Things you should know about Catnip

Catnip, or Nepeta Cataria, is a short-lived herb belonging to the mint family.

It gained popularity due to its peculiar effect on cats.

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Initially, this herb was only found in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

But later on, it was brought to Northern America and New Zealand.

Now the bizarre thing is:

In its presence, cats seem to go into a frenzy. They claw the leaves and chew on them.

They even start rolling around in the ground, twisting and rubbing themselves on the plant.

This particular behavior occurs due to the presence of a pheromone called Nepetalactone in catnips.

Which begs the question:

Is catnip going to make my cat high?

Catnip, or otherwise known as catmint, does not have any long term effect on cats.

Your cat seems to go into a euphoria every time it’s around it.

But the high isn’t the same as a human drug experience.

Catnip makes your cat happy, and that’s it!

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Unlike human drug effects, they are entirely aware of their surroundings and in control of their actions.

The result of catnip lasts only about fifteen minutes. And only cats above the age of three to six months will react to it.

Nepetalactone is a sex pheromone.

So does nepetalactone trigger ‘heat’ in cats?

No, it doesn’t trigger heat, but it triggers something similar.

What that means is that your cat, male or female, only displays ACTS of a feline in heat whenever catnip is around.

This is because nepetalactone is a feline sex pheromone.

Does catnip affect only domestic cats?

Apart from 33% of the cats around the world, catnip affects all.

Along with domestic cats, cougars, lynxes, and leopards are strongly influenced by the presence of catnip.

Tigers and lions can also react to catnips.

What other plants have the same effect as catnip?

There are other plants and herbs with similar effects as catnip.

Valerians with actinidine in them will trigger similar behavioral displays in the feline. These behaviors are hereditary.

Can I use catnips as an ornamental houseplant?

Catnips are visually attractive, and cats love them.

It is a great recreational plant to have around in the house.

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The effect of having catnips in a household with cats helps relax them.

However, some cats react wildly around catnips.

So test your cat with catnips before you decide to decorate your house with it.

Is too much catnip bad for my cat?

Cats tend to chew and consume catnips due to over excitement.

Even though a small quantity is suitable for your cat’s health, too much of it can trigger unwanted reactions.

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So if your cat starts to drool, gets drowsy, or anxious, remove the plant.

Overconsumption may even result in aggression. If your cat has asthma, consult with a vet beforehand.

Catnips are easily distinguishable due to their distinct smell.

They grow up to be forty inches in length, and the leaves are in the shape of a triangle.

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The good news is that they are also available in pet stores in different forms.

In case you don’t want to keep a raw plant in the house, you can always choose catnip products that emit the same pheromones.

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