Cat-lovers are familiar with catnip as a surefire way to please a feline, but few know that humans can safely enjoy the aroma and taste of fresh catnip as well. There’s nothing sweeter than indulging in a treat with your furry friend. Catnip actually grows wild, so outdoorsy types may want to try to spot and gather the herb on their next hike.
Fresh catnip, a part of the mint family, is reminiscent of mint in both scent and texture. Like mint, catnip can flavor food and drinks. Just imagine snuggling up at the end of a long day with your pet and hot cup of catnip and chamomile tea. You can also dice up fresh catnip and toss it into a salad to bring out a bright, aromatic flavor. But don’t forget to share with your pet; fresh catnip is more potent than the dried stuff — something your kitty will certainly appreciate.
Foraging Tips and Safety
Catnip is easy to spot on a trail and often found in places where other weeds typically grow, such as fields and meadows. This herb is distinguishable by its white flowers; soft, green and grey heart-shaped leaves; and minty scent. Make sure what you’ve picked hasn’t been contaminated by pesticides or herbicides and is indeed the correct plant before consuming to avoid harming your pet or yourself. Keep in mind never to forage on private property without permission.
Starting a Catnip Garden
After a successful catnip hunt, you can prep and plant the herb in your personal garden. Your cat will be enchanted, and you’ll have a convenient supply for your kitchen. Catnip continues to grow as long as its roots remain intact, so make sure to only clip the stems when harvesting. Dry the catnip for later use by hanging it upside down for one to two weeks. If you don’t have the time to go out foraging for yourself and your feline friend or don’t live in an area where catnip grows, you can always do a little online hunting. Your cat is rejoicing just thinking about it.
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