Home » Still In The RBF

Catnip Extraction Procedure   

5 June 2007 9,715 views 18 Comments

The legendary Tenderbuttoner just sent me an intriguing email, and I must interupt my blogging of Azaspriacid to let you all in:

Greetings. In the absence of my little tenderbutton.com I have no outlet for my random chemistry-related projects, so I’m reaching out to the rest of the chembloggers on this one. I’m advertising my latest scheme to take over the world, a DIY procedure to isolate pure nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip, using only itemsfound around the house. Soon every enterprising individual in the world will be commanding their own army of cats.


Interesting stuff. I’d like to give making the stuff a go, but isolating it is cool enough. Also, I’m not sure how many peasants I want doing steam distillations – could be a bit Cowboy Chemistry…

Now, what to do with 1000 cats. I could do as Terry Pratchett once suggested – glue them all together and spin them against plastic to make a massive static electricity generator… Thoughts?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • milkshake says:

    I heard a story of a guy who stole some caproic acid from the lab because it smelled rather awfull – and he was pissed on one of his classmates. So he took the stinky stuff and spilled it on the doorsteps of the other guy’s house. The revenge worked too well, it got actually completely out of hand the acid stench is quite persistant and smells exactly just like a male cat. The cats from the entire neighborhood were congregating there and singing every night…

  • Ψ*Ψ says:

    You could have an entire army of cuteness at your disposal. YOU COULD TAKE OVER THE WORLD! especially if they are kittens.

  • milkshake says:

    With enough kittens, we could probably stop hunting for baby seals.

  • Tot. Syn. says:

    Milkshake – please remember that caproic acid smells like goats. Look it up in the Merck Index… “Characteristic goat-like odour”. Mmmm… GC of the nose. In fact, the name of the acid derives from “il Caprone”, which is Foreign for goat. I decided to check this out with a real goat (as opposed to those fake goats), and got up-close and personal with a Pygmy Goat.

    Yep. Smells of caproic acid.

  • kiwi says:

    nothing says “third degree burns” like DIY steam distillation ;-) still a great prep though, might have to keep it in mind for a quiet day in the lab

  • Liquidcarbon says:

    Fire at the valerian drops factory – nine firefighters were licked to death by cats. They faced it absolutely calmly.

  • kiwi says:

    Reminds me of the brewer who died when he fell into a vat of whisky. a team was dispatched to rescue him, but he fought them off bravely.

  • ArrowPushingMonster says:

    Hmmm 1000 cats.. everyone knows that toast lands butter side down and that cats always land on their feet soooo… glue some toast to the cats feet butter side up and make the worlds first anti-gravity platform powered by cats and toast (nobel prize please…)

  • Davis says:

    Some people also attribute body odor to caproic acid. Caproic acid was given its name because the Romans believed that body odor came from goats living in the armpits.

  • Hap says:

    Having my house scratched to death is not in my best interest. Oh, and my older cat tries to go through the screen door when he sees the neighborhood cat walking on our deck; I can’t imagine what would happen when a mob of cats shows up. Cleanup would suck too – the kittens would get trampled to death underfoot, and it would probably be sad and sickening. On the other hand, it would probably be better than isolating periplanone B on scale.

  • Vince Noir says:

    Steam distillation of catnip?! I was doing that in high school in my kitchen. Well….at least I did lavender, nutmeg, wormwood, valerian (baaaaad idea), cloves, and coffee. I still have like 30 little vials of smelly stuff in my parent’s freezer… Good times

  • excimer says:

    AWP, you mean this?

    You know what I would do with an army of cats? Buy ten tons of string, toss it on the brigade, and die of the resulting cuteness ^_^

  • Vince Noir says:

    Ahhh death by cuteness. As peaceful a way to go as a heroin/phenobarbital drip. But fuzzier.

  • Johnny Nucleo says:

    10 A proposal for large-scale isolation of periplanone B was part of my application to super-villian graduate school. Combined with a scalable route to cockroach growth hormone, I like my chances for admission.

  • Vince Noir says:

    I like the way you think, Johnny Nucleo. Let’s team up and take over Colorado. Or, I guess, you could pick where we take over…whatever.

  • Johnny Nucleo says:

    dude, I have to finish building my Antarctic fortress.

  • Yttrai says:

    Your first comment, milkshake, reminds me of a stunt my labmates in grad school tried to play on me: They impregnated a kimwipe with Skatol and hid it on my bench.

    An hour later, my lab was empty but for me, everybody gagging and freaking out. I couldn’t smell it. Finally someone confessed what they’d done and showed me the Kimwipe. I chased them around lab with it as they gagged and freaked out, but honestly, i couldn’t smell it one iota.

    Any way i could parley this into a career in stinkbomb delivery?


  • Gil says:

    WOW, I dont have a clue what you guy’s are talking about? I’m in Chem right now and I am at a total lost. LOL!