What is the Difference Between Catnip and Catmint?
Last updated June 16th, 2020
Happy Caturday Furriends! It’s Mr Jack here, and today I feature in our Caturday Doodle blog hop, hosted by Athena Cat Goddess. Well, it features Baggy too, the brown tabby on the left, and Jimmy Fancy Feet on the right, but as you can see I’m the centre of attention. All my pals follow my lead, somewhat. You see, Baggy thinks he’s the leader, as he always powder puffs my other housemates when they’re in his path. He tried that once with me and never again! I’m also known as the social facilitator because I like to groom my friends and spread the communal scent. It’s all about keeping the peace and spreading the love. Sometimes.
Like most cats, we love catnip, but we also like sniffing the catmint plant and watching the bees and butterflies as they circle around the purple flowers. Our big lady cat likes to plant this around our tunnel too, because it looks pretty and we like to watch those fuzzy black and yellow flying things. They have a strange purr. But the catmint that we really go crazy for is the one with the white flowers. The big lady cat explains below.
So what’s the difference between catnip and catmint?
Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) is the most popular variety of catmint among cat lovers the world over. Nepetalactone is the organic compound found in catnip that sends our furry friends into a euphoric frenzy. I wish I could find a way to extract this oil and bottle it, but for now, I will keep harvesting the plant for kitties’ enjoyment throughout the winter. It has a more bushy, weedy appearance but redeems itself with pleasant looking white flowers. Bees and butterflies are also attracted to this plant. It is a perennial and comes back each year but I prefer to plant fresh ones in hanging baskets in the main catio.
Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) is an attractive looking mint variety with beautiful lavender flowers that attract bumblebees and butterflies. It’s a perennial ornamental and comes back each year with very little care as they are super drought tolerant. Just a nice shearing after the first blooms and they keep blooming into late Autumn. Some cats are attracted to this variety too, but not with the same fervor and excitement as they are to its catnip cousin.
Pounce over to our popular post Catnip and how to grow and harvest it so that your kitties can enjoy their own home-grown supply!
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28 CommentsLeave a comment
I really really love your Saturday doodle!!! Very cool….. and so is the nip and the mint MOL
Thank you Austin and I love your video, you’re funny ?
Such amazing art!
Thanks for sharing that info about the catnip and catmint 🙂
Athena and Marie
Thank you Athena and thanks for hosting the awesome blog hop, we love it! ??❤️
love your drawing so cute thanks for sharing have a great week
Thanks so much, have a super weekend!
That was fabulous, we love your artwork.
That’s a wonderful drawing! Lovely doodle!
Wow ! Beautiful drawing ! Purrs
Your art is lovely but so is that final photo! Super cute. We have catmint this year as we couldn’t find any catnip to buy and plant. Mom will harvest and put in the dehydrator for us, and then our dad will grind it. Mom will make some toys for our friends! XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo
Thank you ? That’s so cool that you make toys from it!
Your artwork is extremely beautiful, CC. We love it. I like everything as long as there is ‘cat’ in it all variants are welcome..MOL 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 <3
Thank you Angelwhisper. I love cat art in all its forms too. ??
We all love our nip, I guess we have the catmint in our garden because it has purple flowers.
Ooh nice, the purple flowers are so charming, we love it ?
I’ve heard of catmint but never knew anything about it! Your artwork is amazing 🙂
Thank you! And kisses to Mudpie. Gosh I love her name ??
Love your art this week! We have both catnip and catmint growing in our garden.
Thank you, and I also like having both types for variety?
you are so talented!! You should do book illustrations, AND you in the middle looks like Cody!!
Awwwe thanks so much ? Would love to do illustrations at some point. Cody and Mr Jack were separated at birth ?
LOVE your Caturday Art. Thanks so much for the catnip/catmint info!
Thank you and you’re most welcome!
Sorry I’m late getting here. TW used to have catmint in her old garden. The stray cats used to mate in it. This was a long time ago before TNR existed. Actually she did catch some of those cats to have them “fixed.” Your art is great.
Thank you! And that’s awesome that she could trap and neuter some of them. ?
Such a beautiful picture. And thanks for the explanation!
Fabulous artwork and great information! 🙂
[…] SIDE NOTE: There is a difference between catnip (Nepeta Cataria) and catmint (Nepeta Faassenii). Both have very similar properties and the terms are often used interchangeably but it’s Nepeta Cataria that gives your cat his kicks! In one of our Caturday Doodles, we explain more about these two related herbs, catnip and catmint. […]