What is catnip?
- Nepeta cataria also know as catnip-it is a plant that contains a strong mint scent oil.
- When crushed the scent is easily released into the air.
Is it safe?
- It is a safe non-addictive herb.
- People used to use the leaves in their tea to help with upset stomachs.
- It does not affect people.
- Honeysuckle plants may cause the same reaction in sensitive cats.
Effects in Cats
- It is a mild feline hallucinogen that can last anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
- It is non-toxic to cats.
- Some say it resembles male feline urine, which may explain how some cats react to catnip – they might roll around in it, some cats may react as if they are in heat and with some meowing. Others might slobber.
Which cats does it affect?
- Most cats will need to be at least 6 months of age, before they will react to catnip.
- 1/3 of the cats might not react at all.
- 1/3 of cats might react moderately.
- 1/3 might react strongly.
How often should we give catnip?
- It is suggested that you give one weekly.
- If given too often the effect is not the same.
Written by Anne Huard, Clinic Manager