While most cat owners have heard of catnip before, many are still unsure of what it is and what its effects are on cats. If you're wondering if you can give catnip to your cat or what catnip is and how it works, we've got you covered. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about catnip.
What Is Catnip?
Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a plant that belongs to the mint family. When crushed or bruised, the leaves release an essential oil that contains nepetalactone- this is the compound that interacts with a cat's sense of smell and causes them to become "high." Catnip is non-addictive and harmless to cats, and most will enjoy its effects.
They may become more playful, vocal, and active and even roll around on the ground. Some cats will become sleepy after being around catnip, while others will become more relaxed. All cats are affected differently by catnip, so you'll just have to see how your cat reacts. If they seem to enjoy it, you can give them catnip as often as you like!
Is Catnip Safe To Use On All Cats?
Yes, catnip is safe for all cats that are older than six months. It's non-addictive and won't cause them any harm. However, not all cats will be interested in it - some may not even react to it. If you notice your cat is trying to eat catnip leaves or stems, stop giving them catnip as it could make them sick
What Are The Most Popular Uses Of Catnip?
While the most popular use of catnip is to give it to cats to enjoy simply, there are other ways to use it. For example, you can put catnip in a toy or scratchpad to make them more appealing to your cat, or you can sprinkle it on their food. Some people also use catnip as an essential oil in aromatherapy. Here are the top five ways you can use catnip.
Excite and Interest Cats In New Toys
If you have a new toy that you want your cat to be interested in, put some catnip on it. The nepetalactone in the catnip will make it more appealing to them, and they may start playing with it more.
Calm Down Before A Big Trip
If you're taking your cat on a big trip, give them some catnip before to calm them down. This will help them relax and enjoy the journey without feeling anxious or overwhelmed from a big trip. Make sure to test out catnip on your cat beforehand to ensure they have a good reaction to it.
On Scratching Posts To Encourage Usage
If you have a scratching post that your cat isn't using, put some catnip on it. The catnip will make the post more appealing to them, and they may start scratching it more. This will teach them to scratch where they're supposed to and minimize the damage they may do to your furniture.
Training Tool To Learn New Tricks
If your cat is particularly stubborn or resistant to training, try using catnip. The catnip will excite them and make them more playful, which may make it easier for you to teach them new tricks. Just be careful not to overuse catnip as it could have the opposite effect.
Encourage Overweight Cats To Exercise
If your cat is overweight, using catnip may help them start exercising. The catnip will make them more active and playful, and they may start running around more, which will help your cat lose weight.
What Forms Of Catnip Can I Buy?
When it comes to purchasing catnip, you have a few different options. The most common include:
Catnip Filled Toys
These toys have a small pouch of catnip inside them, and when your cat plays with the toy, it will release the scent of the catnip. This is a great way to get your cat interested in new toys, and they'll enjoy playing with them even more.
If you want to get your cat's attention from a distance, you can use a catnip spray. The spray will release the scent of catnip and entice your cat to come over to you.
If you want to give your cat long-lasting access to catnip, pellets are a good option. The pellets will release the scent of catnip slowly over time, and your cat can enjoy them whenever they want.
If you grow your own catnip, you can use the leaves to give your cat a fresh supply of catnip. The leaves will last for a few days, and your cat will love chewing on them.
Catnip is a great way to get your cat excited and interested in new things. If you're trying to teach them a new trick, use some catnip to make it more fun for them. Or, if they seem to be overweight, try using catnip to get them to start exercising. Regardless of how you want to use it, there are tons of new ways to use catnip, so experiment until you find the ones that work best for your cat.
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