How To Give Catnip To A Cat

4 Ways to Give Catnip to Your Cat

Amazon Catnip toys are possibly the most common method of delivering this popular herb to cats who are energetic and outgoing. To provide your cats with catnip-enhanced toys, you may choose from a broad selection of options such as the Kitty Mitten toy, which is packed with organic catnip, or any of the numerous toys available from the Cosmic Catnip brand. For selecting catnip toys, the two most important factors to consider are the freshness of the catnip filling and the density of the catnip filling.

Choose goods that are completely packed with the herb rather than ones that contain fillers.

Amazon Catnip in its dried form is the most traditional form of this feline-pleasing food.

For example, placing dried nip on a scratching post lures cats to the right scratching place — some products, such as Imperial Cat Scratch’n Shapes, even come with a catnip package included — and it’s a valuable teaching assistance.

Obtain it from well-trafficked pet retailers that change their inventory often.

Many pet stores sell catnip plants, as well as kits that allow you to start from scratch and cultivate your own.

My cats really prefer dried catnip over fresh catnip, however they do like fresh pet grass as much as the rest of us.

How to Give Catnip to Your Cat

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation Known as “catnip,” this mint-like plant contains the chemical nepetalactone, which causes cats to experience a “high.” Plant, dry, flake, pellet, or spray catnip of high quality, or grow your own from seeds or cuttings. Purchase refillable catnip toys to fill with fresh catnip, or construct simple toys for your cat to play with. Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and be careful how much catnip you feed it at a time. If required, catnip might be used to aid in the training process.

  1. 1Buy organic catnip for your cat. When shopping for catnip, look for companies that are cultivated using organic methods. Furthermore, organic catnip is often fresher and more effective than lesser-quality catnip, in addition to being devoid of pesticides and chemical residue. Organically farmed catnip is available in a variety of forms, including fresh, dried, flake, pellet, oil, and spray. 2 Purchase a bag of loose catnip. Catnip might be more or less effective in different forms depending on the amount of nepetalactone contained in the plant. Select catnip that has fewer stems than leaves and flowers when purchasing loose catnip for your cat. The latter have a higher concentration of the chemical and have a more potent impact
  • A tiny quantity of dried catnip (about one tablespoon or 0.5 ounce) may be safely chewed or consumed by cats, and it can be incorporated into toys or simply scattered around your cat’s play area. If you purchase loose catnip, make sure to keep it in a tightly sealed container. Place the container on a high cabinet where your cats will not be able to reach it.
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  • s3 Purchase a catnip spray to keep your cat happy. In order to get a lesser concentration of catnip, you can buy a spray that contains lower quantities of nepetalactone (the active ingredient in catnip) (a cat attracting chemical compound). A catnip spray can be used to draw a cat’s attention to some toys or furnishings while keeping it away from others (for example, spraying your cat’s bed to keep it away from the sofa). Look for a spray that is made entirely of natural components and does not include any chemicals or preservatives. 4 Catnip should be grown fresh. If you want to have a consistent supply of the herb, you may either buy a catnip plant or cultivate it indoors. If you have a garden, you can cultivate catnip plants in the open air. Make certain that plants receive adequate sunlight and water. Chop leaves as required and offer them to your cat to chew on, paw at, rub against, or eat
  • Cut off any leaves that are damaged.
  1. 5Chill the catnip in the freezer. Catnip should be stored in the freezer to ensure that it retains its usefulness. If you freeze your herbs, you will prevent the essential oil from drying out, which will decrease the potency of the herbs. Make sure to close the freezer bag or plastic container tightly before placing it in the freezer to prevent it from getting ruined. Take the catnip out of the freezer and defrost it when necessary. Advertisement
  1. 1 Purchase toys that can be refilled. If you prefer not to purchase catnip-filled or scented toys, you may get refillable catnip toys at a pet store or online. Pre-filled toys may contain low-quality catnip that may lose its potency fast if left out for an extended period of time. To ensure that the catnip is always powerful enough to have an impact on your cat, you may fill refillable toys with high-quality, organic catnip and replace them on a regular basis. 2 Make a simple sock toy for your child. Simple catnip toys may be made from stray socks that have been cleaned and dried. Using your fingers, gently press some catnip into the sock and tie it up securely with a tight knot. Catnip should be replaced every a week or so to ensure that it remains powerful.
  • As an alternative, close the top using a needle and thread.
  • 3 Make a small paper ball by rolling it up. Cats are known to entertain themselves by playing with ordinary household things, so when presenting catnip toys to your cat, keep to the essentials as much as possible. In a tiny paper bag, place a pinch of catnip (fresh, dried, pellet, or flake form) and seal the bag. Make a tight ball out of it and give it to your cat to play with.
  • Consolidate the bag into a tight enough ball that your cat will be unable to unzip it
  1. 1 Keep an eye on your cat’s reaction. The reaction of your cat to catnip should occur very rapidly once it has gotten a whiff of it (one or two sniffs of catnip is sometimes enough to evoke a “high” in your pet). It’s important to note that sensitivity to catnip is inherited, and around one in every two cats will not respond at all to the plant. Following are the steps you will take if your cat does react:
  • Snorting, purring, licking and chewing the catnip, rubbing its chin and cheek, rubbing its body against items (such as the carpet), and other behaviors.
  • 2 Catnip should be rationed to your cat. If you give your cat catnip too frequently, the benefits may become utterly ineffective. Choose to give catnip to your pet only once a week in order to keep the “high” it gets from the herb, which lasts for around 5-15 minutes on average. For your cat’s behavior to totally return to normal after being exposed to catnip, it may take up to two hours
  • During this time, your cat will not be vulnerable to the effects of catnip.
  • Rationing will be ineffective in some situations. Catnip does not stimulate the immune system in around 30% of all cats, and kittens do not normally respond to catnip until they are 12 weeks old.
  1. 3Use catnip to help with training. To educate your cat to stop clawing furniture and other vital home things, use catnip to distract it from the undesirable activity. Purchase a catnip spray (available at your local pet store or online) and put it on a scratching post for your cat to keep him entertained. When your cat has an urgent need to scratch, he or she will go toward the tempting surface of the scratching post rather than the couch or kitchen table. Advertisement

