How to Renew Catnip Toys




About: The name comes from the First Star Trek movie, that pretty much says it all.

"Does your chewing gum loose its flavor on the bed post overnight"?

That is the title to a very old song. But it makes a point, would you like to reuse your gum for several days or weeks? It would get a little stale pretty fast.

It should be no surprise then that your cat looses interest in that slobbered and chewed toy you got him several weeks ago. Yes he looks down on it and thinks --- "Its dead Jim, they are all dead", I want something a little fresher.

And those little bodies pile up too. Pretty soon you have a nice collection of dead toys. Maybe even a for real dead one in there just for fun. Well you don't need to hold a mass cremation for all those little critters. You can instead bring them back to life again!!

Step 1: Get Yourself a Big Glass Jar With a Metal Lid

First you need to get a big glass jar, a gallon pickle jar works really good. Why glass? Because your cat can bite through plastic, and they will, and plastic lets smells through it so you need glass and a metal lid that can't be chewed off.

What are you going to do with this big jar? Fill it up with fresh catnip!!

I bought a big package of it on eBay and it has lasted forever. I probably need to get some new stuff now since I only have half a jar left. Some fast checking and a pound of it sells for about $20 with free shipping. Another one has 8 cups of it for $12. and free ship. You might be able to get it at a pet store also but they may not deal in bulk.

Buy the way a pound of catnip is a LOT.

So clean your jar and have it standing by at the ready for when your bulk nip gets delivered.

THEY WILL KNOW when it hits your mail box.

You will have immediate company as you try and get the package open and into your jar. Do not allow them to help, they will get a bit carried away and will run off with the bag spreading it all around as they go. Trust me on this. Lock yourself in the bathroom until you get it in the jar with the lid on it.

Step 2: Throw All the Fallen Heroes in the Jar

After you get your jar filled with catnip:

Gather up all those little bodies and dump them in the jar and shake
it up. Turn it upside down and shake it so the toys go to the top, then turn it upright and leave it sit for a day with all those bodies buried in the good stuff.

They will come out of it better than new (in smell, not in looks). They might have their tails chewed off and their eyes plucked out but they smell BETTER than they did new. Yes instead of hanging from a shelf in a plastic bag they are surrounded by fresh, really good smelling catnip and they take on that smell, and really that is all that counts.

My cats know that bottle well. I have a self service thing going with them. I open the lid and they dig out a toy and then the next in line does the same. Somebody takes it from you, not a problem just go get another one.

A word of caution, don't leave the lid off. Someone will stick a paw in there are start digging and then the bottle will be on its side and the nip will be all over the floor. I had one climb into the jar once, at least as much as he could fit in.

I try and put the toys back in the bottle when they are still wet from being mauled. Why? Because the nip sticks to them better that way.

What a bunch of drug crazed kitties. Then they all disappear for a little while to nap it off.

Step 3: On the Practical Side

These toys are not cheap and to be able to get more life out of them pays off. And I really believe the cats prefer them to new ones. In fact I put new ones in the jar first before I give them to them. There are some toys that don't survive very long. I bought some of these little mouse looking things and they got ripped to shreds. So it depends, some do better than others. Be careful with the glass jar because it will break if dropped.

And another by the way, if you spill a lot of catnip and then use a vacuum cleaner to clean it up, your vacuum cleaner may get assaulted. Better to sweep it up with a rag, or a cat, I found they don't mind that and in fact appear to enjoy it.

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    11 Discussions

    Cute kitty, and I love the instructable. We very recently obtained a stray tabby... he was meowing in the park one evening when it was really cold and windy, and now he inexplicably lives with us, despite the fact that I never thought we'd have time for a pet (he's very sweet and gets along with the kids and adults here).

    I think catnip toys last a little longer if they're made from felted wool (like from thrift store sweaters). The fabric they use for commercial ones seems to fall apart so easily. I've used merino wool sweaters to make catnip mice, but other thicker wool might hold up even longer, if the cats are really rough on their drug delivery vehicles. :)

    I just stuff them with catnip and some of the cut up scraps from the sweater. I think a wool sweater from our local thrift store costs between $3 and 7... and can easily make dozens of mice, so if you can get your daughter or someone else to volunteer to make them, they'll be much cheaper than whatever the crappy factory made ones cost. The ones in this picture I made for a friend who has rescued a lot of kitties. I had bought some dried catnip from our health food store for less than $3 and it was enough for about 36 small mice if I packed them really tightly with as much catnip as I could fit, and then spilled some during the process because I'm clumsy like that.

    Our neighbor's cat comes to visit sometimes just so he can get a "fix."

    2 replies

    I love the mice you made! I knit some small mice that I fill with a muslin bag full of catnip, but I like your sweater mice even better - especially their ears! Have you done an 'ible on them? If not, you really should! Plus, you've inspired me to make some sweater mice for our local cat shelter. :)

    Great idea! Your cat is so cute...reminds me of my sweet Tiggy, God rest her soul. Thanks for sharing.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I have a black and white tabby too. All the tabby my friend and my family have are very good cats.


    4 years ago on Step 3

    My husbnd and I call it "nipping the kitties". We do the same as you, and have some toys that have lasted close to 5 years..although they don't resemble "survived" very well. lol

    We also foster and rescue ferals - and it is so much fun to watch a feral with catnip for the very first time!

    Thanks for the 'ible!


    4 years ago

    I do the same the vid of your cat ...peanut aproves

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    I don't know about other locations but catnip is legal in Colorado. Thanks for posting.


    4 years ago

    first time I have ever laughed out loud at a post! I've smiled..and grinned... but never laughed. funny..and valuable idea there. cats thank you...all the little toys thank you lol.


    4 years ago

    This is so smart I can't stand it! I have a pound of catnip in a drawer somewhere and this is the perfect use. :D