You have probably heard of catnip before. It’s your feline friend’s favorite plant! But have you ever wondered about the ins and outs of catnip? Learn more here from a Columbia, MD veterinarian.
What Kind of Plant is Catnips?
Catnips is actually an herb, very similar to the basil or mint you might find growing in an herb garden. The catnip you’ll purchase at the pet store, though, is a dried and processed version of this wild plant that looks almost like dried oregano. You can sprinkle this “raw” catnip on your cat’s toys or scratching post, or you might buy toys or sprays with catnip infused into them.
What Causes My Cat’s Reaction?
A chemical in the catnip herb called nepetalactone is the root cause of the reaction you’ll see in your cat. The chemical triggers the same area of the brain responsible for sexual activity, so some experts liken catnip to a kind of feline aphrodisiac!
Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?
Is your cat not responding to catnips? Since a specific gene is required to feel catnip’s effects, your cat must not possess it! Don’t worry, your cat is fine.