How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

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Catnip affects different cats in different ways. While some cats may become euphoric, others may get aggressive. Feline experts claim that one-third of cats are immune to this herb. But, how does catnip affect cats who appear to be excited by this weird plant? Veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, the best pet wellness hospital in Branford, CT,  explain the phenomenon in this way.

Catnip belongs to a mint family known as Lamiaceae. The potent substance that affects cats is named nepetalactone, anessential oil responsible for dramatic reactions in almost eighty percent of cats.

Scientists believe that the active substance of catnip, nepetalactone, excites the brain receptors that are responsible for their happy feelings. Because of that, cats who sniff catnip usually have stronger reactions to this powerful plant than cats who eat or lick it.

According to feline experts, catnip effects are completely benevolent to cats. They tend to last about ten minutes and then, after all that jumping, running, and rolling around, a cat will most likely go to sleep. In the next two hours, a cat will be immune to catnip influence.

Even though catnip is safe for cats, experts recommend limiting its use to once a week. If a cat gets diarrhea or vomits, just stop them from using catnip. It is most likely the reaction of overdose.

Cats who don't react to catnip are usually predisposed to it by their genetics. Another reason that explains why some cats don't respond to catnip is their age. Kittens who haven't yet reached sexual maturity are immune to strong catnip influence. It is when they reach the age of six months that their reaction may appear.

Wild cats aren't indifferent towards catnip, too. Jaguars, cougars, lions, and leopards react strongly to catnip. It is only tigers that show no interest in this strange herb.

The powerful effects of catnip you may apply when teaching your cat new behavior. For example, you may find it practical to help your cat using a scratching post or encouraging her to sleep in a new bad. Sometimes, it may motivate your old cat to play again. Whatever you want to accomplish, don't forget to show your cat how much you love her. 

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East Shore's Veterinary Hospital
50 N. Main St
Branford, CT 06405
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East Shore's Animal Wellness Center
29 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
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Thursday : 9:00am - 5:00pm
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Sat-Sun : Closed
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