Friday, December 31, 2010

Clyde and the Catnip

I had some dried catnip so I thought I would put it in a bag got Clyde to play with. I think he liked it!

He was moving so fast it was hard to get his picture.

What a silly boy he was over a bag of dried catnip. I wondered why cats love it so much, and found out that it has something in it called nepatalactone. According to what I've read, male unneutered cats react strongest to catnip. Clyde is neutered which makes me wonder how he'd behave if he wasn't fixed. He eventually got the bag open and dumped the contents all over the rug.

This was dried catnip; I grew some this year and was curious as to how the cats would be with it. They ignored the plants completely. Go figure.

Catnip isn't just for cats, however. A member of the mint family, the plant has been used in the past for a broad range of medicinal purposes. However, today it is mainly used as a tea for its mildly sedative quality. Chewing the root is said to produce the opposite effect and can make a person quarrelsome and jumpy.

Next summer, I'll be sure to dry more of the catnip for my cats. I think I'd find more relaxation just watching them play with it than I would drinking catnip tea.


Mama-Bug said...

Happy New Year Sue! Clyde looks like he's having a great time with the catnip. Hope 2011 is a great year for you and yours! Hugs from Mamabug!!!!


Granny Sue -- I'm looking forward to your posts in 2011. You enjoy many of the activities that are similar to mine. Storytelling has fascinated me since I attended a storytelling event years ago. May a peacefulness enter your life in 2011. -- barbara

Country Whispers said...

Funny that it's used as a mild sedative in teas yet for cats it typically produces the opposite effect. I realize they are not ingesting it as we would but still odd.
My cat is strange. She doesn't do anything when I give her catnip. She acts like she could care less.

Markin said...

Don't count on the fresh catnip's attracting no cats, though. My mother and I tried a plant in our back yard once and ended up with every cat in the neighbourhood come prowling for it. That poor little plant didn't last a week ... ;)

Happy New Year!

Granny Sue said...

Our female cat doesn't seem to care about it at all, which seemed odd to me until I read further--apparently male cats are more drawn to catnips odor for some reason. So it may well be that my plant gets attention this coming year, now that Clyde is almost full grown. And it might explain those 2 wild tomcats that were hanging around last summer.

Mountainword said...

GSue - I love catnip tea! It's one of my favorite things to drink in the summer, and when its hot tea its good too.

I usually cut it by putting a few of the leaves in with a real tea bag and then pour the hot water. If you rip the leaves or squeeze them, more of the flavor comes out into the tea.

I have dried catnip here and Franklin and Julius love it! It's a good toy for them when they get stuck inside because of the cold outside.

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