Growing Catnip

Ever think about growing catnip as a business opportunity?

Growing Catnip??? For those who are not familiar, catnip is a kind of plant which is minty in flavor.

Actually, it’s a generic term referring to around 250 different types of minty plants.

The reason it’s called catnip is that many cats find the scent of the stuff alluring and irresistible.

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 you’ll need to make a good quality catnip in order to sell.

The stuff also doesn’t 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 Growing Catnip?

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 | Tips

Here’s 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 don’t manage to gain access to your garden.

If they do, you’re 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 you’ll 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.

First Steps for Growing Catnip

Start by reading more about the process of growing catnip and find out if your climate is appropriate for the stuff.

Catnip 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.

You’ll also want to sell your catnip once you harvest it. Consider starting out selling on places eBay so you don’t 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.

Resources

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 feline’s favorite herb.

Catworld: 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 – It’s 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.

Image by ljmacphee via Flickr
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Eric Hammer is a personal finance expert and writer based in Washington state.

Eric graduated from Excelsior College, a distance learning school accredited by the Middle States Association and the New York State Board of Regents (the same organizations that accredit Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, etc.).

Eric actually held lots of different jobs, including such varied positions as a sales clerk, paralegal, surveyor’s assistant, community rabbi and English teacher, to name just a few.

He has since learned how to manage money wisely and uses his experience to help others make smart financial decisions. Today, his work appears on sites like Demand Studios and Bright Hub.