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All You Need to Know About Catnip (NepetaCataria)

All You Need to Know About Catnip (NepetaCataria)

Even if you never own a cat before, you perhaps have heard about catnip. In spite of being the popular herbs, many pet owners don’t know much about this wonderful plant. In this write-up, our objective is to address this and present our readers with everything they need to know about catnip.

What is catnip?

NepetaCataria, generally known as catnip, is a kind of herb and a member of the mint family. When the leaves are crushed, they release cat attractant oil known as nepetalactone. The scented oil is what causes the reaction; cats bite the leaves to release more oil. The effects last about 15 minutes.

Catnip plant: Catnip is a plant originated in the Mediterranean, but then, over time it has grown naturally in the United States and Canada. Actually, it is a member of the mint family; Nepetacataria(catnip) has about 250 species, this number not including the hybrid species. It is a very beautiful plant that has small flowers with sharp, heart-shaped leaves that smell like mint, and as an herb; it can grow to about 3 feet high.

It has light green leaves with beautiful flowers shade of blue-green. The stems are square and hollow in the middle. One of the major things about this wonderful herbaceous plant is that it is resistant to drought and, therefore, requires little attention. It plant grows very happily in full sun or even in partial shades like your patio.

What does catnip do for cats?

The leaves and flowers can activate chemicals in the cat's brain that lead to a short period of active ecstasy or chilled laziness. Some say the reactions are similar to that of LSD, while others say they are similar to marijuana.

Though we do not know the exact physiology of how catnip works, it is known that nepetalactone is the active component. It contains volatile oil, and when the plant is touched, it is easily released into the air. The nepetalactone in this oil is what excites the felines. This reaction to the chemical is naturally inherited, so your cat may be interested or not.

The activating chemical in the plant work through the pet's sense of smell, going through the brain to a specialized scent organ in the top of its mouth. The vomer nasal or Jacobson’s organs are linked to the cat's mouth through small channels behind the teeth. For this reason, cats that enjoy the effects may appear frown or pull strange facial expressions around the plant. Trying to expose the Jacobson’sorgans and get the most out of the effects. In general, this effect usually lasts for about fifteen minutes, after which the cat becomes immune to the effects for about half an hour.

Catnip for dogs: Though catnip acts as an aphrodisiac for cats, it has the opposite effect in dogs. For pooches, catnip works more as a home remedy. It helps the pet relax, similar to how drinking chamomile tea can help people relax. Catnip can also help relieve dogs from gastric disorders. It can help relieve convulsions, diarrhea, and vomiting. And it can also be the best way to help dogs with dizziness. You can make your dog’s catnip tea by sprinkling a little bit of catnip in your dog water bowl, or sometimes mix it in their food. It seems to take a bit of stress off your dogs, especially during veterinary visits.

Catnip for cats: There are a lot of different types of catnip; Organic catnip, cheap catnip, expensive catnip, kitten catnip, and a lot more. But you can buy catnip for cats in many ways. You can purchase specially made catnip’s toy for your cats. Though, some feline experts warn of this because the plant’s stems can be used as toy filler, which is sharp and perhaps dangerous if your cat bites the toy. Purchasing a refillable toy you can refill by yourself is a safer choice than a sealed toy.

Why do cats like catnip?

A lot of cat loves catnip, each cat has its own way of reacting to it, some will rub themselves all over it, and others with spend all day trying to eat it. Cats inhale the scented oils from catnip, where it comes in contact with special receptors in their nose. These receptors connected to the brain and affect pet behavior. Cats will normally sniff, lick, rub, and chew catnip, which will release most of the aromatic oil and the active mood-modifying substance known as nepetalactone. So, the reason cats like catnips a lot is because of Nepetalactone, an active ingredient in the plant that causes your Feline friend to go Bonkers.

For this reason, dried mint and dried herbs have a regular appearance on pet stores shelves. You can sprinkle dried catnip leaves on a scratching post where you will not worry about your cat scratching. This really prevents damage to the furniture. You can as well use it as a potty training tool.

What does catnip do?

Catnip is a very strong substance. It can make an inactive cat very active and lively. When dealing with a cat that has not been active or lively for some time, you can use catnip to make the cat lively and playful. It can also be used to relieve stress if your cat is in a state of stress. For example, you may need to use catnip after your cat has been traveling in a car or if it became tensed after having a lot of visitors in your house. Catnip can also help a timid or frightened cat build up some level of confidence. For instance, your feline friend may become shy and nervous due to being rescued or recently bought from the shelter. Catnip can help your shy and nervous cat to respond in a playful and friendly manner.

