Catnip has been used to entice cats for centuries, but what exactly is it and what does it do to cats? Is catnip truly magical, or is it all just a myth? Many people have heard of catnip and its ability to please cats, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. To really understand what catnip is and how it affects cats, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Catnip is a plant from the mint family and it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which can act as a stimulant or sedative for cats. So, what does catnip really do to cats? The answer is that it depends on the individual cat and the amount of nepetalactone present.
Does Catnip Make Cats Sleepy?
Yes, catnip can make cats sleepy! Catnip, which is also known as Nepeta cataria, is a plant from the mint family that cats find incredibly attractive. Interestingly, when cats interact with catnip, it activates certain pathways in their brains that cause them to become very relaxed and sleepy. When cats smell catnip, they often will roll around in it, lick it, or eat it.
What Are The Effects Of Catnip On Cats?
- When cats smell or eat catnip, they can experience a range of reactions. Some cats become very excited and playful, while others become more relaxed and sleepy. Some cats experience both reactions at the same time. Most cats will start to react to catnip when they’re about six months old, but it’s unclear why some cats are affected by it and others aren’t.
- There are many misconceptions about what catnip does and doesn’t do. Here are some facts about catnip that will help you separate the facts from the fiction.
- Catnip does not make cats go into heat or have kittens.
- Catnip is not addictive or harmful to cats.
- Catnip does not make cats hallucinate or become violent. – Catnip only affects about 50% of cats.
- The effects of catnip usually last only 10-15 minutes.
- The effects of catnip are usually mild. – Whether or not catnip has an effect on your cat depends on the amount of nepetalactone in it.
What Is The Chemical In Catnip That Causes A Reaction In Cats?
- The chemical in catnip that causes a reaction in cats is called nepetalactone.
- Scientists aren’t sure how it works, but they do know that a reaction to catnip usually occurs when cats are between six and ten weeks old.
- They also know that the amount of nepetalactone in catnip can vary. This is why some cats react strongly to catnip, while others don’t react to it at all.
How To Know If Catnip Is Working On Your Cat
- Cats react to catnip in many different ways. Some cats become very energetic and playful, while others become more relaxed. If you think your cat might be reacting to catnip, there are a few things you can do to find out for sure.
- You can first of all see if your cat responds to the name “catnip.” If your cat responds when you say the word “catnip” and they usually don’t respond to their name, it’s likely that they’re responding to the catnip.
- You can also see if your cat responds to the smell of catnip by taking a sniff of it yourself. If the smell of catnip excites you and your cat, they’re probably reacting to it.
How To Give Catnip To Your Cat
Homemade Catnip Toys
Another creative way to give your cat some catnip is to make a homemade catnip toy. There are a few different ideas you can use to do this. One option is to use socks. Simply fill a pair of clean socks with a mixture of catnip and fiberfill, and then tie them up. You can also create a fabric ball using old shirts, or use towels to create a fabric ball. Make sure to wash the fabric before making the toy, and be sure to use clean socks. It’s also important to make sure to replace this toy every few months, as it can become less potent over time. Another idea is to fill an old toy with a mixture of catnip and fiberfill. You can use an old stuffed animal or an old fabric ball. It can be a good idea to re-sew the toy to make it more secure, as well as to ensure it lasts longer.
Sprinkling Catnip on Scratching Posts
Another way to give your cat some catnip is to sprinkle it on their scratching posts. Not only will this help to encourage your cat to use their scratching posts more often, but it will also provide them with some much-needed enrichment. It’s important to note that catnip should only be applied to posts at a certain distance away from your cats, as too much can be toxic to them. The general rule of thumb is that it should be at least 6 inches away from your cat.
Another creative way to give your cat catnip is to make some catnip-infused treats. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. One option is to make a catnip ball. Simply take an old sock and fill it with a mixture of catnip and fiberfill, and then tie it off. Another option is to make a catnip spray. To do this, take a spray bottle and fill it with water, as well as a small amount of catnip.
Another way to give your cat some catnip is to simply put some catnip inside a toy. There are a variety of toys that come with catnip already inside, so there’s no need to go out of your way to buy some. However, if you want to put some catnip in an old toy, simply put a small amount inside.
Side Effects Of Catnip
1. The sudden reaction to catnip can make cats jump. Some cats get so excited that they jump off furniture, run around the room, and even leap high into the air.
2. Some cats become very playful when they’re under the influence of catnip. They may wrestle with their owners, chase after toys and play with their favorite scratching posts.
3. Catnip can also have a sedative effect on some cats, causing them to relax or fall asleep. This is why many owners like to give their cats catnip as a treat because it has a positive effect on them and helps calm them down after they’ve been playing too hard.
4. Catnip can cause a cat to salivate excessively, drooling and even drooling through the mouth when they’re under its influence. This is why it’s important not to let your cat lick or eat fresh catnip leaves because they can be toxic if eaten.
5. Catnip can make cats more affectionate and friendly, making them want to rub up against their owners and purr. This is why many cat owners like to give their cats catnip as a treat because it makes them more affectionate and loving.
6. Catnip can also make cats more energetic, causing them to run around the house and play with toys or other animals in the home.
7. Some cats don’t respond to catnip at all, while others only have a mild reaction to it, meaning that they get a little bit excited but not enough for it to be considered a major reaction. Not all cats respond the same way when exposed to catnip for the first time, so you may need to experiment with different ways of giving your cat catnip before you know how they will react. It may take several exposures before your cat has a major reaction to catnip.
8. Catnip can also cause some cats to become more vocal and meow more often, although some cats become quieter when they’re exposed to catnip for the first time.
9. Catnip can cause your cat’s pupils to dilate, making their eyes look larger than usual for a short period of time after they have been exposed to it.
10. Some cats may get diarrhea when they’re exposed to catnip for the first time. This is something that is usually temporary and will go away on its own within a day or so after exposure to catnip has ended.
Catnip has been used to entice cats for centuries, but what exactly is it and what does it do to cats? Is catnip truly magical, or is it all just a myth? Many people have heard of catnip and its ability to please cats, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. To really understand what catnip is and how it affects cats, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Catnip is a plant from the mint family and it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which can act as a stimulant or sedative for cats. This means that when cats smell or eat catnip, it can have different effects.