Catnip FAQs

Does your cat like catnip? It’s our feline friends’ favorite product, but how much do you know about this fascinating plant? Learn more here as your Rochester, NY vet answers your most frequently asked questions.

What is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is technically an herb, grouped in the same plant family as mint. It’s originally from Europe, but now grows all over North America and is very common across America. At pet stores, you’ll buy a processed and dried version of the wild plant, or toys and various other products with catnip in them.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

Cats may run around in an excited manner, stretch out in ecstasy, or rub their faces and bellies in the area where catnip has been sprinkled. The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone, which causes a chemical reaction in cats’ brains. It’s believed that catnip is a sort of aphrodisiac for cats, eliciting a nearly sexual response!

Why Isn’t Catnip Working On My Cat?

Cats require a particular gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects. Catnip won’t do much of anything if your cat doesn’t have this gene!

For more information, call your vet Rochester, NY.

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