Home Page




Fighting the

for you to

Odds & Endds


   Nut Gathering


   The Nasties

   Catnip   >>

   About the Author

   Products Section

Links to some friends
of Outdoors

Updated 2012!


By John A. Vance, Environmental Eng. Tech., & Outdoor Writer: Member; Outdoor Writers of Canada, et al) Forty year + as an Outdoor Pro' - The material found here is copyrighted material. For permission to use/copy material found here, please contact me - you may be pleasantly surprised when you do!

If you have a cat, this section is for you. Catnip is in the mint family, and has a very pungent odor. Wild catnip is incredibly potent, much more potent than varieties which are cultivated for domesticated markets. 

Catnip has also been used by many over the years as a 'home remedy' for various ailments, and of course, in times-gone-by, the most effective and potent catnip came from 'the wild'. 


Catnip, as I'm sure you could easily guess, got it's name because of the effect the plant has on cats. Scientists aren't sure just why/what cats 'go nuts' over catnip, but unrefutably - they do. Apparently, young  OR sexually immature cats may not pay much attention to catnip - but some in this 'class' do. Yet it is not an aphrodisiac for cats - they just seem to go nuts over it! The wild catnip is best as it is the most potent.

Wild catnip will put life back into old decrepit cats, and put a gleam back into their eyes. It seems that cats almost 'get high' on catnip, yet they aren't drunk, stoned, or in any way intoxicated. 

Most often the 'stuff' you buy in stores as either catnip, or in catnip mouses/toys is old, or mixed in with other inert ingredients such as alfalfa so that it has often little effect on cats. This is not only a 'rip-off' - it's a shame!  
The actual active ingredient is likely the menthol found in it - as it is in the mint family - yet menthol doesn't usually have the same characteristic within cats. For my catnip tops - I use ONLY the blooms - which is the high-test of the high test - the very best there is - bar none!

Catnip in the wild grows very often in poor soil, and can be found around old abandoned farm buildings, railway lines and the like. If you are going to gather your own catnip, be sure it is from pristine areas where no spraying with herbicides/pesticides has been done. The best way to harvest is wait until it has, and is, in flower, and pull up the whole plant - roots and all. Shake off any dirt/soil that are on the (fibrous - not tap) roots, and hang upside down to dry as quickly as possible - out of the sun. The hot summer sun will dry it quickly - but will also, through it's action - drive off much of the plant's volatility - dry it quickly - but out of the sun's direct rays. A garage, barn or shed is ideal. Of concern also is that spiders like to get into drying catnip - so be sure that it is not in a spider infested area. If you are going to use this catnip for either yourself, or our cat - DON'T SPRAY ANY POISON - to kill the spiders - anywhere near where you are drying the catnip! 

See below, the directions on how to make a catnip 'toy' for your cat - it'll love it.
(see self-explanatory photo) 

1/ Place half the catnip on a heavy piece of 6" X 6" cloth (old blue-jean denim is great) 
2/ Bunch-up cloth over catnip, which will make a bulge (elastic in photo is only to hold shape 
    while taking photo) 
3/ Tie off, TIGHTLY - just over catnip bulge - that's it! 

CAUTION: When allowing your cat to play with your catnip toy, the cat will drool, chew, roll on the catnip toy right until it is totally worn out ( about 3 months). For the first while the catnip toy will often be SATURATED with the cat's saliva - THEY LIKE THEM THAT MUCH! But the problem associated with this is that the toy may give off a bit of yellowish discoloring from the herb - so don't allow the cat to play with the toy on furniture/upholstery or rugs/carpets that could be stained by this slight emission. My uncle( as I update this web in 2010, my uncle is now deceased, sad-to-say) whom usually had several cats, of various ages around the house,( used to leave) leaves one of the strings used to tie-off the catnip toy relatively long, and ties this around a door knob. This allows the cat(s) to play with it, but keeps it from being carried up and onto furniture or carpets. Too, if you like to 'play with' your cat, this longer string will allow you to dangle and drag the toy around - and I assure you- with your cat in 'HOT PURSUIT'! 

Do your cat(s) a favor - and treat them to this stuff for Christmas. I give a goodly number of them away at Christmas time to my personal buds with cats. If you have 'people' on your Christmas list that are incredibly tough to buy for - because they seem 'have everything' - then these catnip toys( or the blooms/material for making their own) are for you. By 'treating' their cat - and after it goes berserk on this stuff - then you'll have given that PERSON( to say nothing of the cat) the best ENTERTAINMENT and Christmas gift - worth FAR MORE than the other useless stuff that they don't want.

Cat people are just as 'nuts' about their cats - as we 'dog people' about our dogs!

And this is far more personalized than most other items you could ever contemplate.

ALSO- I have for sale, packets of PURE WILD CATNIP BLOOMS (ONLY) - which I gather myself personally, gathered when the plants are at their best, and in full flower. Each packet is sufficient to make 4 catnip toys, and includes full instructions (just like here on the 'net') on how to make your catnip toy. 
You could take the seeds out of the product and start it growing at your own place, if you wished to do so.

 If you aren't 'into' making your own catnip toy, I also offer them for sale. 

Both the catnip, and catnip toys are offered for sale in my product section of this homepage.  The package of dried blooms, enough for  FOUR generous catnip toys will cost $10.00 (US) and postage. Two rugged catnip tops will cost $15.00 (US) and postage.

You'll notice that these items cost a BIT more than similar items offered in 'pet shops' etc. but the reason is simple - these toys are 'HANDMADE'( by myself - so quality guaranteed) and the catnip is 100% PURE WILD CATNIP BLOOMS (only) - INCLUDING ( ONLY) THE FLOWERS/SEEDS - and is fresh/viable and wickedly potent - NO MATTER HOW OLD OR FINICKY YOUR CAT IS - it'll 'go nuts' over this stuff! 
Directions are included with either the catnip or toys. It is Guaranteed 100% organic - and from the wild - I give you my word on that as a certified Environmental Eng. Tech ( a certified/diploma'd 3 year college course) You can use your credit card or PayPal account - at my product section. If you wish to use any other payment option, including cash - simply email me - or call me at 705-849-9154( eastern Time)


Author: John A. Vance
Copyright © 1998 John A. Vance. . . 

Back To Top 
Of  Page