Is Catnip Really Safe For Your Cat?

By November 14 | See Comments

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Catnip is something that all cats enjoy. No matter the age, size, or demeanor, all cats go crazy when presented with catnip. Catnip is part of the mint family. Also known as catswort, catmint, and even Nepeta Cataria. The ingredient nepetalactone that’s found in catnip can trigger some unusual behavior in your kitty. This gives rise to the question of whether it is something that is safe for our cats. It’s not usually the taste of catnip that’s so endearing to cats but rather the smell.

How does catnip work? 

There is an oil that’s trapped in catnip leaves. To get to this oil, cats will usually kick, bite, chew, rub, and even roll in the leaves. After getting that oil out, you will witness a very unusual side of your cat. She will most likely spin, jump, climb, run, growl, and even flop. The effects only last for a couple of minutes. Cats are often forgetful so they lose interest easily and wander away from the plant only to return later for more of this miraculous oil they so crave.

How does catnip affect cats? 

Different cats have different reactions to catnip. Some will go really crazy when under the influence of catnip while others are barely affected. Some will be deadly calm and kittens and elderly cats usually don’t feel any different. Some cats experience the effects for longer periods of time that others. A cat’s reaction to catnip is something that she inherits from her ancestors.

Can catnip be toxic? 

Catnip is a herb and is not toxic to cats. But if your cat is exposed to catnip excessively, she may experience diarrhea and vomiting. Limit her exposure to catnip according to her reactions from it. If she is a cat who goes overly crazy from one sniff of catnip, then it’s wise to wean her off of it altogether.

What is the best way to expose your cat to catnip? 

Catnip is something that grows freely in nature. You could find a plant close to where you stay or even snip some leaves from the plant to bring back home to your cat. There are some toys available in the market with catnip stuffed into the core to entice cats. You can easily find these at your local pet store. It will be an absolute treat for your cat. You can also buy dried catnip in cans, bags, and even jars. There are many places where you can get this delight for your cat. There is even a spray which contains catnip that you can use to spray your cat’s favorite toys to her delight. There are many major pet brands that have products that contain catnip.If you want to make sure she’s getting the best catnip, you can grow catnip in your yard itself. Keep in mind that the fresher the catnip, the greater its potency.

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