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About This Article

Using a sock, fill it with a couple pinches of catnip and tie the end off so your cat may use it as a toy is a simple way to provide your cat with catnip. Summary of the Article Alternatively, you may sprinkle some catnip into a paper bag and then crush it up into a ball for your cat to enjoy playing with. Alternatively, purchase refillable toys online or at a pet store and refill them with catnip on a regular basis to ensure that they maintain their efficacy.

Continue reading for additional advice from our Veterinary co-author, including how to pick and store catnip. Did you find this overview to be helpful? The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 105,675 times.

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It doesn’t matter what you call it: catnip, catmint, catwort, field balm, or anything else. Lions, tigers, and panthers, as well as your average domestic tabby, can’t seem to get enough of this aromatic plant. It has long been connected with cats, having originated in Europe and Asia as the peppermint-lemon-flavored, highly strong catnip -Nepeta cataria-. Even the namecataria, which comes from the Latin word for cat, implies “of a cat.” And, according to studies, cats of all sizes and breeds are drawn to this weedy, invasive member of the mint family.

Is it safe to use?

Catnip’s Effects

What makes your kitty companion fall in love with this relative of basil and oregano is determined by DNA, not by circumstance. Approximately one cat in every two is born with a sensitivity to the plant. However, you won’t know if your kitten is one of them until he or she is between the ages of three and six months old. A catnip’s appeal is derived from its volatile oil, and more particularly, from a molecule found in that oil called nepetalactone. One or two sniffs of the euphoric oil found in catnip’s leaves, stems, and seeds is all it takes to send vulnerable felines into fits of licking, gnawing, and rolling about in kitty happiness.

Others experience bliss as aggressive playfulness as a result of the drug.

Regardless of how your cat reacts to catnip, once the pleasure has worn off, it will take around two hours for kitty to respond to the plant once more.

Catnip: Toys and Training

Because cats respond to catnip again and over again, the herb may be a very effective training aid for them. Want to keep your cat from scratching at your furniture? Catnip may be applied on a scratching post to make it more enticing to cats. Have you recently purchased a new cat bed? Sprinkle a small amount of the herb on kitty’s cushion to make it more appealing to your feline companion’s sense of smell. You may also give enrichment for an indoor kitty by making catnip toys for him or her. Fill an old sock with a little amount of the herb and tie the top together.


It is important to note that the type of catnip you use will have an impact on the strength of your cat’s response to toys and training. In contrast to dried or fresh catnip, catnip sprays typically do not contain sufficient amounts of the active ingredient nepetalactone to pique the attention of the majority of felines. Catnip, which is non-addictive and completely safe to consume, is easy to grow in a sunny window, which is fortunate for kitty. Using one pot of catnip and one pot of wheat, oat, rye, or barley grass, you may even build your very own kitty garden for your feline companions.

If you want to grow catnip in your garden, keep in mind that it is a powerful, and at times invasive, grower, much like most other mints.

Catnip’s efficacy does not continue for an extended period of time; the essential oils soon degrade. If you purchase dried catnip for your feline companion, save any leftovers in the freezer until you need them.

Can You Feed Catnip to Your Cat

Catnip is quite popular among felines. And it’s completely harmless to your cat; there’s nothing in it that may damage him. If your cat were to consume a big amount of catnip, it may result in a small stomach upset, although this is quite unlikely to occur. What exactly is catnip? Catnip is a perennial plant in the mint family that is used to treat cats.

It is believed to have originated in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, but it is currently seen growing in abundance throughout Europe and North America. The nicknames for the plant, such as catnip, catmint, and catwort, are no doubt derived from the cat’s well-known preference for the plants.

What is it about it that cats find so appealing? Nepetalactone is the chemical molecule responsible for the catnip’s therapeutic effects. Cats are able to recognize this chemical due to its scent. It is widely believed that the nepetalactone replicates the impact of a cat pheromone, which may be related with mating behavior or mating behavior. Catnip has been shown to be a natural mood booster. It may cause your cat to behave in an unexpected manner; she may become more kittenish or particularly cuddly as a result.

  • Alternatively, she may get agitated and feisty, darting from room to room, looking to be chasing after intangible prey.
  • It is possible that much mewing or snarling will accompany this entire behavior.
  • A cat will not display the effects of catnip again for a couple of hours after this has taken place.
  • Because your cat will appreciate being given catnip, it is an excellent training aid that may also be used to persuade a cat to utilize a scratching post or sleep on her own bed while training.
  • Whatever the motivation, it’s a lot of fun!
  • Catnip items are available in a range of shapes and sizes.
  • Some catnip-scented toys are already scented with catnip, while others contain catnip itself.

