The Basics of Catnip

Have you ever tried out catnip on your feline friend? Learn about the basics of catnip below from a Lansing, MI veterinarian.

What Exactly is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb, classified in the same plant family as mint. It grows all over the world, and the wild plant is characterized by white flowers with distinctive purple spots. The catnip you can buy in a pet store is a dried and processed version of the wild plant.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone, and it is this substance that causes cats to react. Experts believe that it acts as a sort of aphrodisiac, eliciting a type of sexual response in your cat’s brain!

What if My Cat Doesn’t Respond?

Have you tried catnip on your cat to no avail? Don’t worry—your pet is fine! Cats actually require a gene, inherited from their parents, to feel any effects from the herb. If they don’t possess the gene, catnip won’t have any affect at all!

Do you have more questions about catnip or your cat’s behavior? We are here to help! Set up an appointment today at your vets Lansing, MI.