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Last Updated: 11/02/2009
This is Mint.
Catnip is a relative of the mint family and when you compare
the two, you can see just how similar they look. Both plants
are edible, and have a history of being used for a wide range
of ailments in both humans and cats. Both mint tea and catnip
tea have been used for centuries, you can find them both here:
As someone who has grown catnip for a long time, I believe
it's a bit difficult to grow. Start with a small pot
(couple of inches is fine) and a good potting/seed starter
soil. Fill the pot about 1 inch from the top, sprinkle in
your seeds, and put a fine layer of soil over them (less than
1/8 of an inch) and pack it moderately. Then place the pot
in a warm location that gets a bit of sun for the first week
or two. You have to keep the soil damp (not water logged or
too wet) almost constantly. A good way to do this is to keep
a spray bottle with water next to it, and spray the top of
the soil gently but religiously. After the seeds sprout, its
important to give it full sun and water it every day (but
not too much)! A young catnip plant is very fragile, and even a ½ to
1 day without water in full sun can kill it. Once your plant
gets larger, they are very hardy and more tolerant of going
without water. Catnip generally prefers a slightly to moderately
damp soil. Once your plant starts to get larger, it can be
transplanted like any other plant. Your cat will enjoy catnip
fresh off the plant, or you can pick it ahead of time and
dry it in a sunny location.
a) Rubbing and rolling in the catnip
Smelling the catnip is enough to cause a reaction although most cats also like eating catnip. It's said that catnip can improve a cat's digestion, and it also contains a wide range of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and fiber. This can help with furballs, and provide additional fiber and nutrients in their diet.
4. At what age can I give my kitten catnip: Well, it generally takes most kittens from 4-6 months to react to catnip. Frequently while they are young, they will actually turn away from it, but it all depends on the cat. I have seen 3 month old kittens that love it, and ones that have turned away, come back 3 months later, and go crazy then. So, probably easiest just to wait about 4 months, see if they like it, if not, try again a couple of months later. If by 8-12 months they dont like catnip, they may be one of the small percentage (about 10-15% of cats), that actually will never like catnip, but hopefully not!