Catnip Basics

Catnip and catnip-related products are some of the most popular items that we buy for our cats. How much do you really know about our feline friends’ favorite herb? Your Sugar Land, TX veterinarian tells you about the basics below:

What is Catnip, Exactly?

Catnip is a wild herb, categorized in the same family of plants as mint. It grows all over the world, and the wild plant is characterized by its white flowers with distinct purple spots.

When you visit the pet supply store, you’ll purchase a dried, processed catnip. Catnip is also included in cat toys and even comes in spray versions and other products!

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical known as nepetalactone. It’s this chemical that causes a reaction in your cat’s brain; many experts liken it to an aphrodisiac, eliciting a kind of sexual response in your cat!

Why Doesn’t Catnip Affect My Cat?

It turns out that cats require a particular gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects. If your cat doesn’t respond when given catnip, don’t worry—he’s perfectly healthy!

Do you have questions about catnip? Call your pet clinic Sugar Land, TX.