Cats and Catnip: why do cats like catnip?

why do cats like catnip
why do cats like catnip?
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You ever noticed weird cat behaviors when your kitty cat starts playing with a catnip toy? If so then you’ve certainly witnessed some really hilarious crazy pet moves.
Catnip and cats have a long history together, these little drug addicts love it so much to the point that catnip treats could be their favorite. For cat owners who wonder: What is catnip? What does catnip do to cats? why do cats like catnip toys? And can catnip hurt kittens? Here are ten facts about cats and catnip you may not know about.

why do cats like catnip?

Catnip or Nepeta cataria as scientists refer to it is a sweet-scented plant from the mint family. Sometimes it’s called catmint or even catswort.
Its origins come from Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America as well. There are different types of catnip all over the world; more than 250 species have been found so far.
It’s a two to three feet plant with tough branches and heart-shaped leaves at their ends. With time, Catnip grows blue, white, pink or purple flowers at the tips of its branches.
It’s a plant that gives its effect when grown and tall, even though most of the time it’s dried and turned into tiny shreds.

Just like any plant that leaves you with a sensation of being stoned, Catnip’s trunk and leaves contain an oil called “nepetalactone.” It’s the secret door to happiness for cats, whenever they’re somehow in contact with this oil, their receptors detecting pheromones are stimulated, which makes your cat enter a state of euphoria and extreme happiness; it’s the same state people get to when hallucinating and using drugs. Cats then start having weird yet hilarious junky behaviors.

Do cats get high on catnip?

Be ready, because Catnip and cats together are a humorous combination. Once your cat sniffs Catnip it will start pawing at it, rubbing it, rolling over it, licking it and sometimes even chewing it….Yep mate this is what Happens to cat when they sniff the herb!
For cats who respond strongly to Catnip they might even get frisky, meow, growl, purr, drool and have a junky attitude for a while!
When catnip effects fade away after a few minutes, the kitty usually ignores it, but after around two hours your kid kitty will probably try to bump into it and use it again which results in the same ecstatic way.

Is catnip like a drug to cats?

It’s certainly a drug for kitties, but not all of them react to it the same way though. According to experts, little kitten and elderly cats respond less to it; adding that 50 to 75 percent of cats are affected by catnip.

Also read : How to stop cat scratching your furniture?

What happens when you give a cat too much catnip?

If used in moderation, catnip is harmless to your kitty as Dr. Becker explained. However, if you are one of the people who wonder “Can cats overdose on catnip? “or “Is Catnip Overdosing A Thing?” you are absolutely right because if used with huge quantities, your cat can endure an overdose and get sick. Overeating fresh catnip can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and lots of digestive issues.

Not only domestic cats react to catnip, but big cats also have proven to react to it, for instance lions, tigers and leopards.
There’s also a common belief that cats inherit this reaction to catnip from their parents, for instance, most Australian cats don’t respond to Catnip.

Not only Nepetalactone makes kitties stoned, they even make mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches also go away. According to researches this component is 10 times effective than DEET, it’s the most efficient insect repellent that exists out there. However, the nepetalactone’s strong repellent ability fades away when it touches the skin.

Catnip and cats aren’t the only magical couple, humans also have a long history with Catnip use as a medicinal drug- it‘s forbidden for pregnant women-. When consumed with tea or any hot drink, it has a calming sedating effect. It was used to treat nausea, headaches, and toothaches. Also, when you enjoy a warm cup of catnip at night, it might even help you with insomnia.
Other than that, when crushed and moistened catnip can also be applied to wounds. Also, it’s a herb that can be used for cooking.

Now if you just bought your kitty cat a new scratching post or a very fancy cute bed or if you’ve just spent half of your salary on a very stimulating cat toy, but unfortunately your cat still prefers to keep her old poor things and wants nothing to do with her new stuff, catnip is your weapon; once rubbed against any surface, your kitty will be attracted to it, whether it’s a toy or a scratching post or anything you want your kitty to use, catnip will seduce her towards it. Besides you can purchase her catnip cat toys instead of her regular toys.

Also one of the benefits of catnip is that it’s a great cat treat you can use to reward her with and encourage her good behavior.

Your feline’s reaction to catnip in case it has an impact on her depends on the way she consumes the herb. If she sniffs it like a pro-drug addict it results in a stimulant effect, while if she just came and ingested it, it will have a sedating impact on her system.

Is Catnip Harmful To Cats?

According to Dr. Becker, catnip is neither harmful nor addictive for felines, so just let your little cute junkies enjoy it!

Does catnip cause diarrhea in cats?

Well, guess what, the answer is yes! Even though catnip is harmless, we’re talking about a hallucinating herb, if used too much it can have dangerous outcomes.

Can I give my cat catnip every day?

If it’s an indoor kitty, up to one tablespoon of catnip every day certainly is a healthy addition to its diet, since it adds the greens she might be missing in her food.

Sometimes kitties that react to catnip have a whole different reaction to it. The combination of cats and catnip isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, some kitties have an aggressive way to react to it, which is why it’s highly recommended that you don’t engage with a catnip pet until you know what to expect from it. Also, in case you have a multi-cat house, it’s very advised that you introduce catnip to each mate individually to avoid any potential sort of aggressive cat quarrel.

Catnip needs a lot of space to grow, a spongy soil and full sunlight. When finally grown, it should be cut upside down in a dark dry and airy space. Then comes the fun part! The dried leaves can be stored in sealed containers in the fridge.

Organic catnip is highly recommended, and it comes in a wild variety of forms, such as sprays, loose leaves, flowers and buds, pellets, dental chews, scratching pads and catnip cat treats for cats.

Can Cats Eat Catnip? The Bottom Line:

Catnip is a natural herb that you can either grow in your yard or buy from a store where it comes in different forms. It’s consumed not only by kitties but also by humans and bigger felines, which are the kitties’ cousins in the wilderness. It helps to relax and sometimes can cause hallucinations depending on the way it was used.

According to researches, it’s a harmless herb when used in moderation. Your kitty will just have hell of a crazy hilarious attitude that you can enjoy watching and laughing at whenever it happens. It’s also a great way to treat your kitty when training her. And be sure that you’ll be surprised by the results because whenever cats and catnip are in the same place magic can happen!

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