It’s one of the most entertaining parts of being a cat owner: watching your feline friend go out of its mind after smelling a little catnip. Catnip grows naturally in the wild and is actually part of the mint family, which is why some refer to it as catmint. It’s time to find out some more about your cat’s favorite party favor.
Believe it or not, not every cat goes wild over catnip. Cats Inn reports that about 30 to 50 percent of felines don’t have any reaction to it. However, both domesticated and wild cats can have a reaction, and size doesn’t matter, as zookeepers have filmed lions and tigers feeling the effects of some catnip.
According to CatWorld, the ingredient that causes the big commotion is nepetalactone, an essential oil. Cats pick up the chemical through the nose, which causes a reaction. The reaction varies for every cat, as some become more cuddly, some get way more energetic, and some just like to roll around in a daze.
Catnip is safe for cats to eat, but ingestion doesn’t cause as much of a reaction and often just results in the cat getting sleepy.
A reaction from catnip usually peaks within about 10 to 30 minutes, and more catnip doesn’t extend that. In fact, cats usually don’t feel any effects from catnip if they’ve already reacted to it within the last few hours. Humans have found their own uses for catnip, as it repels mosquitoes, packing more power than DEET. It doesn’t last as long, but it could make you more popular with any cats you come across while you wear it. Some people even make a sedative tea using catnip. However, even the most functional human uses just can’t top an excited cat. Our cats love this earth-friendly fresh catnip.
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