Home Made Catnip Goodies for Cats

DIY Catnip Fish

You can put a nip smile on your kitties face by making them their own catnip toy containing real catnip, I’ve made them for my cats and for the cats of my friends and I can say honestly that the receiving cats love their catnip fish. My two cats Rosie (calico) and Poppy (tabby) they are the quality control whether I like it or not, make sure that every catnip toy meets their seal of approval. 

To make a toy you’ll need the following items: -

A Paper Fish Pattern Piece of Fabric approx. 30cm long x 12cm wide Pins Scissors Batting/Scraps of Wool for the filling if you don’t want to do a 100% nip filling. Just Botanics Catnip or Valerian if your cat doesn’t like nip. Needle Thread Pencil

Method: First you’ll need to cut out your paper template, I drew a fish shape on the paper that was 14cm in length and 9cm at its widest point. If you have a 1cm seam allowance your finished fish will be 12cm x 7cm. If you’re worried that you won’t get both sides even, do what I did and fold a piece of paper in half and draw half a fish, when you cut out the template, both sides will be equal. Once you have your template, fold the material in half and place your fish template on the top of the folded material and pin in place. Cut around the template, remove the pins and you will have two pattern pieces to make your catnip fish toy with. Turn the material so the right side faces each other and pin the two pieces together, next sew the pieces together either by hand or using a sewing machine and give the fish a 1cm seam allowance. Leave the bottom (tail) end of the fish unsewn so that you can put the catnip in to the fish. Use your scissors to make small ‘V’ shaped notches around the shape of the fish, being careful not to snip the stitching or beyond it in to the fish body. Making this small notches will ensure when you turn the fish inside out ready for filling the fish won’t lose its shape. Use the flat end of a pencil to help get the seams smooth, when the shape is how you like it, iron the fish flat. Next using a funnel fill your fish 2/3rd full, either with batting/wool scraps and catnip or with just catnip. Fold in the ‘tail’ seam allowance at the base of the fish and hand stitch it closed. You can also sew in some Velcro on each side, this will allow you to refill the catnip stuffing, because even good catnip will fade with time. Finally introduce Mr Tiddles to his toy. Store the toy in a plastic lidded jar when not in use to keep your catnip toy nice and aromatic for your cat.

Points to Note If you don’t want to make a fish shape and want to do something simpler you can cut out 2 rectangles of fabric 14cm x 9cm and make a rectangular toy. If you make a rectangle, trim off the corners above the stitching so the material doesn’t pucker when you turn it inside out. Examples of both types of seam allowance trimming can be found here. If you are really rubbish at sewing then you can use an old sock, a clean one of course, remember how sensitive your cats nose is! Fill the toe end with a couple of tablespoons of catnip and tie a knot in the middle of the sock, this will leave a kind of tail end, if you’re feeling really creative you can draw an eye on with a pen. You can substitute valerian root for catnip if your cat isn’t a catnip fan, the process is identical to the above; just use the same amount of valerian root as you would catnip.

Debs Cook
Herbalist