Does Catnip Expire? And How Long Does It Last?

Ever wondered why your cat loses interest in catnip over time? How long does catnip actually last? And, does catnip expire?

In this article, we'll explore its shelf life, the lifespan of a catnip plant, and its impact on your cat's favorite toys. Plus, we'll reveal whether old catnip is safe for your pet to consume and how you can breathe life back into a wilting catnip plant.

Stay with us as we shed light on these catnip queries and help you become a more informed cat owner. After all, a happy cat makes a happy home!

The Lifespan Of Catnip: From Potent To Stale

Our research reveals that catnip's life expectancy hovers around two years. Still, its potency doesn't stay constant throughout this time. Instead, it dwindles, turning the once enticing herb stale if it's not properly stored.

Factors like sunlight and humidity are the main culprits behind the degradation of catnip's essential components, leading to a loss in potency and, eventually, mold formation.

In the following sections, we delve deeper into the lifespan of a catnip plant once it's opened or utilized in a toy. We'll also provide you with tips to preserve the freshness of catnip and address the question: is it safe for cats to eat old catnip?

Plus, we'll guide you through the steps to revive a withered catnip plant.

Catnip's Shelf Life

Catnip's blissful effect on cats lasts for about 10 minutes from the time they get a sniff or two of it. It then gradually wanes, making the cat lose interest in it.

It then starts to affect the cat again after 30 minutes or so. When this happens, your cat behaves differently again depending on the catnip's effect.

Now, you may start to ask: How long will that fresh batch of catnip last? Generally, catnip's shelf life is approximately 2 years. However, catnip will only last that long if stored properly.

A cute yellow Thai cat happy with Catnip tree on wooden floor

How To Properly Store Catnip

Here are ways to store catnip to ensure its lasting effect:

  • Store catnip inside a sealed jar or container to keep all the moisture out. Place the catnip jar or container in a dry and cool place like your cupboard.
  • You can also put catnip inside a refrigerator or a freezer as long as it's stored in an airtight container, and you're always looking out for humidity build-up.
  • Dried catnip should be placed away from direct sunlight, as it will cause the active ingredients to dissipate, and make it less effective and aromatic. Over time, the humidity will cause catnip to mold, making it unsuitable for consumption.

Does Catnip Expire?

Catnip is best when dried and fresh, and like any other herb, its potency withers.

Catnip, as previously stated, lasts for 2 years provided it's kept in good storing condition. It does lose its potency over time. But, does catnip expire? Technically no, similar to any other herb.

Will it still smell and taste the same after it's stored for many years in a container? Probably so. But will your cat still be attracted to it? It depends if its potency is still there.

How Long Does Catnip Plant Last?

Catnip is a perennial plant just like chives, mint, and oregano. In most areas, catnip plants die above the ground in the winter and come back to life by early spring.

Click here to see this catnip on Amazon.

How Long Does Catnip Last Once Opened?

Once a fresh batch of catnip is opened, it will typically last around 6 months. You may notice that after this point, your cat becomes uninterested in it.

Its aroma and efficacy, like any other herb, wanes gradually when it is exposed to heat and humidity.

Catnip's flavor and effectiveness diminish when exposed to unfavorable conditions and not properly packed or stored. A pack of fresh or dried catnip will not last long if left out in the open as compared to those stored in a sealed container.

How Long Does Catnip Last In A Toy?

Catnip lasts in a toy from over 6 months to several years. But most cats lose interest in their catnip-stuffed toy as early as over 6 months of usage, and that's because its potency already waned over time.

It is best that you only let your cats play with their catnip toys once in a while since they easily build up a tolerance to its effect, and store the toys in a tightly sealed bag if not used to make them last longer.

How Do You Keep Catnip Toys Fresh?

In order to keep your catnip toys fresh, make sure to store them in a sealed bag or in an airtight container in the freezer. Any container will suffice for as long as it is properly sealed.

Click here to see these catnip toys on Amazon.

Click here to see these catnip chew toys on Amazon.

Lovely old tabby cat sitting in the garden among the nepeta its favorite plant.

Can Cats Eat Old Catnip?

As long as the catnip hasn't lost its potency yet and is not moldy and stale, it's safe for cats to eat it. Since catnips last for more than 2 years, a cat can munch on it if they want to provided it is within the prescribed period.

But once catnip goes beyond its shelf life, it's a good idea to replace it. After all, beyond its shelf life, catnip will no longer serve its intended purpose.

Gray tabby cat sniffing catmint in the summer garden

How Do You Bring Catnip Back To Life?

To save a dying catnip and bring it back to life, you should make sure that the pot you use has enough holes for the water to properly drain and prevent the roots from rotting. Take note that the soil must also be well-draining.

To prevent root rot due to fungus, spray copper fungicide during early spring. If already infected by a fungal or bacterial disease, get rid of the infected plants immediately to save the remaining plant and stop a large-scale infestation.

To care for and save a dying catnip during the winter season, put it in a pot with an equal mixture of loam, peat moss, and sand or perlite.

Add just enough water to barely moisten the surface of the soil. And it must be placed in a cool and well-lit room with a temperature of around 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

When your catnip plant is dying because of spider mites or any other pests, spray Neem oil or insecticidal soap on the leaves and stem.

In Closing

Catnip's shelf life is approximately 2 years from its harvesting or drying. However, catnip's potency fades over time, especially if not stored properly.

Hence, it is advisable to store it in a dry, cool, and dark place to keep all the moisture out and avoid mold growth.

If you want to learn more about catnip and its effect on cats, check out these posts:

Catnip Ingredients: What Does It Contain?

Can I Put Catnip In My Cat’s Food?

Cat with catnip mint. How Long Does Catnip Last And Does It Ever Expire

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