Why do cats like catnip?

Why do cats like catnip?

Does your cat go crazy over catnip? Why do some cats act like they are drugged and others don’t seem bothered by it at all? Read on to find out!

What is Catnip?

catmint, catnip, purple

The catnip plant

Catnip, scientific name Nepeta cataria is a member of the mint family. It is a versatile and beautiful flowering herb with uses beyond simple cat entertainment. While many feline owners drop outlandish amounts of cash into catnip-infused toys, you might be surprised and pleased to know that cat mint is a hardy and resilient perennial plant. It’s easy to grow, comes back year after year, and spreads easily if its growing is left unchecked. . When a catnip plant is bruised or transgressed, the aroma of the oil is released into the air. It is this aroma that causes the
reaction.

Why don’t all cats react to catnip?

Cats like catnip because they are drawn to the nepectalone within. However not all cats respond to the attractive and stimulating oil contained within the plant. In fact an individual cat’s reactions to catnip can change significantly during the course of the cat’s life. Effects can be observed in 50 percent to 75  percent of domestic cats. Altbored cathough a predisposition to catnip is an inherited genetic trait, there is really no way to anticipate whether any dedicated cat will react to the plant, or with what degree of excitement. Kittens begin to show a predilection between the ages of 6 weeks and  6 months, so if you’re interested in watching your fur babe flip her wig, you might need patience and perseverance.

How does catnip effect cats?

catnip toyIts effects differ but are always of limited duration. The nepectalone operates by aroma. It’s no more effective if cats eat it before or after being exposed to its odor, and it’s neither dangerous nor toxic to them if ingested. Much in the same way that humans have various physiological responses to herbal intoxicants, a cat’s reaction to catnip depends on how susceptible the feline is to it and the relative freshness of the oil. A catnip high tends to be short-lived, lasting from 10  minutes to 15  minutes before the affected feline moves on to other important cat business. Physical responses include mellowed lolling about on the floor and clownish hyperactivity.

If your feline demonstrates an interest in the herb, you might consider using it to your advantage around the home. For instance, promoting a feline to stop scratching your bed post or dining room chairs can be facilitated by breaking a fresh cat-mint plant and scratching it on most appropriate furniture, like a feline tree or scratching post.

Can a cat overdose on catnip?

As is the case with anything, if they do eat the herb, too much migcat with catnip plantht cause them some degree of digestive upset, be it vomiting or diarrhea. That said, it has nothing to do with the properties of the plant itself, but it’s merely a case of overindulgence or unfamiliarity. The apparently narcotic effects of the essential oil, no matter how potent its effects on your cats, are always limited and wear off speedily. Fresh or dried, the plant offers no danger to cats.

Can humans be effected by catnip?catnip effects on humans

Like other members of the mint family, the cat mint has played many roles over hour, including apply as food ingredients, topping, or garnish in meat preparation and in herbal tea. Historically, herbalists, homeopaths, and folk wisdom allege that cat mint has some uses as a natural sedative, pain reliever, or cough suppressant as well as somewhat more fanciful applications .

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