How To Dry Catnip for Cat Lovers

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Whether your pet is a dog or a cat, even a pig or a ferret, all animal lovers try to offer them their favorite meals, snacks and treats. Catnip is a favorite for kittens. While many cats love this herb, some don’t like it fresh and prefer to dry it. Are you a cat lover who is looking for a new experience for pet, consider drying catnip leaves. Before you learn about how to dry catnip, here are some information about catnip.

What is catnip?

Catnip is an herb which is a member of to the mint family. Like most herbs, catnip can be dried using a variety of methods. Most people dry catnip as a treat for their cat.

As with any herb, care must be taken to preserve the essential oils of the flowers as they dry. Drying too quickly or too much can cause the oils to disappear, thus losing the part of the herb you want to use. It is also important to ensure that mold does not grow after the catnip is harvested and dried. Drying in an area that is too humid can cause mold to form. A good humidity level is around 45-55%.

Depending on where you are, it will take into account how you dry the catnip. If you live in an area that gets very humid, like the south, you should watch your flowers closely and make sure there is no mold present or growing. If you live in the desert, where humidity is 5%, you should keep a close eye on your herbs on a daily basis to make sure they haven’t dried out too much. Sometimes herbs can dry out in a few days or sooner.

About Drying Catnip 

As a member of the mint family, catnip grows easily when found in a happy spot in full sun. As with all herbs, the leaves are smaller after drying, so allow the leaves to reach mature size before drying. If your cat is one of those who don’t like fresh catnip, you can dry the leaves early in the growing season to test if your kitty likes dry catnip.

If not, drying catnip provides an ingredient for a medicinal tea. Steep catnip alone or with other herbs for a blend that relieves headaches, anxiety, and nervousness. With a variety of uses, you may want to plant a larger bed of catnip in your herb garden. Learning how to dry catnip will ensure you have it whenever you need it.

Where does dry catnip go?

Dried catnip is eatable and can be utilized:

  • to please the cats
  • for cold infusions
  • for the tea
  • to season
  • to smoke
  • for external applications such as envelopes

How to dry fresh catnip

Drying catnip is a great way to give your cats this cat treat. Around 80% of domestic cats react to catnip and typical reactions include pawing, friskingand rolling. In short, it is a great plant for the delight of your cat and to pick up from time to time.

How to dry fresh catnip in the microwave

Cut the catnip and leave behind some leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow. Cut off the leaves from the stems, then put the catnip inside a microwave-safe container with a lid.

Heat the leaves at 15 to 30 second intervals. It is important to dry your catnip slowly and watch it closely until it is dry. Once dry, turn off the microwave and discard the catnip. This is very important as catnip can burn in the microwave!

Your house will smell like catnip, but it will be dry and ready for kitties. Don’t worry, the catnip smell will dissipate in about half an hour.

Sun dried

Depending on the climate and time of year, you can dry catnip in the sun. A great way to dry herbs if you live in a hot/dry area as this method works very well. Simply place freshly cut catnip on baking sheets, baking sheets, aluminum foil, or any type of metal foil and place in direct sunlight. This may take a few days.

You can also take your freshly cut stems, tie them with a rubber band, and hang them upside down (buds upside down) near a sunny window.

Oven dried catnip

If you’re not an immediate satisfaction type of person, you can take the slower approach and dry fresh catnip in the oven. With this method, low and slow is the way to go.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the fresh catnip evenly and in one layer on a baking sheet or baking sheet and place in the oven. Leave the oven ajar for ventilation and bake the catnip for about 10 minutes. Check the catnip, and if it’s still not dry, flip the pan over and let it sit for a few more minutes, checking frequently, until it’s dry. Be careful not to burn the catnip, or you’ll ruin it.

Air dry

With this method, you let the catnip air dry in a dark place. Stems should not be cut. Instead, you will need 3 or 4 stems to put in a paper bag and pin to the opening of the bag.

It is recommended to make some holes in the sides to let in more air. Close the top of the bag and hang it in a dark place. The area must still be warm and above all dry. If you’re not in a hurry, air drying is a decent method simply because the length of the process depends on weather conditions. It can last several days, but also several weeks.

Dry in a dark room

Buy some catnip or use whatever grows in your garden. Preferably get wild catnip since it is not treated with chemicals and other substances that can harm your cat.

Use your scissors to cut the catnip stems, but be careful not to cut more than necessary. Keep in mind that during the drying process, excess water will evaporate and the plant will shrink.

Secure your cut catnip with a thick string and let it hang upside down in the dark area.

Minimize the amount of light in the bedroom or linen closet by closing doors and windows, if you have them.

If you expose your catnip to light, it loses its effectiveness and even loses its desired effect. Too much light “kills” the substances in catnip that are responsible for its effects on your cat.

Still, it is one of the best natural ways to dry catnip. The best dried catnip is obtained by drying it naturally.

What to do with dry catnip?

Now that you’ve dried your catnip, now what? Putting it on the floor is tricky and who wants to vacuum more? 

You can spread dried catnip around a cat scratching post or tower, or use a rechargeable cat toy. These are toys that have a specific hole for catnip that you can refill over and over again.

Or you could make your own homemade cat toy. They are very easy to make even if you don’t know how to sew.

Store your dry catnip

Once you have successfully dried your catnip, you should store it in an airtight container to keep it in good condition. If you leave it out, the essential oils will dry out and it won’t have the same effect. Airtight jars designed for canning are best.

Why dry at all?

Catnip tastes better fresh and smells stronger thanks to the essential oils it contains. But in dry form it has a longer shelf life. This will save you the stress of thinking about what you can do with the plant in a short time.

Conclusion

The main thing for each of the above methods is that each method works. Your catnip will dry completely whichever method you choose, but the quality of dried catnip will depend on the catnip itself and the method you use. Sun drying is a completely natural method, but as mentioned above, the quality of dried catnip is sometimes not compared to other methods.

Remember that only completely dry catnip is ready to be stored and used on your cats. If you have dried catnip with stems, you will need to dispose of it by removing the flowers and leaves. Dried catnip should be stored in an airtight container where weather conditions cannot affect quality.

Your dried catnip will keep its quality for 2 years if you store it in a dry, dark place. A freezer is also a great way to store your dried catnip.

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