Like what is catnip? Where does the green powder even come from and why do some cats absolutely love it yet others couldn’t care less? Should you even be giving it to your cat? You may have wondered any of these questions at some point in your cat’s life and if so I hope to be able to answer them for you today.
To start; that green powder is simply ground up leaves of the Nepeta Cataria or simply the catnip plant. In full plant form, it looks a lot like mint and grows in a lot of the same places. Mostly Southern Europe and Asia, although now it can and is being grown across the entire planet.
The most common opinion on why cats love catnip has to do not with the plant itself but something that is in high concentration in it. A chemical in the volatile plant oil that is found within it, mostly in the catnip leaves, stems, and seeds. The chemical itself is called nepetalactone (Now that’s a mouthful). When ingested, in the majority of felines it causes an effect in their nasal tissue, their nose.
It triggers loads of neurons throughout their brain and most importantly their hypothalamus (if I use big words I sound smart), the brain’s almost ‘master gland’, which controls almost everything else in the brain from hunger to emotions.
This is of course what causes that ‘high’ that cats experience. It can last around ten minutes on average and weirdly cats are immune to catnip’s effects from anywhere between thirty minutes to two hours after using it.
And quite a few cats won’t even be interested in the plant at all. Only eighty percent of all cats have any attraction to catnip. And even at that, only cats about six to eight months of age will have any effect from this, due to their underdeveloped brains until that age.
Wondering if catnip could be bad for your cat?
Now, should you even be giving catnip to your cats? Well, most veterinarians say there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving your cat catnip and some even go as far as to recommend that you give some of the green plants to your feline. Giving catnip to your cats often as a treat is perfectly fine and I assure you, your cat will definitely love it.
Sometimes when you get some sort of new thing or toy for your cat, like a cat bed or other such thing, your cat might completely ignore it. Buying stuff for them could be like gambling at SlotoCash Casino. Catnip could be used as a way to get your cat interested in it. Simply sprinkle the stuff on the bed and they’ll almost definitely come for a look. The same method can be used if your cat is, for example, ignoring their scratching posts or pads and ripping up your furniture. Simply throw some catnip onto them and your cat will be tearing them apart in no time. The scratching post that is, not your furniture.
You could even grow your own catnip at home very easily. Catnip is technically a weed so it can grow almost anywhere. All you’ll really need is a nice decent sized pot, some rocks at the bottom for drainage, and some soil. The plant itself is also required of course. Just give it some sun and water fairly regularly and you’ll be golden. Just fair warning, make sure you put it at least a little bit away from your cat or cats unless you want it to be trampled and eaten within a week.
Thinking of trying it yourself?
To end this all off you may have been wondering what would happen if you consumed, smoked, or did some other sort of thing with catnip. Long story short, not much. And by not much, I mean absolutely nothing. Humans simply lack the physical organs that cats have that give the effects of catnip. Some people in the alternative medicine crowd argue that brewed catnip has some sort of mild sedative effects but this is still up for debate.