You may have heard of this grass under different names: catnip, catnip, Nepeta, catnip or mint to cats, but whatever the name by which you knew, the scientific name is Nepeta cataria and it belongs the mint family. This herb with surprising effects is native to Asia and Europe and is already used in the Roman Empire to treat intestinal disorders, fevers and to control anxiety.
What does respect for cats?
It seems that this little grass is quite compelling for our feline friends. Once they discover it, they feel, rub against it, chew it, and it seems that he gets enough. When under the effects of aromatic oils produced by the Nepeta, kitties become players highly, roll on the back, and may even try to chase imaginary prey. That’s why some liken to a drug for cats.
How is and what are its benefits?
The main components of catnip are oils, sterols, volatile tannins, and acids that produce chemicals such as lemongrass, valeric acid, and nepetalactone, to name a few. The slight hallucinogenic effect produced by the plant can allow our cat to increase its level of activity, while the stimulus to start interacting with new toys or objects infused with catnip. This effect lasts for a while, and the grass is over after a few hours.
How can it be used?
There are different ways to offer this herb to your cat. You can buy already cut the grass, like that of Kong, in the form of seeds or plant that has already pushed for to you, but you can also put it inside some toys such as in the mouse designed by Trixie, who is not only filled with catnip and also emits a sound. If you prefer a system that allows you to apply to toys or scrapers your cat already has, Kong offers a spray version for you to spray the surface you wish.
Is it harmful?
Although this plant is completely safe for cats, beyond the comic behavior it causes, it can generate a slight addiction in some cats. This is why we recommend that you check that its use should not become daily. If you have a plant in your home, do not let all the time to reach, and if used in toys or using a spray, hide them and give them to him from time to time.
Does she have the same effect on all cats?
It is important to know that kittens under three months will not show any interest in this herb, because, at that age, they are immune to its effects. After three months, some breeds have a curiosity about this plant, while other breeds there will never pay attention. It is estimated that only 33% of cats are susceptible to the effects of catnip, due to a genetic predisposition.
However, although there is no conclusive study that determines which is the gene that allows them to assess the effects, we noticed a greater predisposition in females than in males when they taste like catnip. Keep in mind that your cat may very well not always react in the same way especially if he is nervous or outside their usual environment and, in these cases, the grass will have no effect on him.