All About Catnip

Have you ever tried out catnip on your feline friend? Perhaps you’re wondering more about catnip and how it affects cats. Here, your Glendale, AZ vet goes over the basics.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is a natural herb, grouped in the same family as mint. It grows all over the world, and is characterized in the wild by its distinctive white flowers with purple spots. In a pet store or retail outlet, you’ll find dried catnip packaged for consumers.

How Does Catnip Affect My Cat?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone, which essentially acts as an aphrodisiac to cats elicits what amounts to a sexual response. Cats respond in a variety of ways—some simply relax and lie on their backs; some run around excitedly; others may rub their faces or backs where catnip is sprinkled.

Catnip is completely harmless to our feline friends. Usually, the effect wears off in a matter of minutes.

Why Isn’t My Cat Responding to Catnip?

Cats need a certain gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects. If they don’t have it, catnip won’t make much of a difference!

Talk to your veterinarian Glendale, AZ for more information.