What is Catnip? Is Catnip Safe for my Cat?

What is Catnip?

Is Catnip Safe for my Cat?

Adored by pet parents for their companionship, cats are considered to be one of the best pets, second only to dogs. Whether you love cats for their purring, soft fur, cute eyes, pompous attitude, or the togetherness they¬†offer by sitting on your lap for hours, they make perfect family pets. In return, we like to give them treats. Catnip is well-known. But have you ever asked yourself, “Is catnip safe for my cat?” If so, please keep reading.

What is Catnip?

Catnip contains Nepetalactone oil that acts as a sedative if eaten and a mild hallucinogenic if sniffed or smelled. It is also known as Cat cocaine, Kitty crack, catswort, and catmint as it puts cats into a hyperactive mode and is used as a recreational product for the entertainment of domesticated cats. Catnip has been used for centuries by humans as a cooking herb, as an additive to tea, and also as herbal cigarettes, but it does not have the same effect on us.

Is Catnip Safe for my Cat?

Catnip affects only about one-third of the cats and the reaction to the herb may vary from one cat to another. While most cats that are affected by it enjoy its high, some might become aggressive, that that is rare. It is important to know that catnip affects only those cats that are sexually active, which means a cat should be at least six months old to experience the effects of Catnip. It is completely safe, healthy, and does not have any after-effects. Catnip is not addictive.


We have 6 cats in our household, and most of them love catnip, especially Jessie, my 22-year-old cat. She will eat it, roll in it, eat some more, roll some more. Then she will chase phantom things through the house until she tires herself and then sleeps for a long time, as cats will do anyway.


Do you give catnip to your cats? How do they react?

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Jeanne Melanson
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