Who doesn’t love catnip? Cats go crazy for it. It’s as if they’re high when they smell the stuff. Even the most sedate feline will flip out and run like a madman once you give them a whiff of catnip. But why does catnip drive cats so wild? Are there any health benefits to giving your kitty catnip from time to time? Read on to find out everything you need to know about catnip.
What is Catnip?
Catnip is an herb that belongs to the mint family. The herb is native to Asia but grows in many different parts of the world, including North America. Catnip has health and wellness benefits for humans as well, such as relieving fatigue, headaches, nausea, cold and flu symptoms, menstrual cramps, and more. Catnip is also beneficial for dogs and other pets. Catnip’s active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is what drives cats crazy. Scientists aren’t sure why cats love catnip so much, but they do know that the chemical nepetalactone triggers a reaction in cats that’s similar to how the chemical dopamine makes humans feel “high.”
Why Do Cats Like Catnip?
Cats are highly territorial by nature. They are also very curious by nature. Their territorial and curious instincts kick into high gear when cats smell catnip. It’s like a drug that drives cats crazy. They want to mark their territory and play with their catnip toys at the same time. It’s almost as if they can’t decide what they want to do first. For most cats, the high caused by catnip lasts anywhere from three to fifteen minutes. It all depends on the individual kitty. Some cats are sensitive to the effects of catnip and feel the effects after a few seconds. Others need more of a dose to get high. One way to tell if your cat is feeling the effects of catnip is by their behavior. If your cat is rolling around, scratching and rubbing against the floor, and purring, they are most likely feeling the effects of catnip.
Health Benefits of Catnip for Cats
- Relieves Anxiety - Studies show that catnip helps treat anxiety in cats. If your cat suffers from anxiety, try giving them catnip to see if it helps calm them down.
- Helps with Digestion - Research shows that catnip has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit a kitty’s digestion.
- Helps with Headaches - Studies have shown that catnip can help reduce headaches in cats. This makes it a good herb to give your cat if they suffer from migraines.
- Eases Nervous Tension - Catnip is also great at relaxing a cat. So if your cat is anxious or uptight, try giving them catnip.
Catnip Fleece Yarn-Ball
We source our catnip from local Illinois growers to fill our crocheted balls from our handmade fleece yarn. Your cat will go bonkers for these snitch-like balls. Couple our fleece yarn ball with our Happy Cat Spray; these toys will last a lifetime.
The Bottom Line
Catnip is a herb that drives cats crazy and has many health benefits for cats and humans. Cats love catnip because of its chemical nepetalactone, which mimics how the chemical dopamine makes humans feel “high.” If your cat loves catnip, our catnip fleece yarn balls are the perfect toy for them. They are filled with high-quality locally grown catnip from Illinois.