Learning About Catnip

You’ve probably heard of catnip, but what do you really know about Fluffy’s favorite plant? Catnip is a fascinating indulgence for our feline friends—learn more about it as your vet Lakeville, MN elaborates below.

What is Catnip, Exactly?

Catnip is an herb that grows naturally in the wild. (It’s classified in the same plant “family” as mint and other common herbs!) The wild plant is a tall green plant with white flowers, and the raw catnip at the pet store is a dried and processed version of the wild plant.

Why Do Cats React to Catnip?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone. It’s this substance that triggers a chemical reaction in your cat’s brain, resulting in feelings of euphoria or bliss for your cat. Don’t worry, though—your cat can’t “overdose” on catnip or become addicted. It’s perfectly safe!

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

You’ll be surprised to learn that many cats don’t react to catnip. That’s because cats require a specific gene, inherited from the parents, to experience the chemical reaction. If they don’t possess this gene, catnip won’t have any effect!

Does your cat need a checkup? Call your veterinarian Lakeville, MN.