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Cats and their love for catnip

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Have you ever wondered what’s up with cats and catnip? Whether it is a stick they can chew on, a cat toy filled with catnip or something else that has been in contact with catnip, cats seem to go crazy for it! If you have a cat a home, then you know what we are talking about. Cats can go crazy for some catnip and it’s usually very amusing to see! Some scientist labeled this behavior of cats as “the catnip effect”. But why does catnip have such an effect on cats?

Catnip has indeed the strange ability to make your cats go bananas. This is not only the case for domestic cats, but also on other species, such as for example leopards, lynxes or cougars. About two-thirds of cats have these intense attraction and reaction towards catnip. This sensitivity will only emerge after your cat is few months old. If you have a kitten at home, you will have to wait a few months to find out if they love it or hate it! This statistic also means roughly one-third of felines is not affected by catnip. Which group is your purry friend part of?

Cat playing with flower

But what is catnip exactly? Catnip is a member of the mint family and is a perennial herb. Cats are attracted by the chemical compound in the plant that’s called nepetalactone. This is what causes the so called “high” for your cat. You can find it in the leaves and stems. The plant can grow to be up to three feet high! The effect lasts for about 10 minutes before the cat’s behavior returns to its normal (what is normal for a cat nowadays?) state. When you give your cat too much catnip in a short time, they might no longer respond to it. That’s why it’s recommended to not give catnip to your cat for more than once every two or three weeks to avoid them getting used to it.

Before you might get scared and fear catnip is bad for your cat’s health, don’t worry! Catnip is safe for cats! There is nothing in it that could harm your cat. If by any chance they would consume large amounts of catnip, this could upset their tummy causing them to vomit or have diarrhea. However, this is unlikely to happen and this will disappear when you keep the catnip away for some time. Some people even state catnip has been known to help humans as well. It can be used to calm down, but we haven’t tried it yet!

Treat your cat on some catnip, available in our shop!

 My Purry Friends

 


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