The “meow meow” sound is very familiar in many families. Cats aren’t only pets but close friends to lots of people. Cats may be different in terms of interest, but catnip seems to be all cats most favorite. When a cat encounter catnip, there is no way to resist.
If you want to explore amazing things about the connection between catnip and cat, keep reading the rest of the article carefully.
What is catnip?
For many cat lovers, catnip isn’t a strange thing. Catnip is the name of a plant, which creates a great attraction to a cat. It has a white or green flower and serrated leaves. Another name for catnip is catmint.
There are several kinds of catnip, but Nepeta cataria seems to be the most popular one. It can grow to 3 feet long with white flowers. Many cats fall in love with this catnip in the first meet. Catnip can live well in the hot season.
With lots of fiber, catnip helps your pet digest food and bone impressively. It also contains a great number of vitamins and minerals, which contribute to the balance of nutrients in cat diets.
It’s surprising that two-thirds of cat appeals to catnip, except very young or senior cat, get less or no effect from this plant.
Why Cats Love Catnip
The reason your pet reacts fascinating is from the leaves, where the oil called “nepetalactone” gathers. The oil is volatile, so it will spread into the air. Once a cat’s sensitive nose smells it, a chemical reaction will occur.
It’s somewhat entertaining watching your pet react to catnip. The feline boss may roll over it, lick or slap at it. They can be too joyful and excited because catnip causes hallucinations. Some cats even growl or act “silly” like drunken people.
The effect will last for minutes. Cats will return to normality. However, if they encounter catnip after that, they will go nuts again.
Nepetalactone remains not only in the leaves, but also the stems and the seeds. Cats get affected when they either smell or eat catnip, yet not all cat response to it.
This chemical reaction is said to be hereditary. Cats inherit the sensitivity to nepetalactone from the gene or previous generation. Cat families such as lions, tigers, and leopards will turn to lovely kittens if they inherit this trait as well.
Is Catnip Good for Cats?
Felines get “high” due to the effect from nepetalactone; cat owners may worry whether catnip is a safe choice for little boss. Don’t panic; it’s okay. Furthermore, you can feed your boss catnip.
The effect leaves no complications or allergies. Catnip has none toxic or addictive, so your pet can consume it and “chill” again after a couple of hours being affected.
Cats clean themselves by licking the entire body. As a result, the tuffs get stuck inside their intestine. Catnip helps your cat vomit out the tuffs, therefore, improving intestine functions and reduce stress.
How to Use Catnip for Cats
Catnip comes with two typical types, which are leaf form and powder form. Nevertheless, the powder form seems to be used more frequently. People use catnip as a reward or training ad for cats.
You can mix it with cat’s food, or put some on cat’s toy. Keep within reach of your pet to lick or eat. A recommendation is 2-3mg for each time. Take note that an excessive amount of catnip may cause diarrhea.
You can grow catnip at home from the seed. Make sure you plant it in a full of sunlight place, such as a garden. Put the dried leaves in zip lock bags and store in the fridge for later use.
Overuse of catnip will no longer have any effect on cats, and in some cases, it may cause breathlessness.
Other Uses of Catnip
Catnip may drive a cat “crazy,” yet it doesn’t affect humans in the same way.
Catnip is a kind of herb from the mint family, so it’s harmless. Moreover, it’s also used to serve humans as medicine. When being used as a tea, the oil in catnip plays as a mild sedative. A cup of hot catnip tea helps with insomnia.
It also helps to support the respiratory and digestive system, improve the immune system, and relax muscles. Catnip can be used to treat headache problems as well.
Nepetalactone has excellent repellent quality. It drives files and mosquitos away, much more useful than other anti-mosquito sprays.
Notes About Catnip
Cats from 3-6 months are able to contact with catnip. Nonetheless, it’d better feed adult cats from 8 months old.
For the first use, don’t boil or cook catnip, but only mix with cat food. Cats who always get stressed should not use catnip because it may make them more stressful.
Be mindful of the use of catnip for cats, and take proactive steps if unusual cases occur. For example, your house is a multi-cat type, then introduce catnip to each feline boss at different times to avoid fighting. If your pet reacts aggressive rather relaxed, stop using catnip.
Some cats don’t like catnip, so they will have no reaction as you’ve read. As cats grow older, they may lose interest in this plant.
You can buy catnip in any pet store but choose the high-quality ones packed in the box with full manufacturer labels. Homegrown catnip is another safe alternative.
In general, cats have a gentle and warm heart, yet their characters are various. No matter how different they are, cats are magnificent creatures.
By using catnip wisely, inactive or lazy felines will have a chance to exercise more. There is no wonder why cats love catnip so much. It’s funny to see cat antics, but what more pleasant than to keep your furball healthy and joyful.
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