Everyone knows that catnip causes cats to go insane. It’s popular among cats and they exhibit it by rubbing up against everything, rolling about on the floor, pawing odd items, and overall behaving strangely.
Some of you may even have catnip items at home for your pets. So we thought it would be a good idea to provide you a bit more information about catnip and how it affects our furry friends.
What Is Catnip?
Catnip is a herb from the genus Nepeta, most often the species Nepeta cataria. It belongs to the mint family and is extensively grown in Europe, Asia, and North America. It can be found in the wild or growing in people’s gardens.
It’s quite easy to grow catnip yourself if you want to give the fresh version to your kitty. However, most commercial catnip is found in a dried and crushed form. Fresh catnip is more potent than the dried version, so you can use less of it to get a similar effect.
Other herbs that have a catnip-like effect in cats may cause confusion. The valerian plant, silver vine, and Tatarian honeysuckle wood are among them.
Find out what plants are dangerous for our beloved kitties.
Why Do Cats Love Catnip?
Catnip, like many plants, has oils that give it its characteristic fragrance. The active element in catnip, which belongs to the same plant family as mint, is nepetalactone. But why do cats love catnip so much?
This substance, which scientists believe that imitates cat pheromone, enters a cat’s nose and excites sensory neurons. This causes the brain to transmit what amounts to a sexual response. This is why catnip causes certain cats to behave like females in heat.
Simply explained, it causes a chemical reaction in the brain, similar to what psychoactive substances do in people, and causes cats to act strangely, which may be entertaining for both the cat and the owner.
Catnip doesn’t work on every cat, only influencing up to 80% of felines. And catnip only lasts a few minutes, maybe 15, before cats get immune to it for 30 minutes to a few hours.
Cats may overdose on catnip – but not to death, as far as we know. However, they may become ill and vomit. Most cats, on the other hand, can determine when they’ve had enough and will quit before they overdose.
Is Catnip Safe For My Cat?
There is no proof that catnip is poisonous to cats, yet some cats do have a negative reaction. Especially if they ingest the catnip rather than merely smelling or rolling in it. Consult a veterinarian if you get vomiting or diarrhea after consuming catnip.
There is no significant risk of overdosing because the effects wear off fast and cats acquire a temporary tolerance to it after about a half hour. If you offer your cat catnip on a regular basis, you may see diminished benefits, so keep the catnip for rare occasions.
Catnip isn’t dangerous for your cuttie. However, eating too much will cause them to act just as if they had eaten too much of anything else, with body rebelling with a bout of vomiting and diarrhea. A lot of it in a short time may mean the cat will build up a tolerance and become less sensitive to catnip.
It’s best to limit catnip doses to once every two or three weeks. Cats cannot be addicted to catnip, though they really do enjoy it. Always ask your veterinarian before you give anything to your cat.
Do you give catnip to your cat? Does your cat love it? Let us know in the comments below!