FAQs on Catnip

Catnip comes from a wild plant, and the catnip you’ll purchase in a pet supply store is a dried, processed version of the naturally occurring herb. Catnip is quite common, but it’s often misunderstood! Learn more here from a Wake Forest, NC veterinarian.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The catnip plant’s oils contain a chemical, nepetalactone, which causes the reactions you’ll see in cats. Nepetalactone acts as a sort of aphrodisiac, eliciting a nearly sexual response in our feline friends! Cats tend to run around excitedly for several minutes after being exposed to catnip.

Is Catnip Safe?

Yes, catnip is entirely safe and won’t lead to any adverse reactions whatsoever. It causes a chemical response in your cat’s brain, and the effect will wear off after only a few minutes.

Why Doesn’t My Cat React to Catnip?

If your cat doesn’t respond to catnip, don’t worry—he or she is just fine! Cats actually require a specific gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects. If they don’t have this gene, catnip won’t do much of anything!

For more information on your cat’s health care and behavior, contact your pet clinic Wake Forest, NC today. We are here to help!