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What is Catnip?

What Is Catnip?

By: Stanley P.

What is catnip? As you may know, catnip is a popular and even essential recreational drug for cat owners to give to their cats. While cats are usually composed and reserved, catnip consumption can turn them into entirely different animals. So, what is it, and why does it drive cats crazy?

Catnip: A Brief Description

what is catnip?Nepeta Cataria, more commonly known as catnip, catmint, or catswort, is a leafy green mint native to central Europe and Asia. When consumed by humans, the essential oil in catnip, Nepetalactone, can improve relaxation, boost mood, and reduce anxiety, restlessness and nervousness. However, when consumed by cats, Nepetalactone has more intense effects. Nepetalactone targets and stimulates the happy receptors of the brain. This causes cats to mellow out and generally become happier. Commonly, this can lead to hyperactivity, flipping, rolling and zoning out. Effects vary depending on the cat. On average, the results of catnip will last 10 minutes. Due to this, catnip is a popular recreational drug given to cats by cat owners. 

Benefits

As mentioned before, catnip makes cats happy and relaxed when consumed. Besides being used for recreational purposes, catnip can have lots of positive health effects for cats. Here is a list of the possible positive health effects of catnip.

  • Encourage play and movement.
  • Helps reduces anxiety, especially helpful for anxious cats.
  • Reduce stress and depression.

Risks

However, even though catnip is generally good for cats, there can be some adverse side effects. Note that these side effects come from overconsumption of catnip.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Catnip Tolerance

Even though both humans and cats can consume catnip recreationally, cats have a stronger reaction to them. Although most cats respond to catnip, kittens and senior cats seem to not react to it. This is because catnip triggers an attractant pheromone in cats, absent in kittens and senior cats as they are not sexually active. 

Forms of Catnip

what is catnip?There are different ways of giving catnip to a cat. Here are the most common ways.

Loose: The good old fashion way. If you have the loose form of catnip, just a few pinches of catnip should be enough for most cats.

Spray: An excellent way to implement catnip into play. Just a couple of sprays on your cat’s favourite toys should do the trick!

Toys: There are toys out there that have special pockets for storing catnip. While playing with their favourite toys, your cat can ingest catnip.

Treats: You can either buy these catnip-infused treats at a local pet store. You can even try your hand in making some yourself at home.

Conclusion

Catnip is used by owners to provide their cats with positive health benefits. Catnip targets attractant pheromones in a cat, which make them happy and relaxed. Generally, catnip is easy to give to cats and should be a tool in every cat owner’s toolbelt. Trust us your Cat will love you for it.

Links:

https://pets.webmd.com/cats/catnip-effects-on-cats

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/crazy-catnip#:~:text=Researchers%20suspect%20that%20catnip%20targets,growl%20at%20the%20same%20time.

https://www.healthline.com/health/catnip-tea#:~:text=Catnip%20tea’s%20biggest%20health%20benefit,anxiety%2C%20restlessness%2C%20and%20nervousness.

https://excitedcats.com/health-benefits-of-catnip-for-cats/

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-831/catnip

https://blog.homesalive.ca/cat-blog/ultimate-catnip-guide

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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