If you own a cat, you’ve probably heard of catnip. You may have even tried it out on your feline friend in the past! How much do you know about your pet’s favorite plant? Here, your veterinarian Crown Point, IN answers your most common questions.

What is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is an herb; it’s actually classified in the same “family” of plants as mint. In a pet supply store, you can purchase raw catnip, which looks much like the dried oregano or basil flakes in your spice cabinet; or toys, sprays, or other products that have catnip infused into them.

Why Do Cats React to Catnip?

The oil of the catnip plant contains a chemical, nepetalactone, that causes a reaction in your cat’s brain. Experts say that this chemical acts almost as a kind of feline aphrodisiac! Cats may react by rubbing themselves in the area where catnip was sprinkled; running excitedly to and fro; or simply stretching out on their backs in ecstasy.

What If My Cat Doesn’t React?

Cats require a particular gene to feel catnip’s effects. If they don’t have it, catnip won’t cause any reaction at all!

To learn more, call your vet Crown Point, IN.

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