Cats will react to even the smallest amounts of catnip, so you won’t need to use much of it to get their attention.

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It is estimated that around 30% of cats do not respond to catnip in any way.

Catnip does not effect many cats since they do not have the receptors necessary to be impacted by it.

Also, as your cat grows older, you may notice that she becomes less interested in catnip.

When you give your cat catnip, certain cats, mainly males, will become violent, probably as a result of the association between catnip and mating behaviors.

You might want to think about using something else like honeysuckle or valerian.

Catnip is a perennial plant in the mint family that is used to treat cats.

The nicknames for the plant, such as catnip, catmint, and catwort, are no doubt derived from the cat’s well-known preference for the plants.

How Much Catnip Should You Give a Cat?

Published:6/25/2021 If you’ve ever had a fluffy kitty in your home, you’re probably already familiar with the pawsomebenefits that these affectionate creatures can provide. Cats are truly one-of-a-kind creatures, from the healing power of their purring to the unconditional love they bestow on us every day. When it comes to returning some of that love to your cat, snacks and toys are obvious alternatives, but catnip is in a class by itself when it comes to cat enjoyment. It is a peculiar plant that may drive certain cats insane, and it is readily accessible as a dried herb, packed into toys, and even contained within catnip bubbles for your convenience!

What amount of catnip should cats be given?

But first and foremost, what exactly is catnip?

What is Catnip?

A member of the mint family, also known as the Lamiaceaefamily, catnip is a herb that is enjoyed by humans for its flavor and aroma. Other members of the mint family include peppermint, basil, thyme, and lavender. Nepeta cataria, often known as catmint or catwort, is a plant that may be found growing in the wild all over the world, including the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This weed produces beautiful pink speckled blooms and has an unique fragrance that makes it stand out among the others.

How Catnip Affects Your Cat

So, what is it about catnip that causes your cat to go crazy? It’s because of an essential oil called nepetalactone that’s been buried within. Natural selection developed it to defend plants in the Nepeta species from insects; yet, this molecule is also considered to mimiccat pheromones in some cases. Because of this, a large number of cats are drawn to it and react in a variety of odd ways. Catnip often causes two types of responses in cats. The first is the characteristic hyperactive activity that catnip is known to elicit, such as rushing around, rolling, and flipping frantically while staring at you with wide, insane eyes, which is the second.

Catnip, on the other hand, has a sedative effect when consumed, which can induce cats to behave drowsy, purr, drool, and slumber when they are exposed to it.

The use of catnip is considered to be beneficial to just 50 percent to 75 percent of cats that are genetically hard-wired to respond to it.

In addition, for those cats who do experience the furbulous effects of catnip, they will not be susceptible to catnip until they are at least three months old.

How Much Catnip Should You Give Your Cat?

When it comes to giving your cat catnip, it might be difficult to know how much to give because most catnip packages does not include dosage advice. And this is due to the fact that there aren’t any standard operating procedures to follow. Catnip is generally believed to be harmless, and cats appear to have an inherent understanding of when they should stop eating or smelling it. As a matter of fact, cats not only instinctively recognize when they’ve had enough, but their bodies actively switch off their responsiveness to catnip once they’ve consumed some, which coincides with the point at which your cat loses interest in the treat.

And while cats are unlikely to overdose on catnip, there is always the possibility that they will consume too much and cause damage to their digestive tract, which can result in vomiting and diarrhea in certain cases.

If they don’t, though, take your cat to the veterinarian to find out why the symptoms are still there and continue to progress.

Start small and see how your cat reacts, to put it another way.

Tips on how to give catnip to your cat

1 Perform the Smell Test first. First, experiment using catnip on toys, a cat tree, or a scratching post to observe how your cat reacts. In the event that they become overexcited, rub themselves all over the stinky items, and become hyperactive, your cat is one of the fortunate 50 percent to 75 percent! 2 Begin with a little budget. Place a teaspoon to a tablespoon of dry catnip on a small plate or dish and place it in front of your cat to attract his or her attention. Then sit back and enjoy the antics as they lick, munch, and roll around in it!

  • This will tell you how much their body can withstand and what your typical dose should be.
  • Start with a teaspoon or less of dried catnip, or even just a little toy rubbed with catnip, for very young kittens.
  • It’s important to note that some cats need to be a little older before they are truly impacted by the nip.
  • It’s best to spread out your catnip indulgences since your cat may grow less sensitive if they are exposed to it too frequently.
  • 5 Keep it as safe as possible.
  • Alternatively, it may be preferable to offer catnip to your indoor/outdoor cat when they are secure inside in order to keep them from roaming or getting into potentially harmful circumstances.
  • Catnip is not only beneficial to your cat, but it may also be beneficial to you!

Catnip has a sedative and relaxing effect on humans, and it may be drunk as a tea with no difficulty. A little mound of catnip for your feline friend and a hot cup of tea for yourself will allow you to bond over your shared love of this meowtastic herb and relax with your favorite feline furiend.

What Is Catnip? What Does Catnip Do to Cats?

The term “catnip” is well-known, but not everyone knows what kind of plant it is or the science behind how it affects a cat’s attitude and behavior. This article will provide you with some insight into how catnip works, why cats are so obsessed with it, and whether or not a cat can have too much catnip.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, is a common plant that belongs to the mint family. It’s a plant that’s simple to cultivate in North America, and it features feather-like, light-green leaves as well as lavender blooms on its stems. Catnip leaves have been used to produce tea in the past, and the blooms are reported to be effective in relieving coughs. It’s also a key element in a number of natural mosquito repellents.