Catnips and other Pets: One major reason this herb is known as catnip is that its most recognized effects are found only in cats. Domestic or big cats, such as tigers, lions, and lynx, exhibit these ecstatic effects. In pups, however, the effect of catnip, if it exists, tends to be sedative one. One of the most beneficial side effects of catnip is that it acts as a good mosquito repellent. This is perhaps the most beneficial effect of catnip on animals other than cats.

Is catnip bad for the cat?

Catnip effect on cats is because of the volatile oil contained in the plant. This oil works like an aphrodisiac that causes a unique reaction in cats. It is not an addictive substance and is very safe to use on cats. The cat’s timidity is usually minimized by the hallucinogenic aspect of catnip. The ecstasy usually lasts about fifteen minutes.

Catnip seeds: You can buy catnip seeds from the local nursery or seed catalog or online. When you get your catnip seeds ready, you can start planting it. Growing organic catnip is a very easy process. You can plant your catnip seeds directly into the soil. There is no need to plant them indoors if you have 6-8 hours of sunlight outside. However, if you wish, you can plant your catnip seeds indoors. Just ensure to keep them in a place that receives a lot of sunlight, and if you are planting the seeds directly into the garden, plant the seeds about 1/8 "deep.

Catnip toys: some of the dominant catnip toys are: catnip cigar and catnip banana. One of the biggest brands you can find at pet stores or online is Cosmic Catnip. Most cats’ favorite is Cosmic Catnip bubbles. If you're gardening, you can try to grow catnip. It is very easy for even inexperienced gardeners. This plant is a perennial plant that grows from one foot to three feet. It requires partial shade and well-drained soil, instead of rich soil. If you grow it in a pot, you will not have any problem. If you grow catnip in a garden, you should realize that they grow like weeds. It can spread the rest of your plants.

Can cats get high?

You'll be surprised how many times this question is likely to search on Google. The fact is that Cats can become high after sniffing, eating, and licking catnips. When a cat is high on catnip, it does not look like the cannabis high for humans. It's like a light hallucinogenic that heightens the senses. As for the comparison between catnip and cannabis, catnip does not contain THC. In case you are questioning ... no, you cannot get high with catnip. If you try, you can get sick. Just leave catnip to your cat. In general, the "high" of catnip will last for about fifteen minutes, after which the cat becomes immune to the effects for about half an hour, and might then have interest again.

Catnip for Humans: Catnip is also enjoyed by humans. In addition to being a preferred plant for cats, this leaves also have excellent medicinal values for humans. It can be used as a relaxing herbal tea. Nepetalactone chemical in catnip produces sedative-like effects in humans, making catnip a common home remedy for headaches and insomnia. When making catnip tea, add a teaspoon of dried catnip leaves or three teaspoons of fresh catnip leaves to a cup of hot water and let it steep.  It can also be used as a cough relief agent and it relieves colds, flu, and fever. It is also suitable for treating distressed stomach, smallpox and scarlet fever.

It can as well be used for wounds. Studies confirm that the plant has a natural therapeutic quality. Crush fresh catnip leaves, moist them and apply to your wound. Some other medical uses for catnip are antibiotic, anesthetic anti-rheumatic, astringent, antispasmodic, diuretic, repellent, diuretic, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains, chills, cold in the joints, hemorrhoids, toothache.

How Does Catnip work?

Although we do not understand the exact physiology of how catnip works, it is believed that nepetalactone is the active ingredient. Catnip consists of a volatile oil when the plant is touched or disturbed; it is easily released into the air. The nepetalactone in this oil is what stimulates cats. Cat reaction to the chemical is inherited genetically, so it’s possible your cat may be interested or not. It is important to note that kittens are not affected by catnip until about 6 months when they reach sexual maturity stage.

The chemicals in catnip work through the cat’s sense of smell, where it enters the brain through a specialized scent organ in the top of the mouth. The Jacobson’s and the vomer nasal organs are connected to the cat's mouth through small channels behind the teeth. For this reason, cats who enjoy the effects can be distorted or pull a strange facial expression around the plant. The truth is that they are trying to expose the Jacobson organs and maximize the effects.

