Monday, September 4, 2017

Bring your cat happiness with a catnip kicker

catnip, catnip kicker, catnip responder, cat
Michael a minute or so after she sniffed the catnip-stuffed toy in my bag. At almost 17 years old she doesn't play quite as much as she used to, so it was a delight to see her enjoy this.

Is your cat a “catnip responder”? Various sources estimate that around 70 per cent of cats are susceptible to the heady effects of a volatile oil found in catnip (Nepeta cataria), a cheap-as-chips, relatively boring looking plant available at most nurseries. Cats that are affected will enthusiastically sniff the plant, rub themselves on it, roll around, drool, and be otherwise playful. Usually the effect lasts a few minutes, after which they are seemingly immune, but the process can start again a bit later.

We can’t ask the cats themselves, but it seems to bring them a little happiness. Last week, one of my lovely clients made a catnip kicker. Sue makes them for her cats, so I asked if she’d share her methods.

Sue’s Catnip Kickers

I created a pattern of a snake and cut it out on a sheet of cardboard (cereal box works well).

Trace the pattern onto your scrap fabric.

With right sides of fabric together sew around the edge, don't forget to leave a gap mid-way as you need to flip it right inside out.

You can add a tongue by sewing in a small piece of ribbon with a V cut at the top.

Eyes can be added by drawing on with a sharpie pen, make them look evil, it is a snake! [Ed: I’ve met some lovely snakes though!]

Once you have sewn your snake, flip it inside out so the pretty fabric is now on the outside.

Now stuff your snake with filling and your dried catnip.

Generously place some catnip in the tail, some midway and some in the head.

It’s almost done, now simply hand sew the opening closed.

You can buy catnip plants from Bunnings, it grows quickly in spring so you will soon be cutting and drying it.

Cut it, put an elastic band around the stem to hold all together and hang in a dry sunny spot, takes up to 2 weeks to dry.

Once dried, crunch it up with your hands and store in a container.

Home grown catnip is far stronger than you can buy anywhere else so be prepared for your cats to go crazy.

You can also make catnip mats, and catnip sausages (below).

You do not need a lot of skill to make the catnip snakes. 

Thanks Sue! As you can see, Mike adores it.

catnip, catnip toy, cat, black and white cat
Mike continuing to enjoy the experience.