10 Ways to Use Catnip For Your Cat

Nepeta Cataria (scientific name of catnip) is a herbaceous plant used as an ornament or as a natural herbal remedy for humans.

But for everyone this herb remains, though, the “cat grass“.

The catnip leaves fact have an irresistible smell for these animals and those who want to grow it as an ornamental plant, would have a hard time with a cat at home.

The active substance in the leaves of this herb, “nepetalactone“, has a euphoric, aphrodisiac and rejuvenating effect, even on very lazy or older cats.

And it is shown that it can improve the mood of our feline friends simply smelling it.

cat enjoying catnip

This herb belongs to the family of the mind and, as such, it gives off a very intense aroma.

Cats also can benefit from the ingestion of the leaves as rich in vitamins and minerals, or in some cases because they are able to induce vomiting and solve the problem of the accumulation of hair in the stomach.

In short, you should make catnip available to your kitty to please him and make him happy.

But this is not the only way to exploit the benefits of this plant on domestic cats.

Nepeta Cataria can be used fresh or dried. In both forms, it has different modes of use.


Here Are 10 Ways to Use Catnip For Your Cats


Fresh Severed Grass

Normally you should give the cat only the portion of leaves cut for pruning.

This way, you can continue to cultivate the same seedlings without having to sow new ones every time the cat has finished the catnip made available to him.

Usually, it is recommended not to exceed two or three doses per week.

It’s not addictive (as someone believes), but there is the possibility that the cat gets used to the plant, not receiving more healthful effects when eaten every day.


Fresh Pounded Catnip

Proceed as above, except that the leaves are pounded a bit before giving them to your cat.

In this way, the aroma is released even better and your feline friend can not resist!


On the Scratching Post

The fresh grass can be rubbed on the scratching post of your four-legged friend.

This way, you may convince him more easily to use it, instead of scratching sofas, curtains, or furniture.

Scratching Post


On New House Objects

The same way of previous point, you can rub a little of catnip on new items that you have introduced in the house and that the cat does not seem to accept (blankets, kennels, hygienic boxes, toys, new collars or bandanas, etc.).

It is not guaranteed to work, but you should give it a try before you give up and get rid of the new object introduced in your house.


In the Pet Carrier

Rubbing a bit of fresh catnip in his travel carrier, you should be able to get you cat meekly on departure.

You surely know that when it’s time to bring your feline friend to the vet, most of the cases he disappear or engage fights to the death with you to not enter into the carrier.

cat travel carrier


In the Food

This is indicated for inappetent cats.

A little chopped fresh catnip can be also added to the food to entice inappetent animals, because very picky or convalescent, to help them eat.


On the Toys

To make the game even more exciting moment or invite your particularly lazy cat to do some “movement”, you may want to rub a little catnip on his toys.

You may also want to create new toys that have inside dried catmint.

Check this post for reading about the Top 5 Catnip Toys for Your Feline Friends



When introducing a cat into a new environment, you can rub the catnip in the spaces intended for him to set him more quickly and with less stress.



Whether is for your feline friend’s playful moments or for a different reason, I hope this article will help you to find catnip useful for many purposes.

Enjoy the several uses of catmint!


Photo credit at https://www.flickr.com/photos/foxgrrl/



NepetaCataria.org is not responsible for any wrong use of the information contained in this article.

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  1. We recently took in a cat that needed to be re homed due to illness of the previous owner.
    He is a male Ragdoll 6yrs old although we have only had him two days he has hardly eaten or drank
    and has not used the litter box which he was previously used to.
    and has made the furniture his toilet
    we are aware he will need time to re adjust
    any help or tips would be much appreciated

  2. We purchased a catnip plant from the nursery yesterday. When our elderly cat woke up and smelt it she immediately perked up and started rubbing up against the plant, smelling the leaves and talking to us. When I put her out for her last visit to the garden last night she promptly went and sat next to the plant on the patio for a long time. Very entertaining 😄

    1. Funny story, Gail! 🙂
      That must have been an extremely amusing show to watch….Thanks for sharing it with us.
      Cats love catnip!

  3. Put dried catnip in her food to hopefully get her to eat more. Semi successful. Any other ideas would be welcomed.

Cat Lover

Loving cats since 1978.