The Basics of Catnip

You’ve undoubtedly heard of catnip, but how much do you really know about it? Find out all about catnip and its effects on our feline friends below from an Aurora, CO veterinarian.

What Exactly is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb, grouped into the same plant family as mint. It occurs naturally, having originated in Europe and since been spread all over the world. The catnip you’ll find in your local pet store is a dried and processed version of the wild plant.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant’s stem and leaves contains a chemical substance called nepetalactone. This substance affects the chemical makeup in your cat’s brain, eliciting the affects you see. The result is almost like that of an aphrodisiac, provoking a nearly sexual response! Cats may respond by becoming very excited and hyperactive, or they might become lackadaisical and prefer to lounge around in a sort of daze.

Is Catnip Safe?

Yes, catnip is perfectly safe for your feline friend. The effects will wear off after only a few minutes, and your cat will return to normal.

Do you have more questions about catnip? Contact your Pet Clinic Aurora, CO office today for help.