Have you ever tried giving your cat catnip? If so, what was their response? Statistics show that about 50% of cats seem to be affected by catnip and the behavior that results varies widely between individuals.
Here is some background. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. The chemical compound in the plant that attracts and affects cats is called nepetalactone, which is found in the plant’s leaves and stems. When a cat sniffs nepetalactone, it can act as a stimulant. However, nepetalactone acts as a sedative if eaten. Cats will frequently rub against or chew on catnip to bruise the leaves and stems, which then release more nepetalactone.
Catnip is safe for cats and cat toys infused with catnip like the Kong Wubba Cat Mouse can be a lot of fun for your feline friend, so why not give it a try?
We’re well into winter but not out of the cold quite yet. If you feel your pet is getting a little sluggish or stir-crazy from being cooped up in the warm house, here are a few tips for getting your feline or canine friend active during the winter months:
Toys, toys, toys!
It’s too chilly to play outside, but that doesn’t mean your pet can’t burn off some energy inside. Kitty can be entertained for hours by a laser pointer or a cat toy infused with catnip. With a large dog, an indoor game of fetch might get tricky, but a small dog can get a little workout from chasing a ball down the hallway or other semi-open area of your home. The important thing is to keep your pet stimulated to avoid long periods of inactivity.
Set up a Play Date
If the cold has your pooch looking a little lazy, it might be time to invite over a doggy friend. A play date is an excellent way to keep you pup socialized, active, and happy.
Get Out on the Town
If a winter stroll isn’t an option, take a little car ride to a local pet store or other business that allows pets on a leash. This is an excellent opportunity for your dog to work on his obedience in a social situation, something he may not have had much of an opportunity to do lately.
If you’ve ever thought about enrolling your dog in an obedience or agility course, this is a great time to do so. These classes allow for physical activity and mental stimulation- and you might even end up with a better behaved companion!