What's the deal with catnip? Why is it in so many cat toys and treats? At The Blessed Pet Shop we even have catnip bubbles! (click to purchase).
It's pretty simple, really. Catnip is an herb. It is part of the mint family and it has an ingredient (neptalic acid) that attracts cats. Interestingly, about 75% of cats have the genes that react to catnip since it is an autosomal dominant trait. About 25% of cats don't react to catnip.
The bottom line is that it makes cats feel happy. It is neither harmful or addictive to cats. They can sniff, lick, chew or ingest catnip to get it's effects. Your cat's reaction to catnip will depend on whether they ingest it or sniff it. Sniffing usually produces a stimulant effect, while ingesting catnip has a sedative effect.
In kitties sensitive to the chemical, the reaction to catnip can be really amazing to watch. They paw at it, rub against it, roll around on it, kick and slap at it. Some even dash about, meow, growl, purr, drool, and just generally go bonkers for a few minutes. And then suddenly they lose interest and wander off. A few hours later they can return to the catnip and go nuts all over again.
It is cheap and accessible, so by all means...let your cat have the happy herb, catnip! To start, look at all these options - click here!