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4 Homemade Catnip Tea Recipes for Cats – Quick & Easy!

Lindsey Lawson

By Lindsey Lawson

fresh catnip leaves in glass cup

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore


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Catnip tea is a herbal tea that is made from the leaves and flowers of the catnip plant, Nepeta cataria. Catnip is also referred to as “catmint” because of the slightly minty smell of the plant.

Teatime with your kitty may be commonplace in most cat-loving households, but we’re sure most do not realize that your cat can also enjoy a specially brewed cuppa. We’re referring to catnip tea of course. After all, we all know how much cats fancy catnip!

Catnip tea is a safe and refreshing drink for your cat that is made by steeping the leaves of a catnip plant in boiling water, then serving once it has cooled. While the tea-making process is pretty simple, there are some recipes out there that differ. We have provided four different recipes for the only type of tea you can have with your cat!

1. Catnip Tea with Broth

fresh catnip tea in a glass cup

Catnip Tea with Broth

This recipe can be extra enticing for cats. In addition to the catnip, the chicken broth is a great additive that includes a little extra flavor. Make sure you opt for sodium-free chicken broth, as salt has toxic effects on cats. Ensure the broth has no toxic ingredients such as garlic and onion.
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Cats
Servings 1 container


  • 1 tablespoon dried catnip or 3 tbsp fresh catnip
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼ teaspoon chicken broth no sodium


  • Place the warm water in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Add the catnip and chicken broth into the water.
  • Shake vigorously until well mixed and the catnip has given the tea a greenish coloration.
  • Serve up to ¼ cup of the tea to your cat in a shallow bowl.
  • Store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keyword catnip tea with broth


2. Catnip Tea with Milk

Dried Organic Catnip 1 tablespoon
Hot Water 8 ounces
Whole Milk 1 tablespoon

This recipe includes dried organic catnip, hot water, and whole milk. The milk is what sets this recipe aside from the others. This recipe cannot be stored, as the milk should not be re-refrigerated after it has been warmed in the tea. This recipe is only suitable for cats that can tolerate a small amount of dairy in their diet, and only occasionally.

  • Place the catnip into a tea strainer or tea ball
  • Let the catnip steep in the water for approximately 5 minutes
  • Remove the catnip and add the milk to the tea
  • Do not serve until the tea has cooled
  • Serve up to ¼ cup of the tea to your cat in a shallow bowl
  • Discard after serving

3. Fresh Catnip Tea

hot tea
Image Credit: dungthuyvunguyen, Pixabay
Fresh Catnip Leaves 20 count
Water 2 cups

Fresh catnip tea is quite simple, you just swap out the dried catnip leaves for fresh ones. Fresh catnip leaves can be cut to release more of the oils that are retained within the leaves, this will make the tea stronger. The leaves can also be used whole, it is your choice.

  • Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot
  • Add the leaves to a mug or teacup
  • Remove the water from the heat and wait until it stops boiling
  • Pour the water into the cup and let it brew and cool for about 5 minutes

4. Simple Catnip Tea

catnip tea with melissa flowers and dried catnips
Image Credit: Sloniki, Shutterstock
Dried Catnip 1 tablespoon
Water 2 cups

The name of this recipe pretty much speaks for itself. The only two ingredients are dried catnip and water. These directions are set up specifically for a tea steeper, but the leaves can also be placed in a teal ball and dropped into the water as well.

  • Place dried catnip in the tea steeper
  • Pour boiling water over the catnip
  • Let steep for 3-5 minutes
  • Ensure the tea cooled before serving to your cat
  • The leftover tea can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

Can Humans Drink Catnip Tea?

Your cat is not the only one that gets to enjoy the benefits of catnip. You undoubtedly do not get the same effects that your cat does, since humans have only a vestigial vomeronasal gland, the extra scent organ in the roof of the mouth carries scent directly to the brain of your furry pal.

Don’t get too discouraged though, you can reap some serious benefits that are backed by science. Keep in mind that large amounts of tea can have adverse effects on the body such as upset stomach, drowsiness, and in some cases, allergic reactions.

Keep in mind that a lot of herbs can have interactions with prescription medications, so if you take medication, consult your doctor before use. Let’s have a quick look at some of the health benefits of catnip for us bipedal creatures:

a glass of catnip tea
Image Credit: Nikolaeva Galina, Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Catnip Tea for Humans

  • Better sleep and overall relaxation
  • Soothe the digestive system and reduce gas and cramps
  • Reduction in anxiety and nervousness
  • Relief of colic in infants (do not provide to infants without first consulting pediatric physician)

What Is It About Cats and Catnip?

Catnip is well known for its effects on cats. The root of this effect goes hand in hand with the extra scent gland mentioned above. A cat’s vomeronasal gland carries the scent of nepetalactone (the oil in the catnip plant’s leaves) to its brain, resulting in behavioral changes.

The behaviors exhibited include signs of affection, relaxation, and overall happiness. Some cats may become very active and playful, while others may become more agitated and display aggression.

While not all cats will respond to catnip, studies have shown that 60 percent of cats will exhibit behavioral changes as a result of catnip. The effects can vary in length but tend to last approximately 10 minutes and will slowly wear off.


Now that you have all the information you need to brew some catnip tea, your next teatime can include your cat from all angles, except they won’t be able to stick their pinky finger in the air.

These recipes can be flexible, and you can adjust as needed. Not only can your cat benefit and enjoy catnip tea, but it also even offers you some additional health benefits. Generally, it’s best to consult with your cat’s veterinarian and your physician, especially if you or they take medicine, to be on the safe side.

Featured Image Credit: Vimaliss, Shutterstock

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