The mysterious effects of catnip

I have had cats my entire life and had heard of catnip and its effects, but refused to use it until I gathered enough information. When all I knew about this herb was that it has potentially psychedelic effects on cats, I was hesitant to experiment with it. After years of gathering information and using catnip and derived toys for my cats, I’m sure I can give you a simple breakdown on the pros and cons of using catnip. Things are pretty straightforward.

First of all, you should know that catnip is an herb that belongs to the mint family, so it is absolutely safe. Now store bought catnip can be mixed with insecticides, so it is recommended that all of us who can or want to grow our own catnip from seed. It is really easy, even for the most inexperienced gardeners.

Not all cats are affected in the same way by the same catnip toy. Some lack the gene that makes a cat react to catnip, and kittens under the age of ten months generally have no reaction to the herb.

The cons:

Some cats can become aggressive around catnip. Beware. If your cat is difficult to control or semi-feral, keep others, including other cats, away the first time you introduce them to this herb.

The professionals:

Catnip is safe to use even around pregnant cats and kittens. Provides cats with a lot of excitement and helps domestic cats exercise.

What type to use:

There are many forms of catnip on the market. If you find dirty catnip bags, just buy a catnip toy. Those made by Cosmic are the most popular, but you don’t need to limit yourself to just one company. I usually buy these toys based on price. Some of my cats’ favorite toys are the Cosmic catnip cigar and the banana. Mine also love cosmic bubbles.

I highly recommend the use of catnip in all cats, especially those who cannot go outdoors. Your cat (s) can play a lot and receive great stimulation for short periods of play at a time. When they get tired, because everyone does, just save it and re-enter it a few hours or days later. It will have the same effect.

Now that I have removed the mystery from Nepeta Cataria (the scientific name), I hope you feel confident enough to give it a try.

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