What You Need to Know About Cats and Catnip

You may be wondering why Catnip affects your cat in a weird, funny way. Or maybe you haven’t let your feline pet have a close encounter with this plant, but you’re somehow curious. Well this post is for you, so keep on reading.

Catnip and Cats

When ingested or inhaled, Catnip can affect your feline pet almost instantly. It may influence them to leap, roll, grin, wiggle, purr, freak out or just simply be ecstatic quietly. Catnip also has an aphrodisiac effect which caused them to be more romantically engaged or sexually aroused with other cats. Although not all the time, cats who are having the Catnip “trip” which only lasts for a couple of minutes, can also become aggressive toward another animal.

Once the effects of Catnip passes, your cat usually won’t respond to it again until two hours or more. And not all felines are affected by this plant. In fact, it is only approximately half of cats who are affected by it, mainly because not all of them inherited it. Catnip doesn’t affect kittens and older cats too, only those who are sexually mature and healthy.

It is safe to infer therefore that to see if your cat positively reacts to Catnip, you need to test and observe it closely first. It is also good to know that when your cat choose whether to just sniff it or ingest it, the results may bring opposite effects. When you cat sniff the leaves, Catnip may act as a stimulant, while if your pet ingest it, it may act as relaxant.

What’s with Catnip?

Science says that this perennial herb, classified as Nepeta cataria and also known as “Catmint”, is part of the mint family. This herb is endemic to Europe with more than two hundred species and some growing widely as a weed. It is now found and grown in the US and other countries too.

Its oil, Nepetalactone, is one of its active ingredients which stimulate your cat’s sensory neurons connected to the brain. There are other volatile oils, acids, some sterols and tannis contained in this plant, giving your cat a chemical high, although in a non-addictive and harmless way.

While humans can’t distinguish the smell even though it’s a close relative of spearmint, basil and oregano, cats find its scent unique and appealing.

Uses of Catnip

If you’re one of the lucky cat parents who their felines react positively to Catnip, then it’s time to take advantage of its uses to solve some common problems. And fortunately for you, Google has all the information about how you can use Catnip to tame your cat’s behaviour.

Some of the most common uses of Catnip with your cat, is to get your lazy and fat feline moving, redirect their scratching post instead of your furniture, and make them more amorous to help produce offspring.


If your cat is responsive to catnip, be a responsible owner and observe it carefully to see if it’s a good treat or not. Not all cats are affected by Catnip in a good way. See if it’s making it aggressive or if it has a negative effect like loss of appetite, disinterest, or if it’s lethargic.