Does your feline buddy get super excited when you give her catnip? Fluffy has a lot of adorable quirks, but her affinity for this plant may very well be one of the cutest. A local Lewisville, TX vet discusses Fluffy’s favorite plant in this article. 

Catnip Basics

Also known as catnip, catswort, catwort, and catmint, catnip is a member of the mint family. As you probably know, it has a very curious—and highly entertaining—effect on our feline friends. Fluffy may run around, meow, roll about, and just generally act silly for a bit. After about 5 to 15 minutes, the effects will wear off, probably leaving your kitty a little tired. It will take a few hours for your cute pet’s brain to ‘reset’ and become receptive again.

Dangers (Or Lack Thereof)

What would happen if Fluffy gets too much catnip? Nothing! Catnip is completely harmless. The only exception really would be for kitties that are allergic to it. That said, you probably don’t want to give your furry little friend catnip every day. It will be more fun for your pet if it’s a special treat.

Cats That Don’t Like Catnip

Did you know that not all cats enjoy catnip? About a third of them, including kittens and many senior cats, are unaffected by it. If Fluffy doesn’t seem impressed by that catnip mouse you got her, try offering her some honeysuckle or valerian instead. Many kitties that don’t care for catnip will respond to one of these plants instead.

How Catnip Works

Catnip plants contain a substance called nepetalactone, which is found in the plant’s oil. This substance is what affects our furry buddies. In fact, kitties have scent receptables that perfectly match nepetalactone scent molecules! Domestic cats aren’t the only felines that react to catnip. Many of Fluffy’s larger cousins, including leopards, cougars, lynxes, and servals, are also affected. Lions and tigers are too, though to a lesser extent. 

Growing Catnip

If you like gardening and/or doing things yourself, you can grow catnip for your furry pal. It also helps repel mosquitos, aphids, and other uninvited guests. Just don’t plant too much of it in your yard. Otherwise, you may find your home becoming a kitty hotspot! 

Please reach out to us, your local Lewisville, TX vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!