Effects of catnip on cats: After taking catnip Cats tend to be more enthusiastic, fun and lively. You may as well notice your cats stretching, rolling and rubbing against objects. Though, it is uncommon for the effect to be a sedative effect that may cause drooling, sleepiness. In general, the effects of catnip usually eroded after about 15 minutes.

Interestingly, catnip tends not to affect young kittens. In fact, until their age is approximately 6-9 months, many people discover that new cats will actively avoid catnip. If a cat owner purchases catnip for his cat, it is mostly for the ecstatic effect. You can buy a lot of toys online or in pet stores that contain catnip that you can use to encourage your cat to exercise and play for a while. However, you should try not to abuse catnip, or your cat may become unresponsive to it. Try to keep catnip toy or the herb itself in a sealed container to keep them away from the cat sensitive nose.

Does catnip affect cats: a warning note; once your cats get sniff catnip, it is better to leave them alone until they have lost that feeling of ecstasy, Catnip can also cause excessive drooling, so you may have to retrieve those cat toys after using them. Nobody wants to step on a wet cat toy. It can also be useful to store catnip toys and catnip in an airtight container or in a cat protection area.

Is catnip bad for dogs? 

Catnip is harmless for pooches when given under veterinary direction. It's sedative effects can help relieve travel nervousness in dogs. The herb is found to be harmless, provided it is given in the correct doses. While catnip is harmless, it does have a positive effect on dogs, as observed in humans. One of the most valuable side effects of catnip is that it acts as a good mosquito repellent. This is perhaps is the most beneficial effect of catnip for animals other than felines.

Nepetacatariais a scientific name for Catnips, which is a general name for a perennial herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae / Labiatae. Catnip was initially cultivated in Nepete, Italy, where it gets its scientific name Nepetacataria.

How to use Catnip?

Catnip has many uses but is more commonly used as a training tool or a sedative. Cats that misbehave can be trained to behave in an acceptable manner by using catnip as a reward, instead of a traditional food treat. Like all types of pets treats, relating positive behavior with a pleasing outcome is a direct psychological way to discourage bad behavior. As a distraction or sedative, catnip can be used to relax restless cats or to alleviate the terror of a car trip, or to make the introduction of a new cat very friendly.

Catnip toys are an appropriate way to introduce your feline to the new experience by means of a concept they are already familiar with: playtime! But be careful, excessive exposure to catnip can reduce the cat's sensitivity to the chemical, so use it cautiously.

Do cats eat catnip?

It's not a secret that cats love catnip, but the question is can cats eat catnip? There are the guiding principle, instructions and what to do and what to remember when feeding catnip to cats? So, can a cat eat catnip safely? When ingested, catnip acts as a pleasing sedative for the cat. So, if you have little catnip around and notice your cat's slipping into a completely blissed-out state of mind, she perhaps just takes some down. Catnip is part of the mint family. But in spite of being a natural herb, it is among the safe plants for a cat to eat, there is not any protein or vitamin for a cat that consumes these plants.

Catnip Spray: This is one of the strongest catnip products in the market. It is 100 percent organic and is made from essential oil removed from the popular catnip buds and then mixed with cleaned water. The spray is very clean, that it will not damage the ozone layer. It can be used to renew an old toy or as a training device for your cat. Please be watchful not to mistake the spray for a mouthwash spray. It is not for human consumption.

What catnip does to dogs?

Although catnips are stimulant for felines, it has an adverse effect on dogs and, sometimes, it can be used as a nerve tonic or a sedative for dogs. If your puppy is nervous when going to your veterinarian or when traveling in a car, you can try putting some fresh catnip leaves in the dog drinking water. You can as well sprinkle a little catnip about a half teaspoon on each pound of his food. Dogs suffer from stomach or intestines disorders just like human do, and catnip is a good treatment for both species. Little amounts of fresh catnip, catnip tea, or catnip oil can also cool a sick dog's stomach and prevent him or her from vomiting.

Nepetalactone: Nepetalactone is an organic compound, first secluded from the catnip plant (Nepetacataria) that acts as a feline attractant. It is a bicyclicmonoterpenoid, a ten-carbon compound derived from isoprene with two bonded rings: a lactone and a cyclopentane. The molecule in catnip that makes cats high, it influence make cats roll around on the ground, leap about, pawing the air, and then get sleepy. Cat’s eyes and their expressions also have a kind of dreamy and blissful appearance, which has been compared to those of druggies on a trip. More precisely, they show patterns of behavior common to females in heat, regardless of whether the cat is male or female.