What Does Catnip Do to Cats? How Does Catnip Work?

The vomeronasal gland, located on the roof of the mouth of cats, serves as an additional smell organ. Using this specific channel, odors that have accumulated in the nose and mouth can be transported to the cerebral cortex. Nepetalactone is an oil that may be discovered in the leaves of the catnip plant that has the potential to trigger behavioral abnormalities in cats. It is necessary for a cat to sniff the catnip in order to be exposed to this ingredient. Catnip is a chemical that mimics feline sex hormones, therefore cats who consume it will frequently exhibit behaviors that are similar to those of a female cat in heat (although both male and female cats can experience the effects).

Other cats will engage in active behaviors such as playfulness or aggressiveness, which may be rather frightening.

If your cat will be left alone at home for a lengthy amount of time, some veterinarians recommend that you give him or her catnip to aid with separation anxiety.

Does Catnip Work on All Cats?

Catnip has an active component that not all cats will respond to. According to veterinary research, over 60 percent of cats will exhibit a behavioral response to catnip use. If your cat does not react to catnip, you might try using silver vine to get his attention. In addition, there is evidence that a cat’s sensitivity to catnip is a dominant feature that is influenced by hereditary factors.

How Long Does Catnip Last?

Catnip’s effects will last a different amount of time depending on the cat. Typically, the behaviors linked with the fragrance of catnip will linger for around 10 minutes and then progressively go away over time. It might take up to 30 minutes after the catnip has been removed from the environment before the cat becomes vulnerable to the effects again. In order to maintain optimal freshness, it is advised that catnip be stored in an airtight container for a period of time after harvesting.

Can Kittens Have Catnip?

Catnip is not toxic to kittens, but most cats will not react to it until they are between the ages of 6 months and one year old.

Some cats, however, can be an exception to this rule, as they will gradually develop their sensitivity over the course of their lifetime.

Can Cats Eat Catnip? Is It Safe?

Catnip may be ingested by cats, and it may even be beneficial to their digestive systems. The antidiarrheal qualities of the catnip herb have really been employed in humans for centuries. Having said that, it is critical to avoid your cat from swallowing huge amounts of catnip, since this might result in gastric discomfort.

Can Cats Overdose on Catnip?

Cats who consume an excessive amount of catnip may experience health concerns such as vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, or difficulty walking. Use only a small quantity at a time, and you can always consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage to give your cat. Fresh catnip is more strong than dried catnip, so you won’t have to feed your cat as much of it as you would with dry catnip. Because of the strength of highly concentrated catnip oils, it is also suggested to avoid using them.

How to Use Catnip

Catnip is available in a variety of forms, including:

  • Catnip is available in a variety of forms, including fresh (grown from a catnip plant), dried (in spray form), and stuffed toys (filled with dried catnip).

Catnip sprays are an excellent alternative for cats that have stomach discomfort after consuming the plant. You may spray your cat’s favorite toy, cat tree, or cat scratcher with a cat repellent solution. You may also use dried catnip to decorate a cat tree, scratching post, or cardboard scratcher, or you can roll a toy in it to keep your cat entertained. Some of the most highly suggested catnip brands and products are as follows: Source:, used with permission.

Happiness Overload: Cats and Catnip

When you break out the catnip, does your cat go a little crazy? My Zoe, on the other hand, does! Her catnip-filled mouse is her favorite toy, and she will smell it, roll on top of it, swipe at it, and then bounce all around the room with it. She’s over 16 years old and typically very laid back, but after a session with the catnip, she acts like she’s a kitten all over again. So, what’s the deal? Why do cats behave in such a silly manner when they are given catnip?

What exactly is catnip?

Catnip, also known as nepeta cataria, is a perennial herbaceous plant. Despite the fact that dried catnip looks a lot like oregano, it is actually a member of the mint family. It is originally from Europe, Africa, and Asia, but it was brought to North America where it has since spread like a wild plant over the continent. It has the potential to grow to be two or three feet tall! Fresh catnip has heart-shaped leaves on its stems and can produce little white, blue, pink, or lavender flowers in the spring.

That implies that even someone with a bad green thumb, such as myself, should be able to maintain it.

Store it in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator to ensure that it retains its potency for longer.

While a small amount of nibbling on the leaves is unlikely to do harm to your cat, the plant may not fare as well. Cats have the potential to cause injury or damage to plants, as well as to create a large mess that you will be responsible for cleaning up after them..

Catnip Effects on Cats

Catnip contains an essential oil known as nepetalactone (say that 10 times fast!). Nepetalactone is the active component. However, it is known that this molecule binds to receptors in the cat’s nose, which subsequently stimulates the sensory neurons that connect to the cat’s brain. The exact mechanism by which this chemical changes the wiring of your cat’s brain is unclear. So, what precisely does catnip do to cats is a mystery to me. It is believed to be a mimic of feline pheromones, which generate a euphoric sensation in humans.

  1. Occasionally, your cat will become agitated for ten to fifteen minutes before settling down for a rest.
  2. Catnip has been known to cause cats to meow, purr, growl, roll on the ground, zip about, and even drool when exposed to it.
  3. Compared to eating it, sniffing catnip has a greater stimulating impact on cats, whilst ingesting it is more likely to make a cat feel calm and drowsy.
  4. It is recommended that if you have more than one cat in the house, you give it to only one cat at a time to minimize potential conflicts.
  5. Catnip, it turns out, does not have the same effect on every feline.
  6. Aside from kittens under two or three months old, elder cats are also less likely to have a response to catnip—although my Zoe is the polar opposite of this theory.
See also:  How To Get My Cat To Stop Scratching Furniture

Is catnip safe for cats?

