Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Catmint is an absolute must if you have cats and is a feature of many cat toys. Apparently 8/10 cats are affected by the fragrance of catmint, some much more than others! Watching them run around, rolling and grooming happily is a wonderful sight.
It's so easy to provide your own entertainment for you cat by either buying catmint dried or best of all planting some Nepeta. Nepeta Cataria is the true catmint though there are several kinds available that are suitable for cats; Nepeta mussinii is readily available at garden centres. I plant great swathes and my cats are then able to enjoy the whole 'pick your own' experience! When the gate is open, our neighbouring cat Macauley will sneek in too, gorge himself on catmint and then sleep and dream happy dreams under a bush or on a bit of cool grass in the shade.
Nepeta tends to be a beautiful blue flower and historically has been popular with cottage gardeners. It may be necessary to protect small plants from overexcited cats when first planted. Alternatively it can be grown in hanging baskets or pots if you have a small garden.
Nepeta whilst causing overactivity in cats has a sedative effect on humans. A calming tea may be made from the leaves, though it is not suitable for pregnant women.
Once the plant is a decent size cut off a few stems and hang upside down in a warm place. The leaves may then be crumbled and used to make cat toys. Simply make as you would lavender bags and get the camera out!! The picture above is of Tom rolling around in absolute delight during a catnip binge.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CONSUMPTION BY RABBITS - JUST FOR CATS AND PEOPLE!