Can I Give My Cat Fresh Catnip?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, discusses the benefits of fresh catnip for cats.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: July 8, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

Printer Friendly
Q: Is fresh catnip OK to give my cat?

A: Sure! I am always surprised that people will give their cats catnip toys but not the real thing. I would guess that 95% of my clients don’t think about it until I ask them. I always carry some dried fresh catnip in my backpack and with my client’s permission, give some to the cats I care for during my visits.

My own cats absolutely love catnip — so much so that it’s a really fun time in my house when I have to refill the catnip in my backpack. I keep catnip in a large container in the refrigerator, which helps it last longer. When I am ready to do the transfer, I try to do it when my cats are snoozing on another room. No matter how quiet I am, however, my cat Roscoe usually comes running into the kitchen (followed by my other cats) and makes it quite clear he wants some right now. Once I even closed myself in the bathroom to transfer the catnip but we all know cats are always one step ahead of us. All the cats were all lined up waiting for me when I opened the door. Caught red-handed, each cat got a small amount to play with.

Catnip is fun for most cats and the response is nearly the same for all. First they sniff it, then they might lick it and finally they might start rolling around in it. Some cats salivate, and other cats will groom with gusto — or groom each other! All if this is fine. Not only are they having fun but it fun to watch, the affects don’t last long. Soon they will soon go off to inspect something else, or take a well-deserved cat nap.

Catnip is not expensive and comes in dried leaves and blossoms and even a non-aerosol spray. I also like to give my cats a “nip rug” to play with. This is a small piece of rug that I put the catnip on. They play with it, scratch it and I like to think it saves my furniture! As always I welcome your stories and comments.

Visit my website and follow me on Twitter @jadlon_catcalls for my daily cat tip.

See more articles by Jeanne Adlon>>


Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Can I Give My Cat Fresh Catnip?

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Ronnie    Medina, NY

7/26/2015 8:53:01 AM

Growing catnip is easy and can be a great way to spend some quality time with are furry kids . getting seeds can seem impossible If you don't know were to look surprisingly thou it grows wild over most of the us and europe. If you can find it wild in your area great if not you can get seeds very easily from commercial store bought catnip when you get a pack look in the bottom of the pack for tiny black specks those are the seeds spread them on a south southwest side of were ever you want to grow it. It can take 2 years for it to come up so don't worry if you don't see it right away once you have a plant don't disturbed the root this can be let for years to harvest just cut off the stem 1 or 2 brackets ( stem segments ) above the ground and it will come back every year it can stand up to freezing so it can take winter no problem good luck and have fun

Ronnie    medina, NY

7/21/2015 8:53:04 AM

I grow for my 3 cats and I always end up with so much that I have to throw out the left over nip every year I know that it will last for 2 years if properly dried and preserved but the last time I did that I ended up with 6 pounds of it so now I throw out each years left overs

Judy    Arlington, VA

10/18/2014 1:00:08 PM

My cat is not interested in catnip fresh, dried or in toys!

Denise    Atlanta, GA

7/13/2014 5:31:36 AM

I grow catnip in my patio garden and my 2 cats, Tia and Chloe both love it. Chloe will scootch across the floor smearing it all over the sides of her face.. This macerates the leaves and releases the scent that drives her wild. Tia just cuts to the chase and nibbles a leaf or two and stares off in space as if stoned. After a few minutes of catnip bliss, they take a catnap with the most contented expressions on their little faces. Catnip is easy to grow, just water and feed it...and it grows into a lush, green plant.

View Current Comments

Top Products