There is no evidence to suggest that catnip is dangerous to cats or kittens, especially when they are young. However, if they consume a large amount of fresh or dry catnip leaves, they may have stomach distress, vomiting, or diarrhea. Cats are excellent at self-regulating, so if they get their hands on a catnip plant or accidentally end themselves in a package of catnip, they are unlikely to overindulge. It’s important to remember that, even if the catnip isn’t toxic, cats might become injured while racing about the room.

Fortunately, she didn’t have to fall very far, and she appeared to be alright when she had recovered from her first shock.

Another reason not to overindulge in catnip is that it has a tendency to lose its effectiveness after prolonged use.

Despite the fact that catnip is completely safe for cats, there are a number of plants that might cause difficulties, which can range from a slight stomachache to rapid renal failure in some cases. See the list of 25 plants that are harmful to cats for further information.

Can catnip be helpful?

Catnip can probably be useful in a variety of conditions. For example, it may be used to motivate an elderly feline or a cat who prefers to sit on the couch to move around. To maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems such as joint pain and diabetes, all cats require daily physical activity to maintain their health. I know it works for me since I’ve tried it. Zoe is now in her twilight years, and it can be difficult to entice her to do anything other than laze in the warmth of a warm sunbeam.

Catnip can also be beneficial in the treatment of behavioral disorders.

The fact that you said it should attract their attention.

Additionally, you may provide your cat with a little amount of fresh catnip to nibble on before a stressful occasion.

7 Fun Catnip Facts

  1. Catnip is a natural insect repellent that works well. Because it is ineffective when applied to the skin, it is not recommended. Especially large cats, such as lions and tigers, can be sensitive to the herb catnip. In the forest, there must have been quite a party
  2. Catnip tea is used to alleviate nausea and headaches in some persons. It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of insomnia. It is possible to prepare a paste out of dried catnip that may be used topically to wounds by smashing it up and adding a little water. I’ll continue with bacitracin for the time being. Catnip is available in a variety of forms, including dried, fresh, pressed into solid balls, and sprays. The sprays are often less strong than dried catnip, but they are good for spritzing scratching posts and reviving old toys. Even catnip bubbles are available for purchase. I have to admit that I tried this one and Zoe was not a fan, but it is possible that other cats are more interested in bubbles. There are many catnip toys available on the market, but you can also build your own homemade catnip toys that are just as effective for your cat.

Having learned everything there is to know about catnip, you may go on to other topics. What about the excrement left by cats? Get the inside scoop right here. The material contained in this article is intended solely for educational and informative reasons and should not be construed as a substitute for professional advice from your veterinarian in any way.

What the Heck Does Catnip Do to Cats?

  • It is not intended to be a substitute for expert veterinary assistance.

If you want to make your cat giggle, as many cat owners know, all you have to do is feed him or her some catnip. Some cats are changed into meowing pools of mush, while others are transformed into superheroes, and yet others are transformed from soft balls of poof into hissing monsters, among other things. Cats of all sizes and shapes, from the tiniest domestic cats to the colossal savannah cats, are obsessed with its beautiful green. To be more specific, what is it about catnip that makes cats go crazy?

What is catnip and why do cats like it so much?

Catnip is a little, leafy green plant that belongs to the same mint family as the mint plant. Its leaves, stems, and seeds contain an oil that secretes a substance known as nepetalactone, which is responsible for the plant’s odor. Nepetalactone attracts cats by acting as a form of pheromone. Many people find the fragrance to be alluring. Most cats begin to headshake as soon as they catch a scent of catnip and will rub on, lick, or consume the catnip, which is followed by twitching, drooling, and a lot of rolling about.

Veterinarian Ramona Turner provided the following scientific explanation for what is happening in your cat’s brain when writing about catnip for Scientific American: “Nepetalactone penetrates the cat’s nasal tissue, where it is believed to link to protein receptors that trigger sensory neurons,” according to the researchers.

Does catnip actually get a kitty “high”?

The quick answer is: it depends. Yes. Angelica Dimock, DVM, Managing Shelter Veterinarian at the Animal Humane Society in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, notes that catnip can produce minor visual and aural hallucinations in people. “It is plausible that catnip does the same in cats,” she says. “Most of the time, it serves as a stimulant for cats, causing them to become more energetic or playful.” It can also produce drowsiness or hostility in a less usual situation.”

Can catnip be bad for cats?

“Yes, but they would have to consume a significant amount of catnip,” Dr. Dimock points out. Vulnerabilities in the digestive tract, such as vomiting or diarrhea, are the most prevalent symptoms. According to her, the majority of the time, these symptoms subside on their own as the plant is digested. When the cat is in a severe state, he or she may exhibit neurologic indications such as stupor, stumbling, pupil size changes, and/or tremors, according to the ASPCA. Dr. Dimock advises that, in the uncommon event that your cat has severe neurological symptoms, you should call your veterinarian, who will be able to give supportive treatment until your cat is back on its feet.

