All About Catnip

You’ve undoubtedly heard to catnip, and you may have even tried it out on your feline friend. Would you like to learn more about our cats’ favorite plant? Read on as your Chattanooga, TN vet goes over the basics of catnip.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb, classified together with mint and other common herbs. It grows in the wild, having originated in Europe and since being spread all over the world. In a pet store, you’ll find “raw” catnip, a dried version of the wild plant, which looks similar to oregano. Catnip can also be infused into cat toys.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The catnip plant’s oils contain a chemical called nepetalactone, and it’s this chemical that affects your cat’s brain. The reaction is completely harmless—your cat will react for a few minutes before the effect wears off, and they can’t overdose or become addicted.

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

Does your cat not react to catnip? Cats actually require a gene, inherited from their parents, to experience the chemical reaction caused by nepetalactone. If your cat doesn’t possess the gene, catnip won’t do much of anything!

Learn more by calling your vet clinic Chattanooga, TN.