What are the effects of catnip?
Why should you buy catnip for your cat? Well, it can have several effects on their behaviour. This can alter from cat to cat, but in general, with inhalation, you may get:
- Hyperactivity and increased excitement
- Inquisitiveness towards new products
- Rubbing against the catnip to cover themselves on the scent
It can also be ingested, which causes:
- Calmness and slower senses
- Purring and meowing from being content
These effects tend to last between 10 and 15 minutes, followed by a period of around 2 to 3 hours where they will not be affected by it. The effects can vary between cats, but there is also the chance that your cat is one of the 2 in 10 who aren’t affected at all.
It can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, as well as increase socialisation and confidence.
How can catnip be used?
Depending on the form, catnip can be used in many ways.
People who purchase the sprays like to use them on toys in order to encourage playing and also make the cat a bit more hyperactive, which will tire them out more. It can also be used on scratching posts and even on beds, to attract the cat to the item and encourage them to use it, which is especially important in the early days of bringing the item into the house.
Toys can also be rolled in loose leaf catnip, and bags can also be bought to pop the catnip in and place around the house or near items.
Can my dog use catnip?
The herb is fine for dogs to use, although you should discuss it with your vet first because dogs can be more sensitive to certain things than cats are.
With dogs, many owners use catnip as a calming remedy as it doesn’t cause them to become hyperactive. This could be ideal if they get nervous on a trip to the vet, or on Fireworks night. It can also calm upset stomachs.
A small amount of catnip can be sprinkled into the dog’s food, but it is essential to remember it shouldn’t be used at all times – only when necessary. Dogs also should not play with dedicated catnip toys, because they’re often too small and contain parts which could easily be swallowed by larger animals, and they are more likely to chew them with their stronger teeth too.
Can I give my pregnant cat catnip?
No. It is a uterine stimulant, so could cause premature labour. Avoid buying if you have a pregnant cat in the house.
How much catnip can I give my cat?
Only a few pinches or a couple of sprays will be needed. Bear this in mind before buying – a small bottle will actually last a surprising amount of time. It is possible for them to overdose which can cause vomiting, but this is easy for them to recover from.
If you grow it, keep it out of reach of your cats.