Friday, April 8, 2011

Growing your own catnip: It's an easy and fun way to treat your cats

Catnip seeds growing on a sunny windowsill
My cats are complete drug addicts. They absolutely adore catnip. However, when I buy them catnip toys, I find that they often tire of the catnip after a day or two.

They adore dried catnip, of course, but I tire of having sprinkles of green all over my carpets. I also tire of spending $7 to $8 per tub, and I am not always certain that the catnip I am buying hasn't been sprayed with pesticides.

This year, I decided to grow my own catnip.

My husband installed this nifty shelf in the sunporch of our house, which means the pots are exposed to heat and sun but I can keep the cats away from the plants as they grow. I've sprinkled this soil with a small amount of seeds, and covered the soil with plastic wrap.

Each day, I mist the soil with a small amount of water and replace the wrap. When the seeds sprout, I'll remove the wrap and thin the crop to just the strongest plants. When the plants are 8 inches tall, I can harvest the branches.

I will simply give my cats the snipped branches to munch on. If you'd like to grow your own catnip and dry it, this blog post will show you how.