You’ve heard of catnip, but how much do you really know about our feline friends’ favorite plant? Below, your Indianapolis, IN veterinarian answers some of your most frequently asked questions.
What Exactly is Catnip?
Catnip is an herb that grows in the wild, all across the world. The wild plant is leafy and green and has white flowers with characteristic purple spots. The catnip you’ll find in a pet store is a dried version of the plant, and it can also be included in sprays, toys, and other products.
Why Do Cats Respond to Catnip?
The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone, and this is what causes cats’ reaction to the herb. Experts believe that the reaction in your cat’s brain is a kind of sexual response—catnip is almost like an aphrodisiac to our feline friends!
Why Isn’t My Cat Responding?
Did you know that not all cats respond to catnip? A cat actually requires a certain gene, inherited from the parents, to feel catnip’s effects. If your cat isn’t responding to catnip, don’t worry—they are perfectly healthy!
For more information about catnip and your animal companion, contact your veterinary Indianapolis, IN today.