Organic Catnip can be used as an enrichment tool, to encourage your cat to play with toys or use a scratching post, or given as a supplement to help with anxiety and relaxation. Catnip does not typically have an effect on kittens under 6 months of age.
Why do cats love catnip?
The leaves and stalk of the catnip plant contain the chemical nepetalactone. This is what triggers a stimulant effect, which is thought to mimic the pheromones associated with mating. Organic catnip enhances your cat’s mood, but the effect depends on each cat, as they all react differently. Some cats may become playful and affectionate, wanting to bounce around the house. Others will become super sleepy and calm.
It’s also thought that a cat’s reaction to catnip can depend on whether they eat it or just sniff it. Eating catnip seems to result in a calming effect while sniffing it results in excitement and stimulation.
The effect of catnip usually lasts for between 5 and 30 minutes. After the effects have worn off, your cat won’t react to catnip for about half an hour.
Benefits and uses of Organic Catnip
- It can be a fun enrichment activity: depending on how your cat reacts to catnip, using it can be a good way to get your indoor cat some additional exercise with active play sessions. By keeping your cat active, you can also help to curb some destructive habits your cat may have from boredom, such as scratching furniture. You can even sprinkle catnip in different locations around the house like a fun scavenger hunt, as cats have an excellent sense of smell! This is a great tool for cats who might have some separation anxiety.
- It can be relaxing: catnip can have a sedative-like effect on some cats, especially if it’s eaten rather than sniffed and rolled in. Try adding catnip to your cat’s meal before you know they might experience something stressful like a car ride, or before you leave the house if they experience anxiety. You can also mix some catnip with your cat’s favourite moist treat, such as chicken breast or fish.
- You can use it as a training tool: to encourage your cat to use a new piece of furniture for them like a tree or post, sprinkle catnip on the platforms or on scratching surfaces.
- Make a tea: for something new and exciting, brew your cat a cup of catnip tea! Steep 1 1/2 tsp of catnip in 1 cup of water, and let cool until it’s lukewarm or room temperature, or you can even try offering it iced for a refreshing summer drink. You can store your catnip tea in the fridge for up to 5 days if you have any extra left over.