banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Catnip and Your Cat

| December 22, 2011
CatNip and Your Cat

Catnip isn’t just a cat thing. Actually cat nip is a nickname for a plant that comes from the mint family. For a cat, this herb is like one too many martinis. The reaction may be wild and crazy or totally oblivious in that classic “who cares” manner that cats do so well.

 

Catnip isn’t just a cat thing. Actually cat nip is a nickname for a plant that comes from the mint family. For a cat, this herb is like one too many martinis. The reaction may be wild and crazy or totally oblivious in that classic “who cares” manner that cats do so well.

Inside this plant is a chemical element called nepetalactone, which seems to prompt amazing reactions that are different for each cat. While you can’t smell it, this herbal plant has a unique scent to a feline.

The typical cat pauses to sniff this unusual substance and maybe give it a small lick. Then the cat returns to chew on the plants leaves. Some cats love to roll around in it and get it all over their fur.

Shortly after ingesting cat nip, a cat may leap, roll, wiggle, purr and seem to freak out. The cat may become aggressive toward another pet when under the influence of this hypnotic plant. Another cat may nibble the catnip, grin broadly and quietly savor the experience. Fortunately this “trip” lasts just a matter of minutes.

Although coming down from the high may take a few hours before your cat responds normally. Older cats seem less vulnerable or perhaps less interested in the whole experience. Very young kittens also are less interested in the plant.

This herbal plant can be purchased in a pet store in dried leaf form or as an essential oil. Just a small drop of the oil is all that’s needed to get a reaction. You can also purchase catnip-scented toys. But keep in mind the potency of the herb declines quickly over time. So you want purchase well sealed cat toys or even vacuum packaged for the best freshness.

So toss out the old toys regularly and get fresh toys so your cat gets the same enjoyment out of it. While catnip is related to other common plants like basil, spearmint and oregano, those plants don’t have the same effect on cats.

Catnip is an aphrodisiac for some cats – causing them to become very amorous with another cat. So you have to wonder, can a cat become addicted to it? While each catnip nibble is a delight for your cat, he’s not going to trash the house or sell your car to get more.

Cats won’t become addicted to cat nip, so it’s a treat you can provide for your feline friend a few times a week. If you have more than one cat, give them each their own little pile of the herb so that they don’t have to compete for the pleasure against one another.

Copyright & Credit:

Author’s Resource: Mark and Cindi have created the cat health and behavior website because they love cats. Visit the free cat food recipes page to find out more about home cooked meals for your pets. Or visit this page for answers to the most common cat behavior problems! Visit Animal Pets & Friends for more pet and animal articles.

Photo copyright and courtesy: John Nyberg – stock.xchng

Category: Feline Articles, Feline Health and Care, Feline Resources

Comments are closed.

banner ad
banner ad