Why do cats like catnip so much?

Why do cats like catnip so much?

If you have ever seen your cat playing with a catnip-filled toy, you have probably seen her having fun with this aromatic herb from the mint family.
Catnip, catmint, or field balm is a European and Asian herb that fascinates big cats and domestic cats.
But why do cats like catnip so much? Is this aromatic grass safe? And why some cats, do not like it?

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Catnip may appeal to cats when grown as a fresh plant, but most catnip toys contain ground pieces of dried grass.

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If you want to know why your cat likes catnip so much, here are some interesting facts.

What is Catnip and Why Do Cats like This Herb So Much?

Nepetalactone is a volatile oil that is present in the leaves and stems of catnip. When cats smell this oil, there is a chemical reaction stimulating special receptors to produce pheromones. Therefore, the feeling of euphoria or happiness. The effect is similar to that of a hallucinogenic drug in humans.

Why some Cats Doesn’t Like Catnip?

Catnip effects depend on the sensitivity of each cat. About one in two cats inherits this sensitivity. But you won’t know if your feline friend is sensitive to the grass until he is about 3 to 6 months old.

Catnip affects not only domestic cats but also big cats such as lions, tigers, or leopards.

Other uses for Catnip

Another interesting aspect of nepetalactone is that in addition to driving cats crazy, it is a mosquito, fly, cockroach, and termite repellent.

why do cats like catnip so much

How to use Catnip in Cats?

  • You can also use catnip as a tool in cat training or to keep them active indoors.
  • By rubbing a scratching post with the grass, you can prevent your kitty from scratching the furniture in the house.
  • Create cat toys to distract your feline friend. Fill an old sock with the dried herb or put a pinch of catnip in a paper bag and squish it into a ball.
  • Fortunately, catnip is not addictive and is safe to eat. You can grow it in your garden or on a sunny window in your house so your cat can enjoy it without spoiling your other garden plants.

  • To maintain catnip essential oils, store the herb you are not using in the freezer.

Image credit: Pixabay. Unsplash Pexels

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