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Spoil Kitty With Home-Grown Catnip – Here’s How
Posted By Tipnut On March 30, 2007 @ 6:57 am In Garden & Plants,Outdoor Gardening | 6 Comments
Although approximately 1/3 of cats couldn’t care less about catnip, the rest flip for it. And drool. And race around! Why do they love it so much?
This plant produces Nepetalactone oil and that acts something like an aphrodisiac for cats. Is it harmful to them? Experts say no  (pdf), there are no short term or long term ill effects on them.
It’s great for those that are a little too laid back (ummm, lazy). They get a good workout and a little exercise with their happy time. If your little friend is really old or has health problems, it’s probably not a good idea to give it to her since she will get excited and hyper.
Catnip is a 50-100 cm tall herb resembling mint in appearance, with greyish-green leaves; the flowers are white, finely spotted with purple. Source: Wikipedia 
Fresh leaves provide the most pleasure. Pull off a leaf or two and roughly crumple and rub the leaf a bit to release the natural chemical before giving it to kitty. If she responds to it, she’ll roll around in it, do a couple flips, maybe even drool a bit.
This plant is from the mint family and it is very easy to grow. You can try it outdoors or keep it as a houseplant. Be careful to position in a location that a cat can’t get at–they will destroy, shred and strip the entire plant if they get their little paws on it!
If you’d like to try your hand at growing it, these are the best instructions I’ve found: wbryant.com . My goodness that’s some crazy catnip! lol!
By growing your own you’ll not only have one happy camper–you’ll also benefit by having a lush, bushy plant on your patio or hanging in the window. Win-win!
For some cats your furniture and expensive drapes are much more exciting to shred and sharpen claws on instead of a scratching post. Try rubbing some catnip in the carpeting of the post, that should do the trick in attracting kitty to use it.
Also be sure to spend some time showing her how to use the scratching post. Gently take her front paws and drag them down the post (carefully) so that she gets the idea.
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URLs in this post:
 Experts say no: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480656/pdf/canvetj00079-0049.pdf
 Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catnip
 wbryant.com: http://www.wbryant.com/StellaCat/catnip/howto.htm
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