How Much Do You Know About Catnip?

How Much Do You Know About Catnip?

Most cat owners are well aware of the effects catnip has on felines. It’s been called anything from a hallucinogenic for cats to ecstasy and cat cocaine. But regardless of this drug’s popularity, it turns out that about 33% – or one in three cats – will not be affected by catnip at all, and there’s no way to tell. Whether your adult feline enjoys a bit of catnip will depend on genetics.

Before catnip became associated with cats, it was much more popular as an herb used for human consumption, usually in herbal teas and cigarettes. Today, while some gardeners still grow their own catnip, it’s rare to find it as a popular option for your afternoon tea break. In fact, even its main compound called Nepetalactone is more commonly used as a mosquito repellent.

If you haven’t tried catnip with your pet, then you (and your cat) are both in for a treat. You can purchase it in a variety of forms, from dried leaves to catnip toys and treats. It’s a great training tool and stimulant which is especially effective for overweight cats. However, keep in mind that on very rare occasions it makes some cats very aggressive.

For more unknown facts, take a look at the below infographic from Cats PhD on everything you should know about catnip, how to use it and which one to pick:

Author bio:

Diana Beth Miller is a long-time cat owner, writer and researcher with an interest in undiscovered ways cats help people. She’s written over a hundred articles about cat ownership and health and is currently working on her first book about the healing power of felines. 

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27 thoughts on “How Much Do You Know About Catnip?

  1. How funny! I just wrote a bit about catnip elsewhere. Oddly, catmint and nip ARE different. Of the three cats, the nip is their favorite in any form. (raw or dry) Catmint? Two will nibble it if offered, but I have a large barrel of it in the yard and it is left alone. Catnip is gone the minute it emerges from the soil! Incredibly fun stuff to have around. One cat prefers the dry woody stems to chew on, another prefers the green raw leaves. Dried crushed nip is lapped up off the floor or fur.
    Interesting post, thank you for sharing!

    1. There is a Variety of different plants in the catnip (or catmint) Family. Some work more than others on cats in general. And even when not all cats re act to the same nip. Some don’t re act to it at all and may prefer silvervine or valerian which are also cat attracts. 🙂

  2. That was very interesting and informative! I finally know why Lily at first did not like catnip (under 6 months old) and now she does. Thank you! 🙂

      1. Ha, ha, ha! They get a lot of attention. And, it seems as if one of them is a bleach addict! So whenever I clean she has to spend ten minutes rubbing on my hands. Even though they have been washed the bleach scent lingers and Nessa goes crazy over it!

        1. Ah… there is actually a not so well known fact about bleach. Most of it and also antifreeze contains a chemical that’s on the same baseline as the chemical in catnip that attracts cats. Hence why so many poor cats die from licking up antifreeze in the winter. 🙁

          1. Right! I had heard that when I first experienced these cats reaction to my hands after using bleach. My hands were washed but the scent remained and Nessa went super rubby on my hands. So, I asked a friend.

          2. Fairly harmless in that situation. But I wish commercial companies could do something especially about the antifreeze. 🙁

          3. Yeah, my hubby had a kitty die via antifreeze so we are super paranoid about things like that.

            Couldn’t they just add a nasty smell to it? Something cats hate?

          4. In the UK a lot of companies now put a buttering agent in with the antifreeze to stop animals from licking it up. It unfortunately still doesn’t keep all at bay as the chemical is to attractive. 🙁

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