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Why do Cats Like Catnip?

October 7, 2014

It's fun to watch your favorite felines having the time of their lives. The fact that cats love catnip make them even more human to us; that they love a little catnip like we like a good glass of red wine or a cold beer makes them seem even more like relateable companions. 


Of course the spactable of rolling around and twisting on the floor whilst rubbing her face against it, and maybe even getting a little drool on the rug is worth every penny for some of that good stuff.

Contrary to popular belief catnip is not a drug. Catnip is a member of the mint family and the essential oil in catnip is called nepetalactone which has a powerful effect on cats who are sensitive to it, but it turns out that not all cats are able to achieve this state of ecstasy. It's a genetically inherited sensitivity, and if a cat didn't get that gene, she just will not even care about catnip. Young kittens will not respond to catnip. You have to wait until your kitten is about 6 months old to test if they will be sensitive to catnip!


It's a common thought among most scientists that catnip stimulates mimics feline happy pheromones  receptors in the brain when SMELLED. However, when eaten, however, catnip tends to make our fur babies super mellow.


It's a good way to get older, indoor cats something to do and get them moving about. Also, I have found that if your cat is sick they won't respond to catnip so this is also another way to gauge if your cat is her normal self. Most cats react to catnip by rolling in it and getting it all over their fur. Many cats eat it and rub in it until they eventually "pass out." Some cats become really hyperactive, running around with their eyes as wide as saucers. Others will get a little mean and hiss at you or scratch at you. Cat parents will usually say that's because they are being protective over their catnip and don't want to share! Stingy! 


After about 10 minutes, the cat will lose interest and they may take up to 2 hours to become sensitive to it again. It's not recommended to give your cat catnip everyday. Two or three days a week should suffice, try to make it special time for just you and your cat baby. 


It's a great time to get out the camera and record special memories. 

One last tip, Catnip needs to be kept fresh so store it in the freezer in an airtight container or bag and get rid of it after a few months and get fresh stuff! 
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