It’s enjoyable to watch cats go crazy for catnip. Here’s more on what’s going on.
Catnip Has Worked For Centuries
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria is a member of the mint family and has been known for centures to ‘intoxicate’ cats with its aroma. There are references to growing catnip for the amusement of cats as far back as the Greeks and by the 13th Century, it was a regular in the kitchen gardens of the English.
Why Cats Love Catnip
The active ingrediant thought to that make cats go bonkers for catnip is a chemical compound called nepetalactone. For whatever reason (no one really seems to know) cats enjoy rubbing themselves on the plant…chewing on it, playing with it…It appears to make them ‘high’, but in fact does not. Cats’ olfactory sensors weary of the scent within 15 minutes or so and the effects completely dissippate.
Will My Cat Love It?
Maybe. Only 70% or so of cats appear to be affected by it. The trait seems to be hereditary. However you might like it! Humans have been using the herb medicinally for centuries. In fact, you can order teabags full of it. Just don’t start pawing at your tea mug, throwing it up in the air, or biting the hand of the person that hands it to you 🙂
Is Catnip Safe For My Cat?
Yes. it’s perfectly safe and no your cat can’t OD on it. Your cat may eat it and vomit it back up on the sofa, but the vomit won’t be from toxity, it will probably be from ‘I just ate that whole thing of catnip. What did you expect me to do?’
Buy seeds for catnip online or pick up a pot of the domesticated version at your highend nursery. The domesticated versions are lovely with a beautiful purple shaded flowers and deep green folliage…every bit as alluring to cats as the wild version that likes to grow in ditches, along roadside and other wasteland areas. As a plant it’s especially hardy and perennial, meaning that it comes up every year.
Got a video of your cat ‘high’ on catnip? Send it over, we’d love to share it on our facebook page.