Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that catnip does crazy things to our feline friends, even its Latin name, ‘Nepeta Catatia’, roughly translates to “of a cat”, but what is it and why does it make cats, kittens, lions, and tigers go wild?
What is catnip?
Catnip is a plant that is a member of the mint family. It contains an active ingredient called nepetalactone that is released into the air when the tiny bulbs on the leaves and stem are ruptured. It’s this chemical that cats respond to and why you can often find them chewing obsessively in order to release more of the minty substance that they can’t get enough of.
How do cats respond to catnip?
The most common reactions to catnip are chewing, licking, sniffing, rubbing, and rolling over the product that contains the minty goodness. Some cats may get hyper whilst under the influence of catnip, and others will become calm and relaxed. Fun fact – not all cats will respond to the herb, with their genetics determining their reaction early on. On top of this, kittens don’t develop an attracting to catnip until they’re about 6 months old so don’t worry if you’ve invested in some catnip toys for your little one, they’ll be a big hit in a couple of months!
Can cats have too much catnip?
Though catnip is highly unlikely to cause an overdose, owners should be mindful about how much they expose their furry friends to catnip. Too much may cause nausea or even vomiting, and too much exposure could also lessen a cat’s interest and enjoyment. Think of it is a treat!
Catnip + toys = the purr-fect combo
So, now we know why and how cats react to catnip – what better way to take it to the next level than combining catnip and toys to really send your cat into a feline frenzy! If you have a particularly playful kitty, catnip stuffed toys are a great option to mix it up and add a new dimension to their play. And for those that are less into play, the herb acts as an added incentive and may just be what they needed to get into the spirit!
We have a wide range of catnip toys that are sure to keep your feline friends entertained, and better still, they’re all made from sustainable and recycled materials meaning that they’re not only great for your cat, but for the planet too! From super cute and fluffy to tough and refillable, you’ll find something purr-fect for your fur baby here.