If you have ever had the pleasure of watching your cat eat catnip, you know that cats go crazy for it. Many different types of cats respond to catnip, even some tigers, lions, and leopards.
Catnip has a chemical called nepetalactone, which can boost your cat’s mood. Catnip can decrease stress and anxiety and even helps with pain in some cats. It can also make cats energetic, affectionate, and blissfully happy. Sometimes cats can become aggressive with each other due to catnip use.
If you want to learn more about catnip and its effects on cats, this article is for you!
We all know that cats cannot get enough of their catnip. They love to roll around in it and experience the feeling they get from sniffing it. Catnip has a long history of entertaining cats and even being a medicinal product for people. It has been used for centuries for several purposes.
Catnip is an herb native to Europe and Asia. It is in the mint family and contains the chemical nepetalactone. As a plant, catnip thrives on well-drained soil. It grows to three to four feet and has light green foliage and tiny lavender flowers.
The main ingredient in catnip, nepetalactone, is an essential oil that stimulates the brain. Many pet parents relish giving their cat catnip due to the emotional response it triggers in their cat. Catnip can be found in many cat toys, and you can also give it to them straight in the form of a dried-out plant. It is amusing to watch your cat vigorously rub the catnip all over their body.
It has been widely speculated that the Egyptians, who regarded cats as higher beings compared to people, were the first to give their felines this tantalizing treat. The Romans also dabbled in catnip usage and included it in their recipes and herbal medicines. In the Middle Ages, people and cats both used catnip, as it was given to furry felines for their enjoyment and people for their tea.
Catnip was discovered in America around the 18th century. There is an old recipe from 1712 that includes catnip as the main ingredient. Native Americans also started to ingest catnip for medicinal purposes when it was available to them.
You sometimes hear of people trying to use catnip now and again. Some say it has numerous benefits, while others are not so convinced. In modern times, most people think it is better to take medicine approved by your doctor, rather than experiment with different herbs, especially without researching them first. As a general rule, catnip is better left to the cat.
Cats have a scent organ on the roof of their mouth that permits scents accumulated within the nose and mouth to transmit to the brain. Nepetalactone, the oil from the plant’s leaves, triggers behavioral alterations within the cat.
Catnip mimics catlike sex hormones, and many cats display a response like a female cat in heat. Both male and female cats will reveal this. They can get very energetic and wild from engaging in catnip use!
Catnip is mainly meant to provide cats with the perfect combination of sedation and sheer delight. However, the cat’s response to catnip is all in the genes. About 75 percent of all cats are receptive to nepetalactone. Since part of the response to catnip has to do with their hormones, most cats do not respond to catnip until they have reached their sexual maturity.
Some of the ways catnip can affect cats:
Cats will often lick, sniff, and roll around in catnip. Sometimes cats can be aggressive after sniffing catnip, especially with each other. The effects of catnip usually only last for 10 to 15 minutes, and cats will generally walk away once they have had their fix.
There are some unique ways you can treat your cat to catnip. You should always purchase good-quality catnip for your feline companion. You can put it in a refillable toy or sprinkle it on the floor and watch them roll around with pleasure. The following include some of the best ways to give your cat catnip:
When you purchase loose catnip, get the kind that has fewer stems than leaves and blossoms. It will be better for your cat and is more potent, as it contains more of the chemical nepetalactone. The following includes the different ways your cat can have loose catnip:
If you purchase loose catnip, keep it in a sealed container. It will stay fresh, and you will not need to purchase it again for about two years. You will need to store it correctly, away from heat and sunlight. It will remain potent if you keep it in a cool, dry place.
If you want a lighter concentration of catnip, purchase catnip spray. Catnip spray has a lower concentration of nepetalactone. The following includes the different ways you can use catnip spray:
Spray on catnip is a good option for cats who have sensitive stomachs, which may get upset when they ingest the plant. It is ideal when you want a clean, mess-free option.
If you want to cultivate fresh catnip for your cat, it is easy to do. You should plant catnip in your garden during the spring after the danger of frost has passed where you live. The best place for planting will have plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. There should also not be any taller plants nearby that provide too much shade for the catnip during the day.
However, if you are living in a hot climate, you can give the catnip some shade. You should plant the catnip in a pot or anything that will help control the spread of the catnip. Space the catnip plants eighteen to twenty-four inches apart in the garden, and lightly graze the seeds with soil. The catnip will require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Catnip needs to grow in good draining soil, and it needs to have a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil pH. Keep the plant moist but not soggy with too much water. The plant will thrive in temperatures between fifty-five to eighty-five degrees. You should also add some compost into the soil when you plant it. Once it is ready, you can cut off the leaves to give to your cat for ultimate feline satisfaction.
Perhaps the simplest way to give your cat some nip is via the many kinds of catnip toys. These include bananas, mice, and fish. Catnip toys already have catnip in them.
Catnip is a natural herb that offers cats a fun way to decrease stress and anxiety while attaining a relaxed, euphoric state. It is also highly entertaining for pet parents who love seeing their fur babies enjoy themselves!
For cat parents in Sewell, NJ and Deptford, NJ, Pet Check Urgent Care is here to care for you and your cat.