Cat Health, KitNipBox

What Does Catnip Do To Cats? Catnip Questions Answered

Have you ever wondered what catnip does to cats? If so, you’re not alone! In this blog post, we’ll answer all of your questions about catnip, from what it is to how it affects cats. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this fascinating plant!

What is catnip and where does it come from?

What is catnip? Catnip is a herb that historically has been used in traditional medicine and teas, but what it’s most famous for is its ability to send cats into a playful and relaxed state. Catnip contains an active chemical compound known as nepetalactone that when a cat smells it, triggers a response in the cat’s brain leading them to feel joyous and euphoric. 

Cats and catnip have an interesting relationship. While it’s safe for cats to eat catnip as part of their diet, what they really like (and what is usually recommended by experts) is just the scent. Catnip can be found growing wild throughout many parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but it’s also easily grown indoors using simple gardening methods. 

How does catnip affect cats?

Among the many mysteries of the cat-kind lies the question: what does catnip do to cats? If your kitty has ever had access to a catnip-filled toy or just been around it, you know what happens next: they start exhibiting strange behavior such as rolling around, drooling, meowing, rubbing their face on the plant, etc. So what’s actually going on? 

It turns out catnip’s active ingredient, nepetalactone, is what cats find fascinating. When sniffed or ingested, it binds to special receptors in their noses and mouths that send signals to their brains which result in what we commonly know as ‘catnip response’. What’s interesting is that not all cats respond strongly to catnip and some cats don’t respond to it at all.

Does catnip have any negative side effects?

Catnip can definitely bring a lot of fun to cats and make them quite feisty, but it can have some negative side effects that cat owners should be aware of. If cats consume too much catnip, they may experience dizziness or disorientation as catnip has mild psychoactive properties. 

Exposure to catnip may also make some cats become overly aggressive or exhibit aggressive behavior. Nausea and vomiting are common negative side effects when cats consume large quantities of catnip as well. Overall, catnip is generally safe for cats but if used excessively or given to cats that are particularly sensitive to its effects, it can be harmful.

How can I give my cat catnip, and how often should I give it to them?

Giving your cat a taste of catnip is a great way to spice up their day! Can cats eat catnip? Yes! Here’s how to give catnip to cats: you can sprinkle the leaves on their toys or scratching post, feed it to them in a dish, give them treats with catnip in them, or simply rub it between your fingers and let them enjoy the scent. 

What age can cats have catnip? Kittens under the age of 6 months should not have access to catnip. Before six months of age, most cats won’t react to it at all. After six months of age, you’ll be able to gauge your cat’s reaction to catnip and determine if you should incorporate it into your cat’s diet.

Are there any benefits to giving my cat catnip?

There are many catnip benefits for cats. Catnip’s calming effects can help reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety levels while its mild sedative properties will also help them relax in unusually loud environments or on long car rides. 

You can also use catnip when introducing a new furry companion in the house, as catnip can make the transition smoother by helping the cat stay relaxed during this time of transition. 

Aside from that, catnip also helps improve your cat’s overall well-being as it contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy lifestyle

Are there any other uses for catnip?

Catnip may be most commonly used to make cats go crazy, but it has other benefits as well! Don’t let the name fool you; catnip can be a great addition to many people’s daily lives.

What else does catnip do? Catnip has historically been used medicinally for its calming effects and is still widely used today. This herb can also help ease mild digestive issues, relieve emotional stress, and even improve sleep. This powerful plant isn’t just for cats, it has benefits for humans too!

If you’re looking to add a little spice to your cat’s life, give catnip a try! This herb has been known to induce some pretty wild behaviors in our feline friends, and it’s perfectly safe for them to consume. Just be sure not to overdo it. Introduce your kitty to this novel treat slowly and see how they react. 

Thinking about incorporating catnip into your kitty’s life? Subscribe to KitnipBox for customized toys and treats that pair perfectly with catnip!