Nothing makes your cat happier than a toy filled with their favorite herb, catnip! So what exactly is catnip? It’s an aromatic member of the mint family that contains nepetalactone, which gives cats a semi-narcotic reaction after they sniff it! Because it’s an herb, you can easily grow it with the other herbs and spices in your garden this summer!
What better way to reward your favorite kitty than with a toy made with homegrown catnip? With as cheap and easy as this is to grow yourself, you can surprise your favorite furry friend with this treat anytime!
What you’ll need:
- Flower pots
- Sterile potting soil (can be found here)
- Catnip seeds (can be found here)
- Watering can
Step 1: Plant your seeds
Fill your pot nearly to the top with potting soil. Add in a few tablespoons of the fertilizer into the pot and mix well with the potting soil. Carefully sprinkle the catnip seeds into the soil, covering each seed with the soil/fertilizer mixture (about 1/4 inch of the mixture).
Step 2: Water and place your plant in a fertile environment
Like many mint plants, catnip needs full sunlight but also a bit of partial shade, so balconies, patios and plots near trees work perfectly. The seeds need at least eight hours of sunlight, if possible. Using your watering can, lightly water the soil so it moistens the seeds but does not dislodge them. Place your pot on your patio or shaded garden plot and monitor the seeds and water when the soil looks too dry.
Step 3: Thin seedlings & harvest
When the seedlings reach about 2 inches in height, trim them. The seedlings will sprout very rapidly, so if you don’t trim the plants, they will tangle and dry out. Once the purple flowers start blooming (about a month or so), harvest the stems and completely dry them by hanging them. Tie the ends of the stems together with the twine. Once the leaves can completely crumble at the touch, they are dry enough.
Step 4: Stuff into toys or fabric
Once the catnip has dried, place the leaves into toys, fabric pockets or pouches and give to your cats! For a cute DIY project your cats will love, check out this step-by-step tutorial on craftbits!