In the final episode of our four-part series, we show you how to make a catnip mouse for your beloved kitty. A catnip mouse toy is the perfect treat for your cat, providing hours of enjoyment and keeping your cat happy, fit and healthy too! This simple sewing project is so easy and requires hardly any sewing skills at all – great for beginners and even kids!
Why are cats crazy for catnip?
Catnip is a member of the mint family. There is an essential oil in catnip called nepetalactone which has a powerful effect on cats. Cats simply have to only take a sniff of this oil before they are rolling over in a state of kitty bliss. Most cats react by rolling, rubbing, flipping or zoning out from euphoria while others become hyperactive or aggressive. Some also become very calm and relaxed.
This state of bliss doesn’t last very long, usually ten minutes at the most and the cat loses interest. After about two hours, he’ll respond to the allure of catnip again.
Catnip toys are very effective for training indoor kitties. If your cat is clawing your furniture, redirect his attention by rubbing catnip onto a scratching post to keep him occupied. Catnip can also be sprinkled into an old sock or in a small paper bag and then crunched into a little ball to create toys and hours of entertainment for a bored cat!
It’s also important to note that not all cats love catnip – there are those that are simply not captivated by the powers of the herb and will never be! If you have a kitty who doesn’t love catnip but may become anxious or stressed at times, then use a natural remedy like PetCalm from the Feelgood Pets PetAlive range. PetCalm is a 100% homeopathic remedy which calms and soothes pets with an anxious or nervous disposition. It also helps to reduce distress and keep them calm during stressful situations such as moving home, visits to the vet, thunderstorms or fireworks.
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Making a catnip mouse
What you’ll need
1. 15 x 15 cm square of fabric of your choice
2. Wool (for the face and tail)
3. ¼ cup of catnip leaves (Most plant nurseries will sell catnip to plant in your garden or even in a pot at home. )
4. Thread to match fabric
5. Small yarn needle
Fold the fabric in half and cut a half heart shape on the fold – when you open the fabric, it will then look like a heart.
Cut 3 pieces of wool 3 times the height of the centre of the heart.
Tie a knot at one end.
Let the wrong side of the fabric face you and lay the wool on the fabric which has the knotted end at the bottom point of the heart.
Using a zigzag stitch, sew the wool to the centre of the heart.
Fold the heart in half with the right side of the fabric facing in.
Starting at the point, sew a ¼ inch (0.65 cm) seam around the heart leaving a 2.5 cm opening at the end.
Turn the heart right side out.
Use the wool to embroider a nose and eyes. Sew the nose and eyes tightly.
Cut 2 small circles from the fabric that is over or you can also use a different fabric to create the ears.
Sew the ears securely.
Fill your mouse with catnip and stuff with cotton wool.
Sew the opening and tie a knot at the end of the wool close to the seam.
Plait the 3 pieces of wool together, tie and cut to form the tail
Watch your kitty enjoy!