catnip onto certain toys or parts of the house can help build the bond between you and your new cat. Often toys, such as Kong’s range of ticklers, are infused with catnip to encourage play-like behaviours meaning you can join in on your cat’s craze for catnip building a stronger bond between you both.
For us humans, catnip can actually help prevent your feline from destroying furniture from excessive scratching. Simple sprays onto your cat's accessories such as scratching posts can help your cat understand the best places to play to avoid the tearing or shredding of shoes, couches and curtains that can appeal to our four-legged friends.
Growing your Own Catnip
Like many of our lockdown activities this spring, growing your own plants can be great on the purse strings and even better for your bodies. For our cats, growing your own catnip can ensure 100% fresh, natural and homegrown love is used for your furry friends and the achievement you will feel when your plant starts sprouting is immense beyond belief. You can choose to buy either plants or seeds but like any growing, we would always encourage seed to ensure no weed killer or pesticides have been added.
Catnip can be grown both indoors and outdoors but we suggest staying indoors so no nosey neighbouring felines get their paws on your cat’s special spring treat. For indoor planting, fill small planting pots or an indoor trough with compost and sprinkle the seeds into the bed of soil (you can purchase seeds from garden centres and even some pets stores in your local area). These plants need plenty of sunlight so we suggest placing your pots near the kitchen or conservatory windows for maximum growth.
Water your catnip regularly but be careful not to overwater and soak your plants, once fully formed (should be in a matter of weeks), transfer your catnip plants to pots and place outside once the frosts have passed, and watch your plants grow.
Once your plants have fully sprouted, you can remove the leaves and air-dry for natural catnip powder, for catnip spray, soak the air-dried leaves in water and transfer to a squirt bottle and spray in all your cats favourite places around the home.