If you are a cat owner, you know that cats love catnip. While it is easy enough to buy pre-dried catnip from the store, it can be even more rewarding and economical to dry your own at home. Let’s take a look catnip and the steps needed to properly dry and store your catnip so that your feline friend can enjoy its benefits.
Why does my cat love catnip?
Catnip is a type of herb that has an irresistible scent to cats. Catnip is a type of herb that contains a compound called nepetalactone. When cats smell and taste this compound, they become very excited and playful. Catnip also seems to have mood-lifting effects on cats – making them happy and calm.
How to harvest catnip
Catnip grows best in full sun, though it still does well in partial shade. You should pick the leaves when the plant is about 6 inches tall and before any flowers have appeared on the stems.
When harvesting leaves, try not to cut off too much of the stem because this will cause the plant to die down quickly. Once harvested, rinse off any dirt or debris from the leaves and pat them dry with a paper towel.
How to dry catnip
Once you have gathered your freshly harvested catnip, you will need to dry it out before using or storing it.
There are two main methods of drying catnip that work equally well – air drying and oven drying. Air drying will take longer than oven drying but both methods require you to spread out the leaves in an area with a good flow of air such as near an open window or fan.
Make sure to turn over the leaves every few days so they dry evenly on both sides. The leaves should be completely dried out within two weeks if using air drying or within one hour if using oven drying (at 200°F).
Once your catnip has been completely dried out, store it in an airtight container away from light and moisture for up to 6 months.
Oven Drying Method: Spread fresh leaves onto parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake at 200°F for one hour until completely dried out (turning halfway through baking time). Let cool before storing in an airtight container away from light and moisture for up to 6 months.
Concluding thoughts on catnip
With just a little bit of effort, you can easily make your own supply of catnip for your furry friend! Harvesting and drying catnip is easy enough that anyone can do it. All you need is some patience while waiting for the leaves to finish drying!
Once complete, store your homemade catnip in an airtight container away from light and moisture until ready to use – then watch as your kitty enjoys hours of fun. You are your cat’s hero now!