Catnip and cats: many cat owners are investing in catnip toys nowadays to entertain their beloved pets. The plant, Catnip gets it's named from the suffix of its scientific terms, Nepetacataria, which means a cat in Latin. Because of the impact of this herb that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae on cats. Toys that contain dry and grounded catnip and other recreational equipment, such as catnip bags and catnip sprays, are in high demand.

Can kittens have catnip?

Although catnip is absolutely harmless and safe around kittens, both for sniffing and eating, it is not necessarily effective, the herb's effect is hereditary; therefore not all cats react to it, according to the Humane Society of the United States. If a kitten will be a catnip lover, you can easily find out when the animal is between three and six months old. A young kitty’s reaction to catnip all over the ground by him will perhaps be an irrelevance, and that is quite normal. Although many cats go crazy with catnip, young kittens are usually not affected by the stuff.

Can Cats overdose on catnip?

Catnip is harmless to cats in moderation; however, technically an "overdose" is possible, if by overdose we mean they can get sick. This is because excessive intake of fresh catnip can cause your cat to vomit or have diarrhea. Cats usually sense when they have enough." It is very unlikely that they have an overdose of catnip and get sick. And even if they do get sick, it would clear off itself in time.

What is catnip made of?

Catnip is an herb of the mint family; its botanical name is Nepetacataria. It contains a compound called monoterpene nepetalactone that has a strong influence on some felines. This compound is found throughout the plant but is particularly strong in the leaves. It reduces feline’s shyness and can cause cats to have minor hallucinations. Many folks compare cats' reactions to catnip to that of humans on marijuana or LSD and catnips has some similar chemical properties.

Is catnip safe for cats?

In summary, the answer is yes. Although there has been some controversy in the past about the safety and ethical issues of catnip use, veterinarians these days unanimously agree that the herbs are completely harmless. Catnip is entirely non-toxic to cats. Other fears among cat owners include addiction, but studies have shown that the substance is not chemically addictive.

This being said, as a cat owner, you should always monitor your cat reaction to any new experience. For instance, catnips can make a male cat hostile because of its association with mating behavior. It is doubtful, but if this happens, you should stop using catnip. The best way is to try a small quantity of catnip with your cat to see how it reacts, before using it for the long term. Unfortunately, our pets cannot talk to us and tell us how they feel, so it is our responsibility as good pet owners to look for signs of discomfort and unhappiness.

What catnip is used for?

Catnip tea is usually used to treat anxiety and nervousness, along with other symptoms, this condition can cause sicknesses such as insomnia and indigestion. It can be used to treat conditions or symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders, such as indigestion, gas, and cramping. It can also act as a diuretic, increasing urination and therefore reducing water retention. This can also help in the treatment of a number of several different conditions. Catnip tea has been used in the past to treat problems such as arthritis, cough, fever, hives, and viruses.

Where to buy Catnip?

You can purchase dried catnip at pet stores, as well as cat toys that already contain catnip inside. Catnip may also be available as an aerosol. Catnip is easy to grow and can be easily purchased in most nurseries in the weed section. Since the quality of catnip can vary, it is better to purchase organic catnip of good quality free of pesticides and fillers.

Cat owners want their pets to be happy. They want to give them treat from time to time. Catnip will be a good choice for them. You can go out and buy a toy full of catnip for your cats. Sometimes you bring home a toy and it seems to do nothing for your cat. But with a catnip toy, you know your cats will certainly love it.

When you want to buy a filled with this substance or a jar of it to fill your cat toy, you should be careful with what you buy. You must read the labels on the jars and on the toy. Many companies will include fillings in a jar or toy. Read the label of the products you purchase and ensure it is 100% catnip. You can smell the packaging. If you cannot get the smell of catnip, your cat will not be able to do so. And ensure the leaves are dark green and smell like mint. Of course, if it is in a toy, you will have to depend on your nose and not your eyes.

So in conclusion, you can save yourself some time in the store by buying your catnip plant in bulk. You can store it for up to about a year. You can freeze it, however, do not refrigerate it. Put in an empty glass pickle jar with the cover on it or a plastic lunch bag that seals.

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