The Basics of Catnip

Does your feline friend like catnip? It’s our cats’ favorite indulgence—learn more about this fascinating aspect of your cat’s health and behavior as your veterinarian Ashburn, VA elaborates.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb, related to the mint, basil, and other herbs that you might be growing in your spice garden. It grows in the wild across North America; the plant is leafy green, a few feet tall, and has white flowers with purple spots. A dried version of catnip (“raw” catnip) can be found in pet stores, and catnip can also be included in cat toys.

Why Do Cats React?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical, nepetalactone, that is the source of the reaction you’ll see. This chemical triggers a response in your cat’s brain, causing your feline friend to dart around excitedly or simply stretch out in a state of bliss.

Is it Safe?

Yes, catnip is perfectly safe for your pet. The chemical reaction does not harm your cat in the least, and your cat cannot become addicted or overdose on the herb. Give your pet catnip as often as you see fit!

To learn more, contact your animal hospital Ashburn, VA.