All About Catnip And Cats

Ever wonder about the effects catnip has on some cats and whether or not the tempting treat is harmful for your pet? Research has shown only about half to two-thirds of felines have a reaction to catnip while it has no affect whatsoever on the rest of the population. That is because the gene responsible for the reaction is inherited and not all cats possess it to pass it on to their offspring.

Many pet owners enjoy watching their cat’s natural high after ingesting or sniffing catnip. The reactions vary from rolling around on the floor, excessive pawing and uncontrolled friskiness. This behavior will last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes before wearing off. It is extremely rare for a cat to have a negative reaction, however, there are some cats who become aggressive and will fight after their exposure to catnip.

If you are unsure of your pet’s reaction, it is recommended you try a small amount on the animal in an isolated area to gage their reaction. Though part of the reason for various reactions to catnip may lie in the individual cat’s upbringing and lifestyle, it is largely unknown why different cats react in different ways to catnip. In addition, cat nip should only be given to adult cats as kittens do not respond to the herb, which is probably a good thing given all the natural energy they have.

Catnip is not harmful to cats, nor can they overdose on it. In addition, most cats instinctively know when they have had enough catnip and will not have anymore. Catnip has also been shown to have natural healing qualities for cats. It has been shown to relieve stress, help scared or shy cats come out of their shell, encourage a lazy cat to start playing.

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

3 thoughts on “All About Catnip And Cats”

  1. Well now, that last part just about fits my both cats to a T. Though my younger cat isn’t as shy as he used to be, he still has his moments when he is and the cat nip works like a charm on him & works good on my older cat.

  2. This is an interesting article. I was totally unaware that only some cats have a gene which allows them to feel the effects of or respond to catnip! I was also happy to find out that cats will walk away from catnip and will instinctively know they’ve had enough. Typically, I’ve enjoyed dogs more than cats up until about 4 years ago when I took in a rescue cat. I’ve had to learn a lot of ‘cat stuff’ very quickly in order to look after the cat I took in – but had never bothered finding out about catnip before. I’ll have to try some catnip on my little guy and see if it has any beneficial effects on him.

  3. i love to grow it outside in the summer. i want to plant a patch of it since it comes back every summer anyway. it’s very easy to grow from the seeds and makes some pretty little purplish flowers. i have two older fixed females and a young tom. i got my boy at barely the age of two months, he is extremely affectionate but loves to roam the neighborhood at night. he looks like the Ragdoll breed but is a very long hair american shorthair or dark grey tabby. the girls, both pretty much can’t stand him lol. now i can’t wait for spring!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.