  • Dimock also recommends that pregnant cats should not be exposed to catnip.
  • It’s also recommended that you keep catnip away from cats that are experiencing seizures, because catnip has been shown to trigger seizures in rats, and it’s probable that cats would be impacted in a similar way.
  • Dimock suggests giving it to your cat no more than once a week.
  • And that’s something no cat wants!

What if my cat doesn’t like catnip?

If you have a kitten, it’s most likely just a matter of time until it matures. Kittens don’t usually respond to catnip until they are about six months old, according to research. Even if your adult cat isn’t responding to catnip, don’t be concerned: only around 70% of adult cats respond to catnip. In the words of Rover’s resident cat behaviorist, Mikel Delgado, “Catnip is wonderful for many cats, but it is not effective for all cats.” For those who don’t get a response, Delgado recommends trying additional nasal goodies, such as silver vine and valerian root, which cats are known to appreciate as well as the ones mentioned above.

What is the best form of catnip to give my cat?

When it comes to herbs, fresh is always preferable. If you want to grow catnip in a container or a planter alongside other cat favorites such as wheatgrass, you should know that it is easy to cultivate, but it is invasive.

Dried catnip is also quite powerful, albeit the essential oils tend to lose their effectiveness over time due to exposure to air. Generally speaking, sprays do not contain enough nepetalactone to truly energize your cat’s behavior.

Does catnip work on humans?

The consumption of catnip is considered harmless for people, however there is some controversy about whether it has the same impact on humans as it does on cats. While many people assume that catnip does not generate the same euphoric “high” in humans that it does in cats, according to a research published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, it did have a brief but fruitful stint on the hallucinogenic drug scene. The herb catnip has also been utilized in Native American and alternative medicine remedies for anything from colicky newborns to dental ache poultices, and it is still in use today.

It is also used to help with sleeplessness and anxiousness, among other things.

What else is catnip good for?

Catnip, in addition to being a source of pure enjoyment, can also be utilized as a tool in cat training. To lure your cat to new scratching posts and kitty beds, sprinkle a bit on them before they are put up. Additionally, you may put unique toys in a canister filled with dried catnip to infuse them with the wonderful scent of catnip. Rolling around with, batting, and chasing these toys can help your cat get more exercise – not to mention all of the beneficial mental stimulation – when playing with them.

Further reading:

  • Eight of the Best Catnip Toys for 2019
  • Is the Science Behind Cat DNA Tests Worth the Money? Learn how to grow cat grass for your cat and why you should do so.

Crazy for catnip

Why cats go insane over this perennial plant is beyond comprehension.

So, what is catnip anyway?

Catnip is one of over 250 species in the mint family, and it has a leafy green look that distinguishes it from the others. Nepetalactone, the essential oil found in catnip, has the ability to transform even the most sluggish couch potato into a crazed furball—provided that said furball has been genetically programmed to be sensitive to its effects. The characteristic does not manifest itself until a cat is between three and six months old; until then, a kitten will not respond in any way to the stimulus.

Smelling vs. Eating

The most extreme catnip experience begins with the sense of smell—one whiff of the drug and your cat will immediately go crazy. Catnip, according to scientists, appears to stimulate feline “happy” receptors in the brain. When catnip is consumed, on the other hand, it tends to have the reverse effect, and your cat becomes mellow. Generally speaking, cats react to catnip by rolling about, flipping, scratching their faces, and finally fading out. They have the ability to meow and snarl at the same time.

It’s typical for these sessions to last around 10 minutes, after which your cat loses interest.

Keep an eye out for overindulgence, too; while cats are unlikely to overdose on catnip, they can become ill if they consume too much of it. You can rely on your cat to recognize when they’ve had enough.

Can I Give My Cat Fresh Catnip?

Is it okay to offer my cat freshly harvested catnip?


Sure! It always amazes me that people will feed their cats catnip toys but will not give them the genuine article. I would assume that 95 percent of my clients are completely unaware of it until I bring it up to them. I always have some dried fresh catnip in my rucksack, and with the agreement of my clients, I offer it to the cats in their care when I’m there visiting them. My own cats are huge fans of catnip, to the point that it’s a pretty exciting moment in my house when I have to replenish the supply in my bag.

  1. When I’m ready to make the transfer, I attempt to do it while my cats are napping in another part of the house.
  2. In order to transfer the catnip, I even locked myself in the toilet for a while, but as we all know, cats are always one step ahead of us.
  3. Each cat received a little sum of money after being caught red-handed.
  4. Initially, they may only sniff it, after which they may lick it, and ultimately they may begin rolling around in it.
  5. If everything is in order, then everything is alright.
  6. In no time, they will be off inspecting something else, or taking a well-deserved cat sleep in the meanwhile.
  7. I also like to give my cats a “nip mat” to play with so they can get some exercise.
  8. They scratch it, they play with it, and I like to believe it keeps my furniture from getting scratched!
  9. Written by: Jeanne Adlon Illustration provided by Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.

Is Catnip Safe for Kittens As Well As Cats?

A. As much as I loathe to declare that anything is “totally safe,” catnip is perhaps the safest thing that you could ever want for in anything that gives yourcat such clear joy. Even wonderful things, according to the cautious voice inside me, should be appreciated in moderation — but catnip, not so much. Even a daily plunge into the ‘nip is unlikely to be a source of concern. So let your cat have a good time! By the way, your cat is one of the fortunate ones, since some cats do not react to catnip at all.

