The Business of Growing Catnip
By Eric Hammer
Ever think about growing catnip as a business opportunity?
Catnip, for those who are not familiar is a kind of plant which
is minty in flavor. Actually, its a generic term referring
to around 250 different types of minty plants. The reason its
called catnip is that many cats find the scent of the stuff alluring
Most catnip is used by cat owners to entertain their cats
as it gives them a euphoric high in much the same way that certain
narcotics are known to give humans a high. The difference however
is that cats seem to suffer no ill effects from exposure to the
stuff with the possible exception that if they get it too often,
they grow immune to the effects.
Keep in mind also when considering growing catnip, either
for your own cat or for sale that catnip needs to be highly concentrated,
so youll need to make a good quality catnip in order to
sell. The stuff also doesnt seem to affect some cats (as
many as 40% of cats show little to no reaction to the stuff)
so be prepared for customers to want to try small samples to
see if it has an effect on their cats.
How Much Can You Make?
A small bag of catnip typically sells for around $6-$15. While
that may not sound like a lot, the stuff tends to grow like a
weed and is reasonably easy to cultivate.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Heres another interesting idea regarding growing catnip.
While the stuff is primarily sold for use by cat owners to entice
their feline friends, it can also be used by humans. You could
easily package human catnip and sell it as a gourmet tea (it
is commonly used by humans to relieve some stomach problems and
as a nasal decongestant). You just have to check on the legality
of selling it to humans in your area.
Your biggest problem with growing catnip for sale is likely
to be making sure that your own cats (if you have any) or the
neighborhood cats dont manage to gain access to your garden.
If they do, youre likely to come home one day to some very
happy cats and hundreds of dollars of catnip destroyed.
Finally, if you do decide to make catnip into a regular business,
consider dousing cat toys in catnip oil and selling those as
well. They can bring in additional money and dovetail nicely
with your new business.
Qualifications / Requirements
There are no legal requirements for growing catnip, though
if you plan to sell it youll need to arrange for a corporation
and liability insurance. Selling the stuff for human consumption
may also mean obtaining certain safety licenses. Make sure to
check with city hall or the state board of health for details.
Start by reading more about the process of growing catnip
and find out if your climate is appropriate for the stuff (it
grows best when it gets full sun and average water so that means
most parts of the country will have at least some period when
catnip can be grown). Youll also want to sell your catnip
once you harvest it. Consider starting out selling on places
eBay so you dont have to spend the money for your own web
site. Once you have your business off the ground, you can move
on to your own site.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about growing
catnip for a profit (and in general):
MetPet: Introduction to catnip A good
introduction to the herb and why cats enjoy it.
Heirloom Organics Guide to growing catnip
A very simple to follow process for growing felines
Everything you need to know about catnip This is a
good guide to the stuff and its many uses.
eHow: How to Benefit as a Human with Catnip
Its a little short on the details of the difference
between feline and human catnip, but this does have some good
information why catnip can benefit people as well.