22 May Catnip Effects On Cats
Everyone knows that catnip is very attractive to felines. But many people don’t understand why this is so. In this article, we will learn more about the different kinds of catnip and how it affects kittens and cats. Catnip is an herb that is a perennial. Common Catnip that is best loved by felines can grow as tall as three feet and has white blooms.
There are other types including Camphor Catnip, Greek Catnip, Lemon Catnip and Catmint. The most common type of catnip has a slight mint odour and is easy to grow.
Catnip comes in a variety of forms which includes catnip sprays, raw catnip and catnip infused toys.
The component of the plant that is so alluring to cats is called nepetalactone.
Nepetalactone is located in the leaves and stems. It can be released by crushing the leaves.
When a cat comes across a catnip, they may smell it, roll around in it, and even eat it. Experts believe that the scent of the herb triggers the high for cats. It is thought that cats chew or eat the herb to release more scent. When cats sniff the herb, it gets them excited, but when they consume it, the herb has sedative properties.
The effects of catnip on cats last between five and ten minutes on average. Some cats are more susceptible to the effects than others.
Some will go absolutely nuts while others won’t be affected at all. Young kittens are usually not affected by catnip at all. Catnip affects different felines in different ways. Some become aggressive and excitable. Others behave as if they’re in heat. Some get very hyper and playful.
Others like to lay down and roll around on the floor. Many people compare the effects of catnip in cats with the effects of marijuana or LSD in humans.
You’ll find that your cat may or may not experience catnip effects. Whether or not they do seems to be an inherited trait.
If you’re ready to expose your feline to catnip, you can grow your own or purchase dried catnip from the pet store.
There are even toys that have catnip inside of them. If you’re a gardener who does want to go the cultivation route, you can even buy cat garden kits that contain catnip and catmint.
Your kitty can nibble on the plants whenever they choose. You will find this herb is one of the easiest to grow and does well both indoors and out.
Ultimately, It is not clear how catnip affects cats but its always a revelation to see a cat react to catnip, a plant that smells strongly of mint. The cat goes into throes of ecstasy & excitement, behaving as if it were on drugs. It begins to salivate and sniff and chew in a possessed manner.
Many cats begin to grind their bodies against the floor or the wall. Some even become giddy and loose balance as they try to walk around the room. Cats also show a assured degree of forceful behavior as they kick out with their front paws and flex their claws
Although it is not officially known as to why cats behave in the way they do after taking catnip, but some of their reactions are quite predictable. They loose their aggressive attitude, their inhibitions seem to melt away and they seem to embark on a fun trip very much like human beings under the influence of marijuana.
It is also possible that catnip has a sexual effect on cats because they are seen rolling and rubbing against hard objects (this works for male as well as female cats). Incidentally, kicking out is a symbol of predators, not of cats.
Science too has not been able to explain satisfactorily the effect of catnip on cats. However, it has been able to identify the substance in the catnip that affects cats. It is a volatile chemical called “nepetalactone”. This chemical does not affect all cats, but only those cats that actually chew on the plant.
Nepetalactone has an opium-like molecule and an opium-like action in that, it stimulates certain pheromones in cats, which in turn sensitize certain receptors, quite similar to the effect morphine has on humans. It has a certain excitatory effect on the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls appetitive, predatory and sexual behavior in cats.
Catnip is not necessarily harmful for cats. In fact, it has some useful, medicinal properties that are rapidly being developed. However, for cat owners catnip remains a mysterious plant with its small, plane flowers. They can only gasp in amazement when they see their cats react to this plant. Some even give catnip to their cats for fun.
However, this is an activity that should be avoided. There is always the possibility that the cat may get hooked on the plant, and behave in an abnormal manner.