Catnip: A Natural Remedy for Your Cat's Health
- Posted on
- By Staff Blogger: Josephine Richardson
- Posted in cat health, cat nutrition, Cat Safety, cat toys, Natural Pet Care, pet nutrition, pet toys
Most cats love catnip. Most cats act with a euphoric reaction displayed with rolling, scenting, and overall silly antics, whether dried catnip or fresh from the yard. Cats of all ages, from young kittens to senior cats, from domestic cats to big cats, for scenting enrichment activities can all participate and react to catnip. Learn why it's a cat's holy grail!
What Is Catnip?
Catnip essential oil is used as a bug or pest repellent and known to be more powerful than the harmful chemical DEET. Having these plants in your garden may bring the cats to the yard but will also help keep the bugs out. Dr. Harvey uses catnip in their protectant shampoo to aid in flea and tick prevention. Win-win for pet parents!
Catnip can also be used as an effective natural antiseptic. Use a catnip compound to treat skin infections and minor wounds. Dr. Harvey uses catnip oil in their ear wash to aid in ear irritation. This ear wash can be used in both cats and dogs.
Catnip is also known to calm digestion and relieve some pain and discomfort. Catnip leaves can be made into tea. Nature's Sunshine uses catnip in a variety of different supplements. Amber Naturalz Digestive Rescue would be an easy replacement if your pet wants nothing to do with catnip tea.
Is Catnip Part Of The Mint Family?
Nepeta Cataria is the genus name for the catnip plant, which belongs to the Lamiaceae family and includes common household herbs like mint, rosemary, and sage. Catnip is a perennial herb often recognized for its aromatic smell when you brush against fresh catnip leaves. While it falls in the mint family, you may also recognize it from its square stems. It can easily reseed; it does prefer sandy soil but is not picky and will offer years and years of fresh catnip for your feline friend and a great landscape plant. Overall, it's fairly easy to grow catnip and doesn't require much maintenance. In the summertime, the dainty whorls of white flower clusters are a favorite food for honeybees. If you have a beloved feline family member at home, you may be familiar with catnip, buds, or the live fresh plant growing in your backyard. Catnip is available in ground leaf or bud form, concentrated spray, and various stuffed bat-around catnip toys. But did you know that catnip can also benefit dogs and humans?
Will My Cat Like Catnip?
Most cats love catnip. Most cats act with a euphoric reaction displayed with rolling, scenting, and overall silly antics, whether dried catnip or fresh from the yard. Cats of all ages, from young kittens to senior cats, from domestic cats to big cats, for scenting enrichment activities can all participate and react to catnip. It is found that cats are reacting to the nepetalactone oil from the catnip plant. When inhaled, it gives a familiar feel-good pheromone that triggers a happy, euphoric response in felines. Cats can become affectionate and playful; in some situations, your cat may become overstimulated, causing signs of aggression. These catnip effects and reactions will last about 10 minutes. If cats eat catnip, as they sometimes prefer fresh plant matter, your cat may have a more calming or relaxed effect. Our friends at Pet Releaf have added catnip into their new Feline Relax Formula to aid stress, reduce anxiety, and relieve pain.
Do All Cats Love Catnip?
However, not all cats respond the same to catnip. If you have a cat like my Agnes, they may not be affected at all by catnip. This affects about 20-30% of the feline population. Studies have revealed that this is an inherited gene. Good news, there are other options! If your cat is like Agnes, our hand-selected brand, From the Field, makes catnip blends and alternatives incorporating additional herbs such as Valerian and Silvervine to enhance your cat's experience. Agnes’s favorite items are the From the Field silver vine sticks. These are safe for cats to chew on and often increase playtime.
Can Kittens Have Catnip?
Yes, kittens can have catnip and cat toys filled with nip. We have seen kittens under six months old not have the same reaction as an adult cats. If your kitten doesn't have an immediate reaction, don't fret. You may need to offer it again when your cat is older.
3 Ways To Use Cat Catnip
- If you have an area that you would like your cat to play in, you can sprinkle catnip around a scratching post, cardboard scratchers, or infuse toys to induce playtime. Dried catnip gets this job done best, as you need a small sprinkle to get your cat's nose to sniff out the areas.
- As much as this information concerns cats playing with fresh catnip and catnip toys, the dried catnip herb makes a mild tea great for calming upset bellies. Most of our canine friends will willingly drink the tea if they have digestive upset. Try this perennial herb for relief when you or your dog has an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, or stomach cramps.
- Another quick and simple way to use catnip is to sprinkle a small amount of fresh or dried plant over your dog's food. For something more simplified, Dr. Harvey's Relax formula is an herbal calming supplement that uses catnip as one of its active ingredients and can be found at The Pet Beastro.
We love all the benefits from natural mood enhancers to calming aid to tummy support that this mighty plant offers our furry friends.
In conclusion, you can't give too much catnip. Cats love it, and we often find joy in their goofy behaviors from the effects of catnip. And bonus, it helps our dog friends too!
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