What is Catnip?

October 17, 2011

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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?

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