What Every Cat Owner Needs to Know About Catnip
Cats are curious animals, and they can be easily distracted by the smallest things. Catnip is one of those things that can grab their attention and keep them playing for hours.
If you've ever wondered what catnip is and how to use it to help your cat get the most out of their playtime, you've come to the right place.
What Is Catnip?
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a herb that grows in the wild and has been used for centuries to treat various human ailments, including colds, fever, and menstrual cramps. It's also been used as an insect repellent to repel moths from clothing and keep fleas away from cats.
It is also an herb that cats love to roll around in, rub against, chew on, and eat. Catnip is usually found in dried form, but you can also find it fresh or grow in your garden!
The active ingredient in catnip is nepetalactone, which gives cats a temporary euphoric sensation similar to being drunk. A cat's reaction to catnip looks like how people react to narcotic drugs at first glance.
Although scientists aren't sure how it works on cats, they believe it may affect their brains as THC does in humans.
How Does Catnip Work?
Catnip has been shown to have positive effects on cats when ingested or inhaled. When cats smell catnip, they may experience behavior and activity level changes.
They may become more playful, vocalize more frequently and engage in behaviors such as rolling around on their backs or rubbing against objects such as furniture or people.
Cats may also be more likely to groom themselves after smelling catnip because the scent stimulates their olfactory glands and releases endorphins in the brain that produce a pleasurable feeling similar to human euphoria when we exercise or eat chocolate.
Is Catnip Safe For Your Cats?
Although there are not many studies on catnip toxicity in cats, it appears that most cats can safely ingest small amounts of fresh leaves without any harmful side effects.
But if they eat too many fresh or dried catnip leaves, they can get a stomachache and throw up or have diarrhea.
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While it's true that your veterinarian doesn't need to be your best friend, they do need to care about your pet's well-being genuinely.
Rye Hill Veterinary Center is a veterinary clinic that understands this idea and strives to cultivate long-term relationships with clients and patients alike. Though there are many different places where you can take your pets for treatment, not all of them offer care and compassion like Rye Hill Veterinary Center does.
Furthermore, their friendly staffers go above and beyond to make every patient feel comfortable, safe, and secure—which is why so many clients trust them wholeheartedly for their pets' safety.