Why Do Cats Like Catnip? - Catnip Wiki


1. What is catnip? Is it the same with cat grass?

Catnip is a plant of the genus of wattle, native to neighboring Mediterranean countries, has been widely cultivated around the world, its appearance is similar to mint, and has a great attraction to cats, so it is also commonly known as catnip.

"Is cat grass the same as catnip?" Many cat owners often have the question that although cat grass and catnip are both edible plants for cats, they are actually completely different plants and have different effects on cats.

Cat grass is a collective name for all cat edible grass plants, common large and small wheat seedlings, oat seedlings, Setaria viridis, etc., are actually cat grass.

Cat grass is also comparable to the salad of the cat world, it is rich in fiber, minerals, folic acid and vitamins, when cats eat too much waste hair because of grooming, or feel that they should supplement other nutrients, they will take the initiative to eat cat grass, by stimulating the gastrointestinal peristalsis, to help eliminate the waste hair in the body, so cat owners do not need to be too surprised when they see cats graze.

2. Why do cats like catnip? Catnip introduction

Before understanding the effects of catnip, we have to start with the ingredients. 

Cat mint contains an effective compound called "Nepetalactone", catnip flavor can only be smelled by cats, because Nepetalactone can stimulate the cat's special pheromone receptor, its effect is similar to the pheromone emitted by cats during mating, can help cats lift their spirits and relax.

Each cat's reaction to catnip is different, and the following usually occur:

  • After eating, the cat began to roll on the ground and wave its paws.
  • Cats that are not close to people become unusually clingy and keep rubbing around their owners.
  • The cat became active and began to run in various rooms, accompanied by high-pitched calls.
  • Some cats will appear empty and become extra relaxed.

These unusual reactions often make cat owners feel incredible, so catnip is also nicknamed the marijuana of cat world. So what are catnip uses? Since catnip can help cats refresh and relax, whether it is to help cats soothe emotions or as a reward is very suitable, especially when cats change to a new environment, you can sprinkle a little catnip in the new cat nest and cat scratch post, helping cats be more willing to take the first step to try new things.

3. Can catnip be addicted? What are the catnip side effects? 

Since catnip is known as cat marijuana, most people often have doubts about whether catnip is addictive and whether it affects cat health, but this is actually a false myth.   

Catnip is a natural non-toxic plant, and the action time after eating catnip is very short, when the effect stops, the cat will return to the usual, and it does not produce the same mental malaise and physical discomfort as drug addiction, we do not need to worry about catnip addiction or harmful side effects to the cat body.   

In addition to worrying that cats will become addicted to catnip, some cat owners are also worried about why their cats do not respond to catnip.

According to statistics, about 30% of cats do not react specifically after eating catnip, the reason is that the cat itself lacks a receptor that can receive catnip, so there is no need to worry about whether the cat has a physical problem to be insensitive to catnip.

In addition, some cat owners will find that their cats will increase their aggression after eating cat mint, this is because catnip will make the cat's mood become excited, cats swing their paws, jump up and down accidentally hurt humans are very normal, so if there are many cats in the house, please try not to let all cats eat catnip at the same time, so as not to overreact and start attacking each other.

Finally, even if catnip is not harmful to the cat's body, please don't use it as a daily snack to the cat every day, because catnip will accelerate the operation speed of the cat's guts, if the cat's stomach are in a state of accelerated operation every day, it is easy to cause slight stomach discomfort.

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