As new cat owners, there are a lot of things that you have yet to understand. There is a whole range of behavior that you need to observe and catch on to. Cats require a specific set of equipment, food, vitamins, and treats for their consumption.
Catnip is among the new things you might encounter as a new feline parent. You may have heard about it and a brief description of what it can do to your cats but never have you familiarized yourself with it ever before. In today’s read, we will be discussing the 5 questions that might be lingering in your head regarding catnip.
- First off, what is Catnip?
Catnip is actually a plant from the mint family that contains sterols, acid, volatile oils, and tannins. Its scientific name is Nepeta Cataria. It is native to Europe and Asia but has been brought all over the world. Catnip is used to make tea because of its healing effects against cough. It can also be used as a pesticide. Contrary to the look of its effects on cats, it is non-addictive and pretty much harmless to them.
- What is the effect of Catnip on cats?
The vomeronasal gland is a cat’s extra organ dedicated to assessing scents. It is located on the roof of their mouths. This gland brings the smell captured by their noses and mouths directly to their brains. This is why when a cat comes close to catnip, they exhibit obvious signs of affection and happiness.
Catnip also has Nepetalactone. It is the oil that can be found on the catnip’s leaves. It is similar to the scent of a female cat’s sex hormones released when in heat. This is the reason why kittens do not react to catnip. Catnip only affects cats 6 months old onwards or once they have reached sexual maturity.
Although most cats exhibit positive behavior when exposed to catnip, some cats manifest signs of aggression. But you need not worry. The effect of catnip only lasts for around 30 minutes.
- How do you give Catnip to your Cat?
Since catnip can be used to encourage good behavior from your cats, you can use it in many ways around them. You can rub the catnip and sprinkle some on the base of a scratching post to attract the cat to use it instead of clawing on your furniture.
You can also use catnip to help your cats exercise. Hiding catnip inside their favorite toy and have them chase it is a great way to keep them moving. For cats with severe anxiety, catnip can also be used to calm them.
- Is too much Catnip bad for your cat’s health?
Although there has been no solid evidence that too much catnip can harm your cats, it still pays to be careful. According to experts though, cats have the innate ability in knowing their limits.
Signs of headache, diarrhea, and dizziness are observed every once in a while in our feline friends when exposed to catnip in a prolonged period of time, and in such cases, it is best to consult your veterinarian to check for any possible allergies. You can also avoid using concentrated catnip oil due to its potency.
- Can Catnip affect humans?
We may not experience euphoria upon contact with catnip just like cats, this plant does have benefits to us humans. As an alternative medicine, it can help aid us against insomnia and migraine. When applied to the skin, it can also lessen the pain of arthritis and swelling.
Some people use catnip as a mosquito repellent. It may not be that strong but it gets the job done.
We hope this sheds light on new cat owners’ questions. Catnip is one of the important supplies that you should have. This is great as a reward tool and can definitely assist your cat in living a relaxed life.