If you are a cat owner, then you might have heard the term “catnip”. We all know it’s something that cats like, but what exactly is catnip? And what are you supposed to do with it? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. In this article, we will answer all your questions about catnip and its uses.
What Is Catnip?
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant belonging to the mint family. It is native to Europe and Asia but can be found in North America as well. The plant contains a chemical called nepetalactone that affects cats’ behavior when they smell or eat it.
Why Do Cats Like Catnip?
When cats smell or eat catnip leaves, stems, or flowers, nepetalactone stimulates their olfactory receptors which triggers an interesting behavior in them. Some common forms of reactions include rubbing against objects that come into contact with it (called “chin rubbing”), rolling on the floor while pawing at things in excitement(1), licking and chewing.
It’s important also to note that not all cats react similarly. Research suggests only around 50-75% of adult domesticated cats respond positively(i.e by showing euphoric behaviors). Contrarily kittens under three months often don’t feel anything when exposed – blame it on their immature olfactory system!
How Can You Give Your Cat Catnip?
There are different ways to give your feline friend some fun, depending on how interactive you’d wish them to be:
1) Basic dried form
You can get dried fresh off-the-farm/cat-friendly garden cuttings online or at any pet store/shop near me(ahem not self-referencing)in small amounts because too much may make them less receptive [^(2^)]. Once you have it, all you need to do is sprinkle some on the floor or your cat’s scratching post.
2) As a Toy
Catnip toys roughly have flakes inside them made of dried and crushed parts of the plant that cats definitely won’t be able to resist. You can purchase these from pet stores in various shapes, sizes,made of materials ranging from wool, paper,to recycled caps (some toys also distract these pests i.e come with bells and feathers).
3) Homemade Spray
You can make homemade sprays by steeping fresh leaves or tea bags in hot water and allow them sit overnight -or longer- depending on how potent you want it. Get yourself a spray dispenser bottle then somehow convince your majesty into letting ‘it’ smell/swipe its beddings/clothes/a rug sprayed etc.
How Often Should You Give Your Cat Catnip?
Cats are smart creatures so avoid giving the same treat every day if aim long-lasting fun (yawn) Studies recommend giving small amounts once a week since overexposure causes decreased interest in repeated exposuresDodd & McLean^(^4^).
What Are Some Alternatives To Catnip?
Not all cats feel excited about catnip; thus alternatives may come handy for stimulation and relaxation:
Valerian Root Massage Oil
Known as ‘cat dope’, this has effects similar to that of catnips but tend to soothe more than fully effervesce Felines who sniffs either their valerian root massage oil-infused pillows(5)or tucks themselves between fingers holding an scented toy will likely fall fast asleep due to its calmer projection[Satchel S Bishop^(7)].
Tatarian Honeysuckle Twigs
These wild shrubs can replace catnip since they contain the same level of nepetalactone. Honeysuckles, although banned in some states from being grown in gardens as they tend to shady up other plants(like kumbaya bunking) are used frequently by animal caregivers to drive cats nuts with their aroma.
Remember cats may respond differently to varying stimulants so it’s okay if your `purry’ friend dislikes either or both.
Can Your Cat Overdose on Catnip?
Although rare, there is no chance that a cat has ever overdosed on catnip or any natural plant -it may, however, cause general discomfort; including burps and vomiting due to swallowing (which disinterests many pet owners)(
6) . When feeding though,a high dosage will not harm them but numbs their sensitivity thus reducing response time.Dodd & McLean^(4).
Catnip!! An easy and exciting way of keeping your furry companion lively, uh? But before giving catdiction consult(8) a competent veterinarian for more information on which type/input for consumption matches with your feline; then watch them go crazy!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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