The Mystery of Cats with the Uses of Catnip

Written by Corrine Bray

Owner & Founder of Corks Critter Care

August 11, 2020

Catnip Use Effects Cats Differently

We find it amazing to watch a cat go crazy with catnip in a toy or rolling in a bunch of dried leaves.  Catteries, kennels, pet stores, and avid cat owners all seem to be stocked up with toys filled with catnip. We humans seem to be entertained watching the peculiar behaviors it has on some cats.




What is Catnip?

Catnip is a natural herb that belongs to the mint family. There’s an essential oil in catnip called Nepetalactone which is the active ingredient that makes cats go crazy giving a “high” hallucinogenic effect. Only around 50% of cats are affected by nepetalactone and these cats carry a dominant “catnip gene”. This gene only becomes active in cats between 3-6 months of age and geriatric cats usually no longer get affected by catnip.





Catnip causes some Mysterical Behavours of Cats



There are different ways these cats can respond to catnip.   Over the years we have become creative and try different ways to entertain our pets.  We use this natural herb for the cats that are affected by it and here are six classic examples of how and why we use catnip for cats.



Six Classic Uses of Catnip for Cats



1.  Sprinkle dried leaves or liquid form spray catnip Liquid Catnip-min.pngto help entice and train cats to scratch on allowed areas like a rug or scratching post. catnip on scratching post-min.pngThe liquid spray is a tidier way to use catnip but cats seem to enjoy the natural herb in leaf form more so.




2.  A stressed or timid cat will let its inhibitions down with catnip.  Allowing you cat endulge with some catnip is so much better than having to use pharmaceutical drugs from your vet for anxiety.





3.  Some cats with catnip are relaxed enough to be transported in a car or plane.  This usually occurs if the cat ingests it.





4.  Introducing another cat or animal into the home will help ease the unfamiliarity and may help to bring unity into the home.  Cats can be happier with the use of catnip when dealing with an unfamiliar environment or new relationship stress.






5.  The more obvious way is to play with your cat with a toy that’s either been soaked in, filled with, or in contact with the playful catnip herb.  You can use a baggie full of dried catnip and place mice or ball toys inside to coat them with catnip before offering the toy to your kitty.






6. Entice cats to drink water by placing some dried catnip under their water bowl.  This is a great way to keep you cats interested in their water bowl and keep them hydrated.  Keep the area clean and dry so the leaves stay fresh and ready for your kitty.  You can get some great tips for choosing and using food and water bowls dishes that is the best for your cats.


There are several other ways to entice cats to drink and you can learn how with our blog called,  14 Ways to Encourage-a Cat to Drink Water



You May Also Like…