Is it okay for my cat to eat catnip? Yes, it is okay for your cat to eat catnip, the most active compound in catnip–nepetalactone is mostly detected by smell. They act like pheromone(which is triggered when a cat is mating).
There’s actually nothing wrong with a cat-eating catnip. In fact, according to some experts, cats eating catnip can help keep them mentally stimulated and healthy. So don’t be alarmed if you see your kitty enjoying a few drops of this stimulating herb in moderation! Although different cats will react to catnip in different ways. When my cat sniffs or ingests catnip, she becomes overly affectionate, I do take advantage of these moments to brush her coat since she doesn’t like to be brushed.
In this article, we intend to analyze everything you need to know about your cat eating catnip, advantages, possible risk factor, and everything you need to know. let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What is catnip?
- Is it okay for my cat to eat catnip?
- Are there any risks associated with catnip for cats?
- How can I give catnip to my cat?
- What if my cat doesn’t like catnip?
- How often can I give my cat catnip?
- Can I grow my catnip?
- Where can I buy catnip?
- How much catnip can cats eat?
- Final Thoughts
What is catnip?
If you have ever seen your cat go crazy over a little green plant, you may have wondered what exactly is going on. That plant is called catnip, and it has a long history of driving cats wild.
Most cats love catnip, although a few are immune to its effects. If your cat does react to catnip, you will probably see him or her sniffing it, licking it, rubbing against it, rolling around in it, or even eating it. The response can vary from mild interest to total ecstasy! Some cats even get a bit hyperactive after smelling or eating catnip.
So what is this magical substance that has such an effect on our feline friends? Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) is a member of the mint family and its scientific name comes from the Latin word for “cat.” The active ingredient in catnip is nepetalactone, which is similar to the chemical structure of valerian root (another substance that has been used for centuries to calm humans and animals).
Interestingly enough, not all cats react to catnip in the same way. Some seem to be more sensitive than others and will have a stronger reaction. And while most adult cats enjoy the effects of catnip, kittens usually don’t start showing interest until they are about six months old.
Is it okay for my cat to eat catnip?
Cats love catnip! It’s a fact. But what exactly is this magical herb that drives our feline friends so wild?
- Catnip acts as an ant-depressant for cats, it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety in cats, which is why–people who keep catnip their kitty’s litter box may always complain about their kittens playing or staying idle in their litter box.
- Catnip can reduce stomach pain and bloat. Both in humans and cats, catnip relieves stomach-related problems like diarrhea, gas, and pain. It relieves the muscle spasms in the intestinal tract.
- Once a cat has taken a liking to catnip, it could be used to attract them to their cage at night(in the cat of a cat that bullies other cats) it can also be used to attach a cat to have its bath.
- The scent is hated by most peats, which makes it a great deterrent for mosquitos and the like.
But don’t worry, the effects of catnip are not harmful and are completely reversible once the exposure ends. So go ahead and give your kitty some catnip and watch them have a blast!
Are there any risks associated with catnip for cats?
Yes, there are some risks associated with catnip for cats. If a cat eats too much catnip, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Eating large amounts of catnip can also be dangerous for pregnant cats and kittens.
Ensure you don’t make catnip available for cats that react badly to it. Only a few cats don’t take a liking to this herb, but for the cats who show interest in it, ensure they don’t get it–if it makes them aggressive. Aggression can lead to funny acts towards other house pets, and even towards you.
Just like every other stimulating drug and herb, too many quantities will cause the cat to develop tolerance to the catnip–which means, your kitty will require more amounts of nips to achieve its desired effects–which is why you should never leave this herb laying around, provide it as a treat, a few times a week.
How can I give catnip to my cat?
Catnip can be inhaled or eaten–which means you can creatively include it in any activity of your cat’s life: treats, toys, exercise, baths, etc.
Give Your Cat a Catnip Toy
The best way to give your cat catnip is to give them a catnip toy. This will help them to get the most out of the catnip and avoid having the herb make a mess all over your house. Look for a toy that is specifically designed for cats and that contains a lot of catnip.
Another option is to sprinkle a small amount of dried catnip onto their regular toys. Just be careful not to use too much, as too much catnip can make your cat feel sick.
Get a Catnip Spray
Another way you can give your cat some catnip is by using a catnip spray. The spray gets right into your cat’s system, and they will love the feeling. All you need to do is hold the spray about six inches away from your cat’s nose, and spray it directly into its mouth.
The spray is best used once every two weeks, discontinue if any signs of aggression are shown. You can use the spray to initiate training or associate a feeling of fun with any of the cat’s routines, like brushing its teeth.
Make yours or purchase
If you want to give your cat a taste of this herb, you can purchase some dried catnip from a pet store or online retailer. You can also grow your catnip plants if you have a green thumb.
To do this, simply sow some seeds in well-drained soil and keep them moist until they germinate. Once the plants are big enough to handle, you can transplant them into pots or your garden beds. When giving your cat fresh or dried catnip, make sure to supervise them as they may eat too much and vomit it back up later.
What if my cat doesn’t like catnip?
If your cat doesn’t like catnip, there are a few things you can do. First, try offering them a small amount of catnip. If they still don’t seem interested, you can try growing your IP plant. You can also buy dried catnip leaves or Catnip Spray from most pet stores.
A good alternative to catnip, that will calm your cat is the valerian root or silver vine(similar to catnip, they even react on cats that are immune to catnips).
Here is a video of cats trying out catnip:
How often can I give my cat catnip?
Cats can eat catnip every day if they want to, but most cats will only need it a few times a week. If your cat seems to be losing interest in playing with their toys or doesn’t seem as active as usual, giving them some catnip may help perk them up.
This is a trick short, and should not be used regularly; learn about the particular cat breed you have, and learn how to get the breeds to follow a routine. Don’t fall back to catnip to resolve any slight occurrence.
Can I grow my catnip?
Yes, you can grow your catnip! Here are a few tips to get you started:
– Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of suns. Catnip thrives in sunny conditions.
– Prepare the soil by loosening it and adding some organic matter. This will help the roots of the plant to spread easily.
– Sow the seeds thinly, cover them with a thin layer of soil, and water them well.
– Once the seedlings have emerged, thin them out so that they are spaced about 30cm apart. Keep them well-watered.
– When the plants are around 10cm tall, you can start to harvest the leaves for your cat to enjoy.
Where can I buy catnip?
As for where to buy catnip, your best bet is probably a pet store or online retailer specializing in pet products. You can also find it at some garden stores or even some supermarkets. Just ensure you’re buying pure catnip with no additives or fillers.
How much catnip can cats eat?
The best way is to discuss the dosage of catnip with your vet. You should know that the fresh catnip is more powerful than the dried ones, if you are giving your cat the fresh catnip, give them less than the amount you’ll give–if it were to be the dried one.
If you are growing the plants yourself, ensure not to grow them around a cat who is invested in eating growing plants. This will ensure they don’t overdose at will.
Catnip inhaled or ingested provides a short-lived good feeling for your cat, it is a great way of relieving them from stress and anxiety, but it should be administered moderately.
A cat can eat catnip in small quantities, larger quantities are known to upset the cat’s stomach, leading to diarrhea and vomiting–always supervise your cat’s use of catnip.