Catnip, catwort, bauble, catmint, or field balm. Well, it doesn’t really matter regardless of what you call it, but catnip has been the star of the month for being talked about by cat owners across the US. It is so interesting that catnip seems to make our cat gettin’ high and you might wanna know what’s actually happening.
Well, I’ve been giving Haze some catnip time about a month and she is definitely happy about it. I only give her 3 to 5 minutes catnip time per week ‘cause I don’t want her to overdose. However, in this article, we will discuss how much time our cat needs catnip and if you have a catnip experience with your cat, please tell us below!
Before you give your cat catnip, you must pay attention to these things below.
Catnip is the common name for some 250-odd varieties of Nepeta, a genus that belongs to the Lamiaceae family of mints and it has a leafy green look. Not every batch of catnip smells exactly the same, but it smells like a grassy mint.
The members of the Nepeta family are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Moreover, there is an abundance of biodiversity in the Mediterranean region and catnip can now be found throughout North America as well. The scientific name is Nepeta cataria, also called “catmint” or “catswort”. Nepeta cataria is also called True Catnip, as is Catmint and Field Balm. The organism is common in many countries, including the United States.
Catnip grows two to three feet tall and has solid stems with heart-shaped leaves. The tips of the stems of the plant produce black, green, pink or purple flowers. The leaves and stems of the catnip plant contain an oil called nepetalactone. Nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, can turn even the laziest couch potato into a crazy furball.
Kind of Cats That Respond To Catnip
Well, the good news is that catnip is good for your cat. Some cats are drawn to catnip and relax to them, around two per three cats attracted to this herb. However, different cats can respond in slightly different ways. Young kittens and elderly cats are less likely to be affected. It only affects up to 80% of cats.
Whether a cat responds to catnip is thought to be genetic, which means that the cats inherit this trait from their parents. For example, most Australian cats are not affected by catnip.
Catnip has been shown to have more effects than just house cats. Big cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, react similarly to house cats when they are introduced to catnip. It also affects cats of any breed.
If your feline doesn’t get frizzy with a catnip when he’s about 6 months old, chances are he’s not going to and catnip doesn’t last long — only a few minutes before the cats become immune to it for 30 minutes to a few hours.
How Catnip Affects Our Lovely Cats
The most intense catnip encounter starts with the nose. When cats smell nepetalactone or the oil of catnip, it activates specific receptors that detect chemicals called pheromones. Scientists said that it activates feline “happy” brain receptors.
The scientific routes can be described below:
- Nepetalactone — the nasal tissue — bind to protein receptors — activate sensory neurons — trigger a neuron — response in the olfactory bulb — the amygdala and the hypothalamus.
- Olfactory bulb cells (The amygdala) — information — translates into behavioral response regions.
- Olfactory bulb cells (The hypothalamus) — responses — the pituitary gland — sexual response.
Cats Responds are..
Many cats’ responds are:
- Purr and salivate,
- Smell, chew, or simply eat the leaves.
- Leap into the air,
- Generally act odd
- Meow or growl.
Some cats become hyperactive or downright violent, particularly when you approach them. Nevertheless, once consumed, catnip appears to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows.
Typically these sessions last about 10 minutes, after which your cat’s attention is lost. It may take him as long as two hours to “reset” and become prone to catnip again. Be wary that cats are unlikely to overdose on catnip, but they can get sick if they eat too much. Trust your feline to know when they’ve had enough.
If cats are exposed to catnip too often, they may become desensitized to it. Once a week is probably the best rule of thumb for catnip therapy unless a situation arises that calls for a therapeutic dose of catnip.
The Benefits of Catnip To You and Your Cats
There are times when catnip can have benefits beyond just being nice. These benefits are:
1. Catnip can encourage a cat to play
a. Buy a catnip and rub catnip on a toy.
b. Don’t leave catnip toys out all the time or your cat will be immune to it.
c. Refresh new toys with clean catnip.
d. Catnip spray could be a great option.
2. Catnip can cause a cat to use a scratching post
a. Rub a little catnip on the scratching post.
b. Catnip sprays also can be applied to scratching posts.
3. Catnip can make a timid cat feel bold enough to participate in an engaging play
a. You can make a hiding place for your shy cat.
b. Try to drag a catnip toy on a string past the hiding place, gradually/step=by-step.
4. It can release a stressful episode of pressure
After a visit to the vet clinic, take the cat out to let the pet relieve fear or a displaced aggressor.
HOWEVER, Too Much Catnip..
While catnip is not a true toxin and is not addictive, eating a plant in large quantities can trigger a poison-like reaction. Cat that has eaten too much catnip can show clinical signs of vomiting and diarrhea without any other associated symptoms.
There is no real cure actually known for catnip toxicity in cats. The cat’s own body does a pretty good job of removing the toxin from the body through vomiting and passing the digested particles through the waste. Cats may require veterinary attention to induce vomiting and to recharge fluids.
Funny Cat With Catnip Meme
What does catnip do to your cats? Do you have any hilarious stories about cats on catnip? Tell us in the comments!