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Everything You Need To Know About Catnip For Cats (& Dogs)!

Find out what beneficial properties catnip can bring to both your dog & cats!

Cat seating next to catnip

Nepeta Cataria known to many as catnip is a member of the mint family and is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In North America, it is widely considered a weed as it grows and spreads very easily.

There are over 200 species of the genus and in some areas of the world, the dried leaves are brewed into teas for human consumption, and just like cats, it is said to bring relaxation and a feeling of calmness.

Article Summary

  • What Is Catnip And Why Do Cats Love It So Much?

  • What Are The Uses And Benefits Of Catnip For My Cats?

  • What Are Some Precautions When Giving Catnip To Cats?

  • What Are The Different Forms Of Catnip?

  • Is Catnip Safe For Dogs and What Happens If They Eat it?

  • What are the Benefits of Catnip for Dogs?

  • Should I give Catnip to my Dog?

  • How to Introduce Catnip to my Dog?

  • How Much Catnip Should I Give my Dog?

  • FAQ

What Is Catnip And Why Do Cats Love It So Much?

Animal lovers and experts all understand the effect catnip has on felines. Big or small, domesticated or wild are all susceptible to certain volatile oils.

In this case, nepetalactone is what drives these animals crazy.

Cats exposed to nepetalactone can be observed to rub their body and head against the catnip itself.

Some cats might even show signs of increased salivation while others might become more vocal.

Around 50-75% of cats are affected by catnip, while 20-30% are not.

This is because the reaction to nepetalactone is an inherited trait.

So don’t worry if catnip doesn’t work on your cat, there are other ways to help them feel more relaxed such as crystal healing for cats or even reiki sessions for cats!

Shop crystal infused catnip toy for cat

What Are The Uses And Benefits Of Catnip For My Cats?

Catnip acts as a stimulant for cats. It can reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress while also increasing energy, euphoria, and excitement.

This herb can also be used for feline training. Many cat parents understand the pain that comes when witnessing their cat scratch and destroy their beautiful couch and curtains.

Scratching is a normal behavior in cats as it helps sharpen their claws for climbing, increases their flexibility, and also marks their territory.

In situations like this, many experts suggest that using catnip on a DIY scratching post or even a newly bought scratching post can help them understand where their designated scratching station is.

It is also great for improving your cat’s appetite.

If you have a picky eater for a cat, sprinkling some catnip into their food will encourage them to eat and finish their food.

Catnip is completely harmless for cats to eat but keep in mind that too much catnip may upset their stomach, so make sure you only give them a little.

cat eating catnip

What Are Some Precautions When Giving Catnip To Cats?

As mentioned above, too much of anything can be bad, so make sure not to over-expose your cats to catnip as it can cause nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea.

Another thing to keep in mind is that cats under the influence of catnip are especially known to be ‘flirtatious’.

You’ll notice your cat rolling around, and showing their tummies. If your cat happens to be a female, it could potentially be interpreted by your male cats as a time to procreate.

If you’re not ready to have a full set of kittens make sure to keep them separate.

What Are The Different Forms Of Catnip?

There are different forms of catnip that help with different situations.

Is Catnip Safe For Dogs and What Happens If They Eat It?

Yes, catnip is safe for dogs to eat and be around.

The vitamins and minerals present in catnip can be beneficial to your dog's overall health. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps with the body's natural defenses, while Vitamin E can aid in skin and coat health. Magnesium plays a role in many cellular processes and is crucial for nerve and muscle function.

The one difference is that instead of acting as a stimulant like cats, it acts as a sedative to dogs.

Shop rose quartz infused catnip

What are the benefits of catnip for dogs?

Catnip is actually very effective at calming the nerves of your dog. It can help in many situations such as a change of residence, traveling, counteracting thunderstorms or fireworks, or even just a short trip to the vet or groomer.

Catnip can also help with your dog’s appetite. Dogs that suffer from diseases or illnesses can have reduced appetite which can lead to anorexia or nausea.

It also contains minerals, vitamins, and also essential oils that encourage a healthier digestive system in your dogs.

Should I give catnip to my dog?

Catnip can help your dog feel relaxed and tired. This can be used to improve the sleeping schedule of your dogs. This herb has many benefits not only for cats but also for dogs.

How to introduce catnip to my dog?

Sprinkling some of the catnip into your dog’s food is a great way to start. First, see how they react to their food and how they act after consuming the catnip. If you find that they are relaxed and enjoying themselves then you can continue giving them catnip from time to time. Be sure not to give them some every day!

What are the benefits of catnip for dogs?

If you are thinking of giving catnip to your dog, you can sprinkle ⅛ to ½ a teaspoon in your dog’s food or water bowl. This should not be done every day and it is always better to consult with your veterinarian.

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FAQ: Diving Deeper into Catnip's Impact on Your Furry Friends

How does catnip affect different animals differently?

While catnip acts as a stimulant for cats, inducing a state of euphoria, it has a sedative effect on dogs. This difference is primarily due to the compound nepetalactone present in catnip. However, not all cats are affected by catnip, as susceptibility is an inherited trait.

Can humans consume catnip?

Are there side effects to giving my cat too much catnip?

How often should I introduce catnip to my pet?

What are some alternatives to catnip for pets?

Can I use catnip to train my pets?

Is there a possibility of my pets getting "addicted" to catnip?

What's the best way to store catnip?

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