If you are familiar with the health benefits of the occasional cup of red wine, you might have considered giving your cat some catnip. You may be wondering why cats love catnip so much. What effects does catnip have my cat? And why should I give my cat a catnip toy to enjoy right now? These are some of the questions we will be answering today. Mittens, you can thank us later!
What Is Catnip?
Catnip is, in fact, a plant from the mint family with the scientific name of Nepeta cataria. Family of mint, the fact that cats love catnip is very well known in the rest of the world, since it can be found in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States. There are hundreds of variants of the catnip plant, and they all have a slightly different smell. Cats love catnip and go crazy over their scent.
But, is it just the aroma what makes cats love catnip? Not really! It is a substance called nepetalactone. Contained in the catnip smell, when cats inhaled nepetalactone they experience a rush like that of the pheromones of a feline in heat.
Effects and Benefits оf Catnip оn Cats:
Let me take you down 'Cause I'm going to a catnip field... With the permission of Lennon and McCartney that would be the ideal way to describe why cats love catnip. The feeling of bliss, excitement, and relaxation that mittens feel after having contact with catnip. Do cats love catnip? You can bet on it.
When a cat smells catnip, in any of its presentations, almost immediately its body reacts with enthusiasm, dizziness, happiness, and salivation. After having a blast, cats enter a lethargic stage in which they feel like taking a nap or calmly enjoy some good vibrations.
- Up to 75% of cats love catnip. Males tend to feel more inclined to enjoy the effects of catnip.
- While most cats love catnip, it is an acquired taste. Kittens tend to feel less attracted to this plant.
- Also, grumpy old felines and neutered cats may feel less attracted to catnip.
Are Big Cats Affected by Catnip?
Although not all domestic cats love catnip, big cats can enjoy it too. Panthers, Bengal tigers, lynxes, even lions go head over heels for it.
Is Catnip Safe For Cats?
Yes, catnip is completely safe for cats. Although, cats can become intoxicated if they ingest large servings of catnip in one bite. Cats love catnip, but it doesn't mean it's addictive or dangerous. The only safety measure a pet owner has to consider is to moderate your cat's contact with the plant. Continuous exposure can make your cat develop tolerance and lose all the interest in its favorite catnip toy… for a while.
What form of Catnip is Best?
Dried catnip, catnip sprays, fresh catnip, beautiful catnip toys... Cats love catnip in all its presentations. But, the easiest to control in both effects and practicality are catnip toys. Besides, the effects of fresh catnip can be stronger and cause diarrhea or vomiting to cats when consumed in large quantities.
That stimulating effect that makes cats love catnip acts differently in us humans. Catnip tea and other processed forms of the plant are used in relaxing treatments for its soothing effect. Now! What are you waiting for? Go get your cat Mittens its brand spanking new catnip toy! Go get it right meow!