What exactly is catnip?
Other than entertainment for both cat and owner, have you ever wondered why the magical plant does what it does? Catnip is not a weed. It comes from the family of mint plants. It can grow both indoor and outdoor.
How does it work?
The nose knows! Nepetalactone is the compound in the plant which causes a reaction in the cat’s brain of behavioural and emotional responses.
What does it do?
The effects of catnip last around 10-15 minutes. They generally include rolling, face rubbing, chewing, drooling, vocalization and other entertaining actions. Your cat will then be “immune” for 1-2 hours as the brain sort of “resets.”
11 Things you didn’t know about catnip:
- Catnip cat is used for: comfort during travelling, play time, and/or used on scratching posts for proper use.
- Humans used catnip for centuries in teas, herbal cigarette and as a cooking herb.
- Catnip is a mild hallucinogenic in cats.
- Catnip is not addictive and is completely safe.
- The compound, nepetalactone, is also used as a mosquito repellent.
- 70% of adult cats are affected by catnip. Kittens tend not to be affected until the age of maturity.
- It can make some cats aggressive.
- It can help overweight cats be more active during their weight loss journey.
- It can be bought in several forms: sprays, dried herbs, pellets, toys.
- Green (pungent smell) means fresh herbs. Pale yellow (faint smell) means old herbs.
- It can be stored in the freezer to extend its shelf life.
In the Moncton Animal Hospital Boutique, we have a wide variety of catnip toys including catnip pillows, loose catnip, and we also have Royalty Cat Toys, locally handmade catnip toys.
Written by: Monica Blanchard, RVT