by Janet Blue on June 16, 2016

Do your catnip plants look like this?


Kitties Blue thriving nip plant.


Or do they look like this?


Kitties Blue sad nip plant.


Crazy Cat on nip.If your nip looks like the sad little plant above, you may have a nip-addicted cat at your house. Or you may have a human nip thief. This is a most serious situation. Why in the world would your humans be pilfering your nip? Did you know that catnip has uses other than turning you into a crazypants?

One of those uses can come in very handy this time of year. With summer just around the corner, insects will be on the increase, especially those dastardly mosquitos. Those little blood-sucking creatures have been in the news more than usual lately. Humans are talking and worrying about the mosquitos that spread the Zika virus finding their way into the U.S.

But what in the heck does that have to do with your beloved catnip?

Here’s a little history:  Humans have a long tradition of planting catnip near a house or barn to repel mice and rats and to keep insects away. Research has shown that cockroaches and termites are repelled by catnip. And nip has been used where cats sleep to help keep fleas away.

Napeta cataria (catnip) has been shown to be 96 percent effective as a repellent of flies and mosquitos. The U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has reported that tests have found nip to be as effective as DEET. And recent research done at Iowa State Univerty showed catnip is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.

So what is this DEET stuff?

N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, also called DEET (/diːt/) or diethyltoluamide, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It is a slightly yellow oil intended to be applied to the skin or clothing. It provides protection against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches and many biting insects. However, a 2013 study suggests that mosquitoes can at least temporarily overcome or adapt to the repellent effect of DEET after an initial exposure.

A little stealth on your part should help you keep an eye on both your humans and your plants. If you see your humans ravaging your nip, they may be planning on making their own mosquito repellent by boiling the stems, flowers and leaves in a pot of water. They will allow the water and plant mixture to steep until cool. The nip water will be put in a spray bottle and applied as needed.

If you don’t catch your humans in the act of thievery, you can test them to see if they have been pilfering your plants. Give them a sniff to see if they smell like your favorite plant. If so, you might want to encourage them to remove all standing water from your property and add some mosquito-repelling plants to your yard, such as marigolds, bee balm, citronella, lavender and lemongrass.

Good luck on preserving your catnip for your own personal use. If necessary, you can always hold it for ransom. It should be worth several thousand treats at least.

Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo aka Nipheads

Three Chatty Cats June 18, 2016 at 12:32 am

I had no idea about all those other uses. I guess I should get some live nip plants! I don’t have a green thumb though, so I’m not sure how long they’d last.

Colehaus Cats June 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Our Mom *claims* every time she gets a nip plant (for outdoors because she knows us all too well), it disappears. We know nothing of that. Nope, nothing.

Brian Frum June 16, 2016 at 8:12 pm

We don’t have a nip plant either and that’s probably a good thing!
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The Island Cats June 16, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Our nip plant looks much much worse. We’ll try to post a picture of it sometime. But it is sad sad sad….
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Toby June 16, 2016 at 6:38 pm

We don’t have a nip plant!! What’s wrong with my mom?
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Cat Scout Charles June 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm

My dad bought us a really nice organic nip plant but before he had a chance to plant it somewhere safe the free roaming cats ate it all down to the roots. 🙁
Purrs to all and special nose kisses to my sweet love Ms Lisbeth.

The Florida Furkids June 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Any nip plant we ever get ends up brown and crunchy 🙁

The Florida Furkids with eleventy bazillion kisses and hugs and love to Mau from Allie.
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Emma and Buster June 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm

We didn’t plant this year, okay so maybe the humans will still plant them. They have seeds in the coffee jar in the garage but they are too busy to plant.

Emma and Buster
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Kim June 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for the share, love your blog!

Cathy Keisha June 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm

HAH! Great info! Nip has many uses for humans. TW used to steal my nip when she had migraines cos eating it would help her nausea. Nip also helps humans sleep and with their digestion. TW bought nip tea several months back. I wasn’t innerested in the tea bags but once she made the tea, I would not leave it alone. TW was afraid I’d attack her if she smelled of it so she just tossed it. Anyhoo, we knew lavender and mint keeps bugs away and should have figured nip did too since it’s in the mint family.
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Sherri-Ellen TD. June 16, 2016 at 11:02 am

Mee-yow wee sure leerned ALOT about thee precious Katnip plant! LadyMum planted sum seedss which I sit on…shee sayss mee iss tryin to ‘hatch mee nip plant’! Mew mew mew…
Aunty Judith iss goin to dig up a few of her plantss an re-plant them inn our garden!! LadyMum sayss wee need all thee help wee can get here!!!! 😉
Fankss fur such an innformative bloggie post!
***paw patsss*** Siddhartha Henry xxxxxxxxxx

mommakatandherbearcat June 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

“Did you know that catnip has uses other than turning you into a crazypants?” Hahaha. I didn’t know about any of this! Maybe I should plant some? ~Momma

THANK THE KITTY GODS!!! I can never repay you if you Momma plants some Nip! I feel myself going crazy pants just thinking about it!!! ~Bear Cat
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da tabbies o trout towne June 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

guys…total lee awesum post two day !!! manee thanx for sharin; we never
new bout skeeterz & nip 🙂 how kewl iz that ~~~~~ we haza nip plant in de
front { planted for gram paw dude bak when } & now that we think oh it, bugs
haz never been round it !!! 🙂 ♥♥♥

Eileen Clark June 16, 2016 at 9:57 am

I did not know about any of this, I need to get some catnip plants! Thanks =^..^=
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Ellen Pilch June 16, 2016 at 8:49 am

I do steal the cats’ nip to use in the crocheted toys I make, but now I may steal more to try this repellent. Shhh! Don’t tell them.
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The Menagerie Mom June 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

I’m sorry if your nip is disappearing, Kitties Blue. But, this sure is one handy tip that I might just very well have to try out. (Sorry, kitties!)
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Chuck Huss June 16, 2016 at 6:49 am

That is good to know. I wonder what the cats would think if I sprayed catnip around the house to keep fleas away?
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Tina Barbour June 16, 2016 at 5:36 am

OMC, I didn’t know these things about catnip, or the other plants that can help repel mosquitoes. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t have any catnip plants, but sounds like I need to get some. Abbey, Connor, and Natasha don’t seem particularly drawn to catnip, at least the dried kind. My cats in the past have been little nipheads thought. 🙂

Summer June 16, 2016 at 3:00 am

We have LOTS of nip in our outside planter! And you know what it does attract? Bees! My human and I have seen bees around the little blooming flowers – but that is okay with us because we like bees a lot. They are our friends!
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Pipo/Minko/MrJackFreckles June 16, 2016 at 2:13 am

OMC!! We did not know this…and we have lots of nip plants all over the yard in the ground and in pots…hmmm…we shall have to post a guard, cause there are bejillions of mosquitoes around here.

Sammy June 16, 2016 at 1:39 am

Just another reason to have catnip EVERYWHERE! I’m gonna show this to Mom – we need nip plants everywhere as they keep the buggies away and they make US happy. Who could ask for anything more?

Hugs, Sammy
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McGuffy's Reader June 16, 2016 at 12:33 am

Great post. Mother Nature takes care of her own, if only man left her alone. My granny used catnip a lot, often making catnip tea. She was a healer of sorts. Love you all. ❤
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Lone Star Cats June 16, 2016 at 12:29 am

Hmmm, sounds like a good reason for everyone to grow MORE nip!
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