What does catnip do to cats? How to use catnip correctly

Catnip also known as nepeta and catmint, is a non-toxic and harmless herb.
Catnip contains a component called Nepetalactone, which can cause the cat’s nerve impulse and make the cat appear in a state of excitement, which can participate in regulating the cat’s emotional changes.
The reason why cats can be “addicted” is because of the action of this chemical substance, which stimulates the sensory neurons of the brain and causes transient behavior changes after cats eat.

Striped cat in modern home

What happens when cats eat catnip

Catnip is a plant that can cause hallucinations.
Some cats can cause temporary behavior changes after eating.
The general duration is about ten minutes, and the response will appear after two hours.

Cats eating catnip can cause reactions such as rubbing their heads, jumping and rolling, or making noises, which are manifested as rolling on the ground, lying on their backs, unsteady walking, like scratching and biting, or meowing non-stop, but also sneezing, chewing, rubbing, etc.
Some cats will chase fantasy mice after eating catnip, and some will sit blankly and stare at them. These behaviors will not cause any harm to the cat.

Most cats’ responses to catnip are genetic factors, and about 50% of cats will react.
Kittens and some cats under 6 months of age will not respond to catnip.
Catnip does not make cats dependent, and owners do not have to worry about it will make the cat addictive.


What are the benefits of cats eating catnip

Catnip can stimulate the cat’s appetite, ease the cat’s mood, induce vomiting, and has a calming effect on individual cats.

  1. If you find that your cat has poor appetite and does not like to eat, you can add catnip to your cat food to promote its appetite.
  2. Allowing cats to smoke catnip once a week can relieve cats’ boredom, and use it during estrus can also reduce cat’s anxiety.
  3. Let the cat lick it in the palm of your hand, which can promote the relationship with the cat and increase the interaction. Catnip can relieve tension and relax mood for new or timid kittens.
  4. Putting catnip in the cat’s toy can increase the cat’s love for the toy, and the cat will take the initiative to play with the toy.



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