What is it about catnip that makes cats go crazy?
Catnip is the original and most popular herb for cat toys and treats, as it can have a mild hallucinogenic effect on kitties and be incredibly pleasurable for them. ?
But what is Catnip?
Well, Catnip is a perennial herb and a member of the mint family. It’s a plant with purple and white spotted flowers which can grow to be very bushy with lots of branches. Many recommend growing it in a pot for this reason – as it can easily takeover your flowerbeds! You can find a list of catnip and other cat-friendly plants in our previous blog post here!
Why does it affect my cat?
Catnip contains aromatic oils, one of which acts as a mild hallucinogen when inhaled by cats. This oil is called Nepetalactone and when your cat breaths in its scent, it causes them to act a little bit crazy!
What is a normal response to catnip?
Whether they’re exposed to the plant or dried version in a toy, you’ll see your cat rubbing their chins, cheeks and behind the ears with the catnip, exposing their teeth more and if its the plant, even eating and chewing the flowers and leaves. They do this to force more air to the receptor at the back of the nose to concentrate the smell and get more of the catnip goodness.
The majority of cats will become playful, frisky or sleepy when exposed to catnip. Some purr more, and leap about with a lot more energy than normal. You may find your cat responds aggressively to catnip by biting, scratching and hissing, in which case it is recommended you avoid exposing them to the herb.
How long does catnip last?
On average a cat’s reaction to catnip will last between 5-15 minutes. They then won’t react to it again for at least an hour. The reaction to catnip is hereditary and about 30% of cats won’t react to catnip, so don’t worry if your kitty doesn’t respond like other cats, it’s entirely normal.
Text written by Jen Smith.
How does your cat respond to catnip? Simon’s Cat loves it. ❤️
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