What is Catnip?

What is Catnip?

Sep 24, 2021
11 min

What Is Catnip?

Most cat owners do not realize how essential catnip is for their little feline friends. Some of us have heard about catnip but don’t exactly know what it is. So, what exactly is catnip? Let’s find out!

Catnip is a kind of herb belonging to the mint family. Comprising of a complex substance called nepetalactone, catnip causes some varying reactions in our feline friends:

  • Sniffing, licking, and rubbing

  • Getting exuberant

  • Sometimes, they also get aggressive

According to specialists, catnip more often than not induces a hallucinogenic effect on cats. Catnip acts on a feline’s olfactory system when a cat rubs against it. You need to be careful about how much you catnip you give your cat.

The opposite effect happens when a cat consumes catnip. In these cases, it acts more like a sedative instead of a stimulant, helping your cat be peaceful at all times. Generally, the effects last for about an hour. However, it is to be noted that more than 60% of cats show a reaction to catnip.


Health Benefits of Catnip

Here are some essential health benefits your cats can derive from consuming catnip:

  • In most cats, it relieves pain and may help heal any scratches or wounds your cat might have.

  • Catnip offers a pleasant, peaceful reaction for the cats.

  • An added benefit is that catnip boosts the mood of your cat. If your cat’s acting a little grumpy, giving some catnip might help lift its spirits.

  • Consuming catnip also reduces cats’ anxiety and keeps them calm.


How much Catnip should you give?

With so many benefits your cat can get from catnip, you might think that giving your cats as much catnip as they like might be better for them. But, beware! Giving too much catnip can lead to overdose or adverse health effects on your cat. As a cat pawrent, you must find a fine balance. Here are some things you should keep in mind:


Catnip as a treat.

While it is a healthy yet fun snack for your cats, moderation is necessary. In fact, you should only give it to them as a treat once or twice a day. Generally, cats are attracted to the smell of catnip, and they genuinely relish it. Keeping them asking for more is always a good option. And you can do this by giving them catnip in moderation.


Give in small doses

The ratio with which cats can smell catnip in the air is 1:1 billion. Hence, it doesn’t take much to stimulate it. You must give them small doses of catnip daily.


Avoid giving catnip to overly aggressive cats.

Catnip affects the senses of cats and can sometimes make them more aggressive. When this happens, it’s advised that you stop giving your cat catnip.


Not all cats are attracted to catnip.

Roughly 20% of cats are void of the attraction to catnip. Additionally, it is a known fact that kittens do not like it at all. So, that is something cat owners need to consider.


Too much isn’t ideal

Giving too much catnip can cause cats to start feeling nauseous. Too much catnip also affects cats’ intestinal tracts, hence damaging their digestive system. In some rare cases, they may also have trouble walking due to the excess consumption of catnip. This is something that you must pay extensive attention to when giving your cats catnip.


Precautions of giving Catnip

Here are some necessary precautions that cat owners must take:

  • Your cat should be at least three months old if you would like to give them catnip.
  • You should start with a small amount and never give it to them too often. As mentioned before, it is advised to give it to cats as a treat.
  • While consuming catnip, cats generally need a safe environment, especially for sniffing or tasting. It’s your job to provide them with this atmosphere.
  • Discontinue the supply of catnip if your cat gets aggressive due to its consumption.
  • Many cats might be allergic to catnip, and it can cause some blinding side effects if fed. Thus, you should consult a vet before feeding them catnip.


Fun ways to give catnip

How can you enhance your cat’s catnip consuming experience? There are so many ways! Here’s how you can help your cat relax with fun:


Cat Toy

When combining fun and catnips, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? That’s right! Toys! More specifically, toys filled with catnip! You can find these fun and interactive catnip toys , such as the AFP Green Rush Mice Catnip Toy, in different designs.


Catnip Scratcher

Besides toys, you can also find catnip scratchers on Perromart. When your cat is enjoying itself scratching away on its cat post, it can also feel extra relaxed by the scent of the catnip on the post. What better way to help your cat relax?


Catnip Roller and Catnip Sprays

Don’t want to limit your cat’s relaxation space to scratcher posts and toys? With these catnip rollers, shakes and sprays available on Perromart, you can rub, sprinkle or spray the catnip anywhere you like. Here’s a tip! These rollers and sprays can also help you encourage your cat to stay at a delegated spot of your choice, and with fun!

Be sure to ensure your cat’s health and well-being whenever you give your cat catnip to sniff or eat. Help your cat relax with catnip today!