Catnip lovin’ kitty

Orange kitty on catnip

Orange kitty on catnip

This beautiful ginger cat sure does like catnip! Did you know that there are over 250 types of catnip worldwide? And different cats are all impacted in different ways. Here are a few facts about catnip which might be interesting to you:

  • Studies show that at a minimum 1 in 2 cats are affected by catnip, and kittens less than 8 weeks old remain unaffected.
  • Catnip plants originated in Europe and Asia, and as I said above there are 250+ varieties of the plant. Some of the most common varieties of catnip plant include : common catnip, camphor catnip, greek catnip, lemon catnip and catmint.
  • Growing catnip is super simple, and you can purchase the plants simply from your local nursery. A lot of stores now also sell seeds and starter kits for catnip plants. Try out : Catnip Seeds 400 Seeds or Cat-A’bout Single-Cat CatNip Plus Tub 60 grams by MiracleCorp/Gimborn
  • The active ingredient in catnip is called Nepetalactone, which can be found in both the leaves and stems of the catnip plant.
  • Nepetalactone causes a hallucinogenic effect for your cat. He’s super high!
  • How does this high happen? Either exposure of the animal to the plant (for example the cat rubbing the plant as pictured above, licking or chewing the plant), OR human input. Human input would include giving your cat either dried catnip as a treat or a catnip toy.
  • How long does this high last? It lasts about 10-15 minutes for your cat. Although all cats have different reactions so some might be longer and some shorter.
  • When will the cat want more again? It’s been shown that about 2 hours later is when a cat might come looking for more catnip.
  • All cats have vastly different reactions to catnip. This can mean anything from a passive sedate reaction to an aggressive biting and scratching mean kitty!
  • It’s estimated that cats can smell catnip to a ratio of 1 : 1 billionth in the air.
  • There is some disagreement about the susceptibility of lions and tigers (big cats) to catnip.

This website has a few other great articles about catnip which might interest you, including:

Main image via : Katieb50, 2008.

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