  • The capacity to enjoy the herb is inherited, with cats constituting a little larger proportion of the fan club than dogs.
  • The majority of cats who enjoy catnip will exhibit one of two main types of responses to it: Some cats behave like a sluggish drunk, while others behave like a wired-up lunatic.
  • Credit goes to a chemical compound known as nepetalactone, which is present in the leaves and stems of the plant and is responsible for the mood-altering activity.
  • By rubbing the herb (fresh or dried) on scratching posts and cat trees, you may make them more appealing and rewarding for your cat, which may prevent your cat from destroying your furniture and belongings (along withother strategies).
  • This is especially essential for indoor cats, who are prone to inactivity, obesity, and the health problems that come along with these conditions.
  • At addition to being commonly accessible in nurseries, the plants may also be grown from seed.

You’ll need to keep an eye on your developing plants, though, since if you don’t, your cat might easily rip them out of the ground, roots and all. Once the plants have become established, you may utilize fresh cuttings as well as dried leafy branches as a special treat for the plants.

10 Ways to Use Catnip For Your Cat

Nepeta Cataria (scientific name for catnip) is a herbaceous plant that may be used as an ornament or as a natural herbal cure for people. However, this plant is still referred to as “cat grass” by the majority of people. Despite the fact that the catnip leaves are intoxicating to cats, individuals who wish to grow it as an aesthetic plant would have a difficult time doing so if they had one at home. The active ingredient in the leaves of this herb, ” nepetalactone “, has a euphoric, aphrodisiac, and renewing impact on cats, even on those that are extremely sluggish or elderly.

See also:  How To Tell If Cat Has Ringworm

Due to the fact that this plant is a member of the mind’s family, it has an extremely strong scent.

In a nutshell, you should provide catnip to your cat in order to make him happy and to make him content.

Nepeta Cataria is available in both fresh and dried forms.

Fresh Severed Grass

Normally, you should only offer the cat the section of the leaves that have been clipped for pruning. Using this method, you may continue to nurture the same seedlings without having to sow new ones every time the cat consumes all of the catnip that has been made accessible to him. Generally speaking, it is not advisable to take more than two or three dosages each week. Although it is not addictive (as some claim), it is possible that the cat may become accustomed to the plant and will no longer benefit from its health-promoting properties if the plant is consumed on a regular basis.

Fresh Pounded Catnip

Proceed as described above, with the exception that the leaves are mashed a little bit before being given to your cat. As a result, the perfume is delivered much more effectively, and your feline companion is unable to resist!

On the Scratching Post

The fresh grass can be rubbed on the scratching post of your four-legged friend to make him feel better. You may be able to persuade him more easily to use it instead of scratching his sofa, curtains, or other furniture in this manner.

On New House Objects

In the same manner as the previous point, you may apply a little amount of catnip onto new objects that you have introduced into the house and that the cat does not appear to be accepting (blankets, kennels, hygienic boxes, toys, new collars or bandanas, etc.). You should give it a try before giving up and getting rid of the new thing that has been introduced into your home. It is not guaranteed to work, but it is worth a go.

In the Pet Carrier

By rubbing a little amount of fresh catnip into his travel container, you should be able to coax your cat out of his hiding place on departure.

You’re probably aware that when it’s time to take your kitty companion to the veterinarian, he either disappears or engages in a battle to the death with you in order to avoid being placed in the carrier.

In the Food

This is recommended for cats who are not interested in eating. A little amount of chopped fresh catnip can also be added to the meal to tempt inappetent animals, such as those who are finicky or recovering from illness, to help them eat.

On the Toys

Rub a little amount of catnip on his toys if you want to make the game even more thrilling at certain points or if your cat is unusually sluggish and would benefit from some “movement.” You could also want to consider making new toys that use dried catmint as an ingredient.


When introducing a cat to a new setting, you can rub catnip into the spots that are meant for him to help him adjust more quickly and with less stress than usual.


I hope this post will assist you in discovering how catnip may be used for a variety of objectives, whether it is for your feline friend’s fun times or for a different motive. Take pleasure in the many applications of catmint! Photograph courtesy of Cookies are used on this website to enhance your browsing experience. We’ll presume you’re okay with this, but you have the option to opt out if you so choose. Accept Reject More information can be found at

Growing Catnip For Your Cat – Using Catnip Plants For Feline Fun

If you have cats, there is a good chance that you have given them catnip or that you have catnip-infused toys for them in your possession. Your cat appreciates your efforts, but he or she would adore you much more if you gave them with fresh catnip on a regular basis. It is possible to produce catnip plants for your feline pals either indoors or outdoors, and don’t be concerned; planting catnip for your cat is a simple process.

About Planting Catnip for Cats

It wasn’t until quite recently that people began producing catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, solely for the purpose of providing it to their cats. When it was first discovered, it was more generally used to cure medicinal diseases, as a tea ingredient, or even as a culinary herb. It wasn’t long until someone, somewhere, discovered catnip’s psychoactive effects on cats, and now, the majority of people cultivate it specifically for cat purposes. There isn’t a cat lover alive who hasn’t experimented with catnip on their feline friend at some point.

However, for the remaining two-thirds, it’s time to learn how to produce catnip plants for the pleasure of your kitty companion.

Petalactone is formed in the oil glands on the underside of the leaf as well as those on the stems, and it is a terpene with a bitter taste.

In addition, this oil has been used as an insect repellent, albeit it is not effective when applied directly to the skin. Fluffy’s oil has a tendency to dry up with time, which may explain why some of her catnip toys have become less appealing to her.

