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What is Catnip?

What is Catnip?
Catnip

Catnip is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is scientifically known as Nepeta cataria. It is a perennial herb that grows to be about 2 feet tall and has green leaves with a minty smell. The flowers of catnip are lavender or white and bloom in the summer.

Catnip is known for its intoxicating effect on cats. When a cat smells or rubs against catnip, it releases an essential oil called nepetalactone. This oil binds to receptors in the cat’s nose and brain, causing a variety of behavioral changes, including:

  • Rolling on the ground
  • Acting playful
  • Rubbing against objects
  • Meowing or growling
  • Drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Relaxation
360PetSupplies | BLOG | What is Catnip?

Not all cats are affected by catnip. About two-thirds of cats will react to it, but the intensity of the reaction can vary from cat to cat. Kittens under the age of 6 months old usually do not react to catnip.

Catnip is non-toxic to cats, so it is safe for them to play with. However, some cats may become overstimulated by catnip and experience vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat seems to be having a negative reaction to catnip, it is best to stop giving it to them.

Catnip can be used in a variety of ways to entertain and stimulate cats. You can give your cat a small amount of dried catnip to sniff or rub against. You can also make a catnip toy by stuffing a toy with dried catnip or by rubbing catnip oil on a toy. Catnip can also be used to make catnip tea, which is said to have calming effects.

If you are looking for a way to keep your cat entertained and happy, catnip is a great option. It is a safe and natural way to stimulate your cat’s senses and encourage them to play.

Here are some additional facts about catnip:

  • The active ingredient in catnip, nepetalactone, is also found in some other plants, such as silvervine and Tatarian honeysuckle.
  • Catnip is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
  • Catnip has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It has been used to treat headaches, stomachaches, and anxiety.
  • Catnip is also a popular ingredient in insect repellents.

Benefits Of Catnip

Catnip has a number of potential benefits for both cats and humans. For cats, catnip can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety. The nepetalactone in catnip binds to receptors in the cat’s brain that are also affected by the neurotransmitter GABA, which has calming effects.
  • Promote playfulness and relaxation. Catnip can trigger a cat’s “play” response, which can help to relieve boredom and stress. It can also have a calming effect on cats, which can help them to relax and sleep better.
  • Improve digestion. The nepetalactone in catnip has been shown to have antispasmodic effects, which can help to relieve stomach cramps and diarrhea.
  • Relieve pain. The nepetalactone in catnip has also been shown to have analgesic effects, which can help to relieve pain from arthritis, muscle aches, and other conditions.

For humans, catnip has a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Reduce anxiety and stress. The nepetalactone in catnip has been shown to have calming effects in humans as well as cats. It may be helpful for people who suffer from anxiety or stress.
  • Improve sleep. The nepetalactone in catnip may also help to improve sleep quality.
  • Relieve pain. The nepetalactone in catnip may also help to relieve pain from headaches, muscle aches, and other conditions.
  • Boost immunity. The antioxidants in catnip may help to boost the immune system.

It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm the potential benefits of catnip for both cats and humans. However, the available evidence suggests that catnip is a safe and natural substance that can offer a number of health benefits.

Here are some additional tips for using catnip:

  • Start with a small amount of catnip to see how your cat or yourself reacts. Some people and cats are more sensitive to catnip than others.
  • If your cat or yourself does not react to catnip, you can try a different form of catnip, such as a toy or a spray.
  • Be sure to supervise your cat or yourself when they are playing with catnip. Some cats or people may become overstimulated and start to exhibit destructive behavior.
360PetSupplies | BLOG | What is Catnip?

where you buy catnip cats

where you can buy catnip for cats. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pet blog: Most pet stores carry catnip in a variety of forms, including dried leaves, toys, and sprays
  • Online retailers: There are many online retailers that sell catnip, including Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart.
  • Farmers’ markets: Some farmer’s markets sell fresh catnip plants.
  • Grow your own: If you have a green thumb, you can grow your own catnip plant. It is a relatively easy plant to grow and it will provide your cat with fresh catnip for years to come.

When choosing catnip, it is important to look for products that are made from 100% natural catnip. Some products may contain other ingredients, such as essential oils, that can be harmful to cats.

It is also important to store catnip in an airtight container to keep it fresh. Catnip can lose its potency over time, so it is best to use it within a few months of purchase.

Here are some additional tips for buying catnip:

  • Start with a small amount of catnip to see how your cat reacts. Some cats are more sensitive to catnip than others.
  • If your cat does not react to catnip, you can try a different form of catnip, such as a toy or a spray.
  • Be sure to supervise your cat when they are playing with catnip. Some cats may become overstimulated and start to exhibit destructive behavior.
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