Thank you for the gifts from our Amazon wish list!
This is a video of Abbey showing you how much she loves the catnip rainbows!
Thank you Wendy Sardella for the catnip Rainbows!
Thank you Debi Cull-Pearce for the catnip Rainbow and sponges!
Thank you Julianna Walo for the catnip Rainbow!
Thank you Melanie Kremkau for the sponges and cleaners!
Thank you Kourtney Culver for the Gain!
Thank you Kimberly Sliney for the ear cleaner!
Thank you for the toys!
Thank you Linda Costello for the catnip rainbow!
Thank you Janay Compton for the ear cleaner!
Thank you Paula O'Brien for the ear cleaner!
Thank you Shelie Ann Badi Kopp for the ear cleaner!
He is receiving a feeding tube today and will remain hospitalized for a few more days.
Nepeta – The Catmints
By Jill Anne Sparapany
Almost all cats love catnip! What is catnip? Why do cats love it?
I was watching the “My Cat From Hell” marathon last weekend and I knew every Trivia Question! How? By writing the BCR blog articles, I learned a lot about cats and cat stuff! But, my cats were thankful and happy I wasn’t totally clueless. I knew Nepeta cataria is the scientific name for catnip because I have it in my wildflower garden. It is also known as catswort and catmint. Every scientific name for animals and plants is comprised of two names – the genus and species. The genus is the first name and species is the second name.
Nepeta plants are known as the catmints. They are very hardy perennial herbal plants that are easy growing and are drought and deer resistant. With very few pest problems, they are natural repellants for certain insects in the garden, such as aphids and squash bugs. On the pleasant side, Nepeta is grown for its highly attractive qualities to house cats and butterflies. My catmint plants come up every year without fertilizers, have weathered our hot Southern summer droughts, not required any pruning and have solid dense plant bases that have not let weeds grow in them. They have tiny lavender flowers on tall spires that are favorites of butterflies and big fat bumblebees. The flowers have a gentle pleasant aroma.
The catmints have beautiful lavender blooms that flower from early summer through autumn with repeating blooms all season. Other varieties have white flowers delicately dotted with pale pink or purple. They boast beautiful leafy foliage that range from dark green to light green to bluish-green hues. When the fresh leaves are plucked and gently crushed between your fingers, you can smell the faint, pleasant scent of catnip. The leaves have a pleasant taste and many use the dried leaves to make tea.
Several varieties have tall 30-inch billowing spikes of blooms and others are lower varieties reaching only to 18-inches. Nepeta plants are excellent for full sun and, as “wildflowers”, do not require the high maintenance of other flowering garden plants. Wildflowers provide excellent root systems that prevent soil erosion, especially on hillsides and areas susceptible to weather-related erosion, and grow well in poor soil conditions, such as clay.
|My Catnip (middle plant)|
|Deep Purple blooms Siberian Catmint|
A friend I worked with had two large dogs and a cat. Several times a day, the dogs and cat could enjoy outdoor time in their fenced backyard. She would call the dogs that would come immediately and she would tell them, “Go get the cat.” Off the dogs would go to encourage the cat to come inside – anyone who’s owned cats knows, you can’t tell a cat anything! Every time, the cat would come trotting back with its canine friends. One day, she told them to go get the cat. Several minutes later, the dogs showed up at the back door and no cat. She told them again to go get the cat but the dogs sat there, looking up at her. When she stepped outside, the dogs lead her to the cat, which was lying on its back, paws outstretched over its head, smiling, after rolling around in the middle of the catmint plant enjoying the high from the freshly crushed leaves! Talk about cat heaven!
What’s so special about catmint? This beautiful ornamental garden plant contains nepetalactone, the main chemical compound in the essential oil of Nepeta cataria.
· Nepetalactone is a natural mosquito and fly repellent. In vitro studies have shown it to be ten times more effective as a mosquito repellent than DEET, but not when applied to skin. It is also an effective repellent for cockroaches and termites.
· Historically, catnip has been used medicinally for a variety of ailments but is not used with the advent of today’s pharmaceuticals.
· Catnip can be brewed as an herbal tea and is used a culinary herb in cooking.
· Catnip has behavioral effects on cats. Domestic cats are not the only cats that react. Tigers, leopards and lynxes react strongly in the same way as our domestic cats. Lions did not have the same strong reactions and reacted less frequently.
Catnip is the “recreational substance” of choice for our feline friends! Reactions include rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, pawing, licking and chewing on it. When the cat has consumed large quantities, observed behaviors are drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping around and purring. Other behaviors can include growling, meowing, scratching or biting the hand holding onto the catnip. Not all cats react to catnip in the same way or with the same strength of responsiveness. It is a hereditary trait and up to two-thirds of cats react to the plant. The time period of the cat’s response to the catnip scent is between 5 and 15 minutes. After this time, the scent does not produce the strong behaviors due to olfactory fatigue, in which the chemical receptors in the nose are saturated.
Playing with your cat with catnip toys is an excellent bonding activity. It allows you to play with your pet cat without teaching the cat your hand is also a cat toy! Using catnip will help teach your cat the appropriate scratching areas, such as sisal posts, in your home. If your cat mellows out after catnip exposure, it may help diffuse your cat’s high energy when it’s your bedtime.