Does your cat become ecstatic about catnip? Or rather calm like a pile of files? The Cat Advisor explains what is causing the reaction and gives tips on how to best use the herb that most cats absolutely love.
Catnip can make your cat go – quite frankly – completely crazy. It may roll around on the floor, rub its face against the cat’s coin, jump and run around with lots of energy or become unusually calm. But what really makes our cats react to the plant?
Catnip, or catnip as the herb is called in English and is also sometimes called in Sweden, is a wreath-flowering perennial. Among other things, it contains the substance nepetalactone, which is reminiscent of the cat’s own pheromone and is the substance whose scent triggers the cat’s various behaviors. The reason is believed to be that the scent is linked to the mating instinct. For some male cats, it can trigger aggressive behavior.
Should this happen to you and your cat, it is better to find other ways to reward and play, another herb with stimulating properties is for example valerian / turnip.
How a cat reacts to catnip is individual, but for most people it can be likened to a rush of happiness. Some become very energetic and mischievous while others become calm and cuddly. For about a third of all cats, no reaction occurs at all, the reason being thought to be genetic. The effects of catnip usually last for five to fifteen minutes, after which it can take several hours before the catnip is interesting again.
Catnip can be bought in many different forms – as sweets, in toys, as powder or oil and spray. It can be used as a reward when the cat has done something good or, if you know that your cat will calm down from catnip, before a trip or in other situations that can make your cat stressed.
Does your cat like to scratch furniture? Then a catnip spray is perfect for encouraging the cat to claw at a claw board or a claw tree instead.
You do not have to worry if your cat ingests a lot of catnip, the plant is completely harmless to cats.