Can Cats Eat Catnip?

Catnip is to cats as weed is to humans, is that true?

Find out if the wonder herb is safe for felines to consume and whether the Cats on Catnip memes are based on reality.


Photo Credits

Whats Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), also known as catmint or catswort, belongs to the same family as oregano and spearmint. The plant is named after the cat’s intense attraction to it.

It grows up to three feet and has heart-shaped leaves and showy, fragrant flowers in white, purple, or pink.


Photo Credits

What draws cats to this herb? Its essential oil nepetalactone, which is present in catnips leaves and stems.

It’s responsible for the behavior that all kinds of felines, from domestic cats to tigers and lions, exhibit as a result of feeding on catnip.

What Are Its Effects on Cats?

Nepetalactone in catnip is said to give cats a high, like what cannabinoids in marijuana do to humans.


Photo Credits

Felines are on a high when they exhibit the following signs:

1. Rolling and twisting on the ground
2. Jumping
3. Purring
4. Drooling
5. Rubbing their faces on the ground
6. Trips, or hallucinations, which may be accompanied by moaning and other signs of distress
7. Aggression

These last for 10 to 15 minutes.

If your cat has an awful trip, it’ll still be fine, but you may have to reconsider feeding it catnip the next time.

It may be scared and unaware of how its mind works under the influence of the herb and isn’t sure it’ll feel better afterward.


Photo Credits

If your cat acts aggressively while on catnip, you don’t have to worry, given that it doesn’t harm anyone. If it becomes dangerously fierce, though, stop giving it catnip altogether and look for an alternative fix.

Do They Smell or Eat It?

When sniffed, catnip acts as a stimulant. It activates the receptors of pheromones in the cat’s brain.

Catnip may stimulate either the happy receptors or the aggressive ones. Some felines sniffing catnip may feel blissful, while others may become quite fierce.

In contrast, catnip becomes a sedative when eaten. It triggers the cat’s brain’s sleep receptor, making the animal lethargic.

Can I Give My Cat Some Catnip?

Yes, you can!

Catnip makes cats feel happy and confident and gives them an energy boost.

It motivates them to exercise through playing, which helps them lose excess weight and sleep better. They won’t overdose on it, too; they know when enough is enough.


Photo Credits

Offer catnip in moderation. Too frequent catnip consumption may drastically increase your cat’s tolerance and dependence on it.

Veterinarians recommend giving cats some catnip once every two weeks.

Can I Grow Some Catnip?

Check your local garden store for catnip seeds and plants.

You can plant one in a pot or outdoors in your garden. It thrives well under the sun, so place it near a window if it’s indoors.

You can also store some catnip for future use.

Dry it with a food dehydrator or in an oven at 150 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or hang it outdoors but away from the sun. Please place it in an airtight container once dry and stow the box in your fridge.


Photo Credits

Catnip is beneficial to cats, so long as they consume it moderately.

You can also have a stash of dry catnip for your feline buddies!

Observe how your cat reacts to catnip, so you’ll know if it’s a good fix. Consult your trusted vet if your cat has an adverse reaction.

Leave a Comment