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And Meow, A Word About Catnip

March 1, 2022

Does your feline friend like catnip? If so, you’ve pretty much got live entertainment on hand 24/7. Fluffy is super cute when she’s in the throes of a catnip frenzy. An Oconomowoc, WI vet offers some insight into Fluffy’s favorite plant in this article.


Basics

Catnip is officially called Nepeta cataria. It is also sometimes referred to as catswort or catmint. As the nickname catmint suggests, it’s a member of the mint family. It’s native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.


Overdosing

Have you ever come home and found that Fluffy got into a big bag of catnip? Don’t worry. You may have a bit of a mess to clean up, but your frisky pet isn’t in danger of overdosing. When your kitty has had her fill of the ‘nip, she’ll probably be ready for a nap. She’ll also be immune to its effects for a while, until her brain resets. That usually takes a few hours. However, it’s best not to give your pet catnip every day, as she may become resistant to it.


Other Uses

The most common—and popular—use of catnip is for kitty entertainment. However, it’s also been used in medicinal teas and tinctures. It’s often used in gardens, as it attracts not just cats, but also butterflies. Plus, it acts as a repellent, helping keep certain harmful insects, such as aphids, away.


Susceptibility

Housecats aren’t the only felines that enjoy catnip. Several larger cats, including leopards, cougars, and lynxes, do as well. Some lions and tigers are also affected. Not all kitties are enamored by catnip. In fact, about a third of them are more or less immune to it. Interestingly, cats that don’t like catnip seem to enjoy honeysuckle cat toys. Valerian and silver vine are also popular with furballs that don’t care for catnip.


Effects

The effects of catnip vary from kitty to kitty. It seems to act like a stimulant to some furballs, but a depressant to others, meaning that some of our feline pals get very excited and silly on it, while others get rather sleepy.


Options

You’re probably used to using dried catnip. However, you can also get Fluffy catnip bubbles, or even sprays. If you really want to spoil your furball, you can even grow your own!


Is your feline buddy due for an exam? Contact us, your local Oconomowoc, WI animal clinic, today!

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