What is it?
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a common herb that is a member of the mint family. Most cat owners have heard of catnip and probably even tried it on their feline friend. The behavior changes in cats can be both entertaining and mysterious. It elicits a euphoric feeling in most (not all) cats.
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Despite its usefulness, not all cats react to catnip in the same way. In fact, some cats don’t react to it at all – meaning it’s more of a hit-or-miss situation. There are several theories as to why this is. One theory is that it’s down to genetics. Cats that react to catnip have a specific genetic make-up, while those that don’t are simply not wired that way. Another theory is that it’s an environmental thing. Cats that are raised in homes with lots of catnip around are more likely to be affected by it than those that haven’t been exposed to it. So, why do cats love catnip? It’s still not entirely clear, but there are a few theories out there. Regardless of the reason, it’s clear that catnip brings a lot of joy to our feline friends – even if we don’t quite understand why!
Next time you see your cat rolling around in ecstasy after smelling some catnip, remember that they’re probably enjoying the same high humans do when they smoke weed!
Cats are not the only ones who love catnip; people love it too. Catnip tea is natural, and people say it has a calming effect. Catnip can be found infused in cat toys, scratchers or just available in its pure form.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
- Catnip treats anxiety and stimulates your cat’s gallbladder: Some of the many health benefits of this herb include its ability to promote healthy digestion, relieve symptoms of gas and bloat, and stimulate the gallbladder to make bile, which helps break down fats in the food. It is also an excellent treatment for anxiety.
- Catnip can calm your cat and ease stress: If your cat is exhibiting signs of stress, such as pacing, restless sleeping, or excessive grooming, catnip may help. Catnip can have a calming effect on your cat and may help to ease their stress.
- Catnip encourages playtime: Catnip can get a cat moving and exercising. Feline enrichment and playtime encourage independence and mental and physical activity.
- Catnip targets the happy receptors of the cat: While catnip may make your cat happy, it targets the happy receptors in the brain. While some catnip may be alright for your feline friend, it’s important to use it in moderation.