How to Grow Catnip for Cat Use

Known as a catnip plant, it is a member of the mint family that grows well in USDA zones 3-9. It has spread rapidly over temperate regions of the world, where it has become naturalized. Propagation can be accomplished by the use of leaf tip cuttings, division, or seeds. Catnip may be cultivated in the garden or in pots, either inside or outside, and it can be used as a tea. Catnip, like mint, has a tendency to take over a garden space, making it a good idea to plant it in pots. This also offers your feline pals with a year-round supply of the herbal supplement.

A rich loamy soil with good drainage is preferred by this plant, which is otherwise not picky about its environment.

The plants are highly drought-tolerant once they have established themselves.

How to Dry Catnip Plants

Now that you’ve learned how to produce your own catnip, it’s time to learn how to dry it for your feline friends. You have the option of harvesting the entire plant or just a few stems. These may be dried by hanging them upside down in a warm, dark, and well-ventilated environment until they are completely dry. The leaves and blooms may then be separated from the stem and preserved in a tight container, or they can be sewed together to make homemade cat toys.

Catnip: Why Is It Driving Your Cat Crazy?

Once your catnip has been successfully grown, it is time to learn how to dry the herb for your feline friends. You have the option of harvesting the entire plant or just a few stems from a particular species. When they are completely dry, they should be hung upside down in a warm, dark, well-ventilated place. The leaves and blooms may then be separated from the stem and preserved in a tight container, or they can be sewed together to make homemade cat toys..

Is catnip dangerous for my cat?

There is no evidence to suggest that catnip is hazardous to your beloved kitty companion. As a result, experts feel that overdose is rare since cats are quite excellent at restricting their intake. The usage of catnip for cats on a regular basis has been shown to reduce its efficacy, so it’s recommended to use it only when it’s really essential.

Can cats eat catnip?

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that catnip is detrimental to your beloved feline companion. Experts feel that overdose is rare since cats are quite excellent at restricting their consumption of medication. The usage of catnip for cats on a regular basis has been shown to reduce its effectiveness, therefore it is preferable to just use it when needed.

Do humans react to catnip?

Catnip is a favorite of cats, but what about us? Are we both affected in the same ways? Despite the fact that we do not experience the same bliss as our cats, people do utilize it as an alternative treatment from time to time. On, they mention a variety of applications for menthol, ranging from treating sleeplessness and migraines to easing swelling and arthritis when applied topically. As a mosquito repellent, catnip is effective but not as long-lasting as the DEET used by most manufacturers.

You should now understand what catnip is and why your pet is obsessed with it. Interested in learning more about your extraordinary feline’s behavior? Following that, you’ll discover what different cat sounds represent.

Is Giving Catnip to a Kitten Like Giving Marijuana to A Teenager? Irreverent Vet

Some of the questions I’ve been asked throughout the years continue to astound and astonish me to this day. As a veterinarian who has treated a large number of animals, I have discovered that certain questions are frequently asked. Then there are some who, despite the fact that they aren’t asked as frequently, stand out as exceptional. Before I proceed any further, allow me to introduce myself to any of you who are unfamiliar with my background. Greetings, my name is the Irreverent Veterinarian, and I’m here to offer you my honest opinion on matters pertaining to the animal care industry.

  1. I don’t mince words, and I’m not going to sugarcoat the facts or try to be kind to you.
  2. Some of what I say may be controversial, but that does not deter me from speaking my mind since it might be difficult to hear the truth.
  3. Julie, one of my clients, came in for a checkup with her new cat.
  4. Apparently it’s the same as offering marijuana to a teenager?” Wow.
  5. It was something I had to really think about for a minute.
  6. There are several questions that emerge, including: Does it have an effect on the kitten’s brain structure?
  7. Is it preferable to wait till your cat is an adult before offering it to him, or is it preferable to simply not feed it to cats at all?
  8. Take our survey and let me know what you think about kittens and catnip in general.
  9. When breathed, this oil has been shown to have an effect on a cat’s behavior, coordination, and mood, among other things.
  10. When I looked into the matter more thoroughly, I discovered that, despite catnip’s widespread use, practically no study has been done on the substance’s effects on kitten brains and behavior.

A normal reaction to catnip in kittens younger than this is a mild to non-existent one. It’s difficult to research something that isn’t there!

My Final Thoughts on Is Giving Catnip to a Kitten Like Giving Marijuana to A Teenager?

Is it possible to offer a kitten catnip? I’ve known a number of business owners who have done so. Should you, however? Well, most likely not, albeit perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. Catnip has not been proven to be hazardous to kittens in any research, and I have never witnessed a kitten exhibit evidence of “brain damage” or other negative consequences as a result of being exposed to it. However, it’s better not to offer it to your cat because it’s a waste of money if your cat doesn’t get any enjoyment out of it.

Save your money and give them a high-quality catnip when they’re older and more appreciative of it instead.

In tiny doses, this is totally harmless; nevertheless, in greater quantities, it can cause vomiting and an upset stomach.


In addition to being a columnist for, The Irreverent Vet is also a veterinarian. The purpose is to provide a more balanced and alternate perspective on certain contentious pet topics. Veterinarians, like the rest of us, are often unable to express their true feelings without alienating some customers or patients. This remark allows veterinarians to express their opinions while also providing you, the pet owner, with the chance to contemplate a different point of view. All comments expressed by the Irreverent Vet are his or her own and do not represent the views of

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