Every cat owner has come across catnip at one time or another and it’s usually in toys, but do you know what it is and what it does?
What is catnip?
Catnip, or catmint, is a herb from the mint family with medicinal qualities. People have been using catnip to cure all sorts of complaints since ancient Roman times, and more recently it’s been used as a herbal tea to aid digestion. For cats, the herb seems to be highly attractive.
Do all cats react to catnip?
Catnip is the one thing that can render a cat helpless with euphoria and excitement. It encourages your cat to play, exercise and generally feel good. The excitement a cat gets from catnip will usually only last a few minutes, before she becomes used to the chemical. It’ll take an hour or so before the same chemical reaction can be triggered again. However, not all cats are sensitive to catnip. Some cats are totally unbothered, while the majority of cats seem to go wild with excitement. Even some of our cats’ larger cousins, like tigers, for example, have been known to enjoy some quality catnip moments.
Is catnip completely safe?
Catnip is non-addictive, and you can rest assured that even if your cat is nibbling on the dried leaves, it will do no harm at all.
Catnip can also be a brilliant exercise tool to keep your cat healthy without them even knowing they are having a workout.
Catnip is also available in a spray form and by spraying the liquid onto a scratching post you’ll encourage your cat to scratch and nibble the post, not your best armchair. Not only does this help discourage your cat from bad habits, but it also acts as an immediate reward for good behaviour.