What does catnip do to cats?


Catnip also known as nepeta and catmint, is a non-toxic and harmless herb.
Catnip contains a component called Nepetalactone, which can cause the cat's nerve impulse and make the cat appear in a state of excitement, which can participate in regulating the cat's emotional changes.
The reason why cats can be "addicted" is because of the action of this chemical substance, which stimulates the sensory neurons of the brain and causes transient behavior changes after cats eat.

Striped cat in modern home

What happens when cats eat catnip

Catnip is a plant that can cause hallucinations.
Some cats can cause temporary behavior changes after eating.
The general duration is about ten minutes, and the response will appear after two hours.

Cats eating catnip can cause reactions such as rubbing their heads, jumping and rolling, or making noises, which are manifested as rolling on the ground, lying on their backs, unsteady walking, like scratching and biting, or meowing non-stop, but also sneezing, chewing, rubbing, etc.
Some cats will chase fantasy mice after eating catnip, and some will sit blankly and stare at them. These behaviors will not cause any harm to the cat.

Most cats' responses to catnip are genetic factors, and about 50% of cats will react.
Kittens and some cats under 6 months of age will not respond to catnip.
Catnip does not make cats dependent, and owners do not have to worry about it will make the cat addictive.


What are the benefits of cats eating catnip

Catnip can stimulate the cat's appetite, ease the cat's mood, induce vomiting, and has a calming effect on individual cats.

  1. If you find that your cat has poor appetite and does not like to eat, you can add catnip to your cat food to promote its appetite.
  2. Allowing cats to smoke catnip once a week can relieve cats’ boredom, and use it during estrus can also reduce cat’s anxiety.
  3. Let the cat lick it in the palm of your hand, which can promote the relationship with the cat and increase the interaction. Catnip can relieve tension and relax mood for new or timid kittens.
  4. Putting catnip in the cat's toy can increase the cat's love for the toy, and the cat will take the initiative to play with the toy.
  5. Put the catnip directly on the scratching post, and the cat will take the initiative to grind its paws on it. The smell of catnip is very big, you don't need to put too much every time, the cat will take the initiative to eat it. There will be the smell of catnip on the scratching post, and the cat will naturally scratch it, which can reduce the cat's damage to the sofa.
  6. The catnip can be sprinkled on the ground when changing the environment to reduce the cat's stress on the environment and reduce the cat's decline in resistance caused by stress. In addition, the consumption of catnip can also help cats arranging hair balls.

Owners need to pay attention to the amount of dried catnip. Do not allow cats to contact catnip for a long time.
If it is used too frequently, the effect will be lost, and the cat will no longer have an excitement reaction.

How to use catnip correctly

Catnip should not be used frequently, the frequency of use is less than once a week, and generally a little bit of each time is enough.

The most direct method is to crush the dried catnip with your hands and let the cat lick it in your hands;
You can also dry the catnip, take a small amount of crushed catnip and place it in cat food, toys, scratching post or cat litter;
You can also use a cloth bag or small ball to fill the catnip powder and place it next to the cat or where it usually likes to stay.

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