All About the Catnip Plant

You’ve heard of catnip—it’s our feline friends’ favorite plant! How much do you really know about catnip? Below, your vet Marietta, GA goes over some common questions.

What is Catnip, Exactly?

Catnip is an herb, categorized in the same “family” of plants as mint. It grows in the wild, having originated in Europe, and is now found all over the world. The wild plant is a leafy green plant with purple-spotted white flowers.

In a pet store, you’ll find dried and processed catnip that looks much like oregano or other cooking herbs. Catnip can also be included in toys or processed into sprays and other products.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

A chemical called nepetalactone, found in the catnip plant’s oils, causes a chemical reaction in a cat’s brain. Cats may run around excitedly for a few minutes or simply relax in a state of euphoria; there are a wide variety of reactions! These effects will typically wear off after just a few minutes.

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

Cats require a gene, inherited from their parents, to respond to catnip. That’s why some don’t react to the herb at all!

For more information, contact your veterinarians Marietta, GA.


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