catnipIt’s well known that catnip is a type of feline intoxicant with few rivals. Collectively, cat lovers recognize the plant’s potency and use it in various ways. Most cats willingly accept catnip as an antidote to boredom or inactivity – or as a way to intensify already hilarious feline antics. But not all cats feel the effects of catnip.

Safe and Dangerous

The effects of catnip are typically considered safe for feline friends. While there may be physical repercussions from inhaling the small, dusty particles of dried catnip or eating rough stems of the plant, catnip is usually just fine for cats.

That being said, however, the effects of catnip can lead a cat into dangerous situations. Running, chasing, climbing, darting, rolling around, and other forms of feline folly can have disastrous consequences. When exposing your cat to catnip, make sure the doors and windows are closed, nothing heavy can be tipped over, and all sharp objects are put away.

Point of Origin

Catnip is in the same family as mint. Grown globally, catnip is a leafy green plant adorned with small white flowers. You can definitely plant it and allow your pet to enjoy it fresh or dried. Many owners simply purchase it already dried and packaged for immediate use.

The Many Effects of Catnip

Catnip contains nepetalactone, an organic compound found in the leaves and stem. It’s an oil that switches on certain pleasure buttons inside a cat’s brain. Widely regarded as a type of aphrodisiac for cats, nepetalactone can either make a cat behave wildly or lounge around in a state of temporary euphoria.

How Long?

Luckily, the effects of catnip only last about 10 minutes. If used too much, a cat can become insensitive to it. Often, a simple sniff of catnip can do the trick, but eating it can also work. If you spray a cat toy or fill one with dried catnip, you’ll have to do it again as the oil wears off after some time.

Most cats experience the positive effects of catnip, but there are some who completely ignore it. In fact, whether or not your cat enjoys catnip comes down to inherited autosomal traits. Kittens younger than a few months typically do not feel any effects of catnip, but they may eventually experience the fun.

Amazing Science

While catnip entices felines to play, it also repels mosquitoes. In fact, this hardy plant does a better job at warding off these dangerous parasites than DEET. Similarly, cockroaches, dust mites, termites, and ticks do not like catnip. Anyone ready to get planting?

If you have additional questions or concerns about the effects of catnip, we encourage you to call us. We’re always here for you and your cat!