Catnip comes from the mint family, where the effects upon use reflect the same as that of a euphoriant drug. Learn about how this herb is used to keep cats ‘high’, and how humans use it for other reasons as well…
Catnip is an aromatic herb and is found in the desert regions of North America, and also in the root portions of plants found in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. It comes from the mint family, known as labiatae, and interestingly, is a far relation of the Marijuana plant. It contains an element in it, which is an active ingredient of the herb, known as nepetalactone, which is known to have an impact on those who eat it / sniff it. It can be used to change the behavior of a cat, by first crushing the dried buds or leaves and sprinkling them on the cat’s bed, or its scratch posts, or even the floor. We’ll go further into how you can use catnip for your kitty, to alter its behavioral patterns.
Information on Catnip
There are different kinds of catnips that are found in nature, with differences in flowering, but all commonly containing nepetalactone.
Other Names for Catnip
- Field balm
- Cat’s wort
- Chi hsueh tsao
- Herba cataria
- Herba catti
- Cat’s heal all
- Cat’s play
Types of Catnip
- Greek catnip – Nepeta parnassica
- Common catnip – Nepeta cataria
- Catmint – Nepeta mussinii
- Camphor catnip – Nepeta camphorata
- Lemon catnip – Nepeta cataria citriodora
Ingredients of Catnip
- Alpha and beta nepetalactone
- Acetic acid
- Butyric acid
- Valeric acid
Catnip Effects on Cats
Catnip can have quite a responsive effect from cats, when given. There’s a way that this herb needs to be introduced to them. Not all cats will react to the effects of catnip, so when it comes to this herb and cats, one should know that older cats and kittens will not really have a reaction to it. It would be good to use it when training you cat, during a period when it’s a little too vicious for you to handle. Catnip seeds are also available, and can be sought after, if the plants aren’t attainable.
How to Feed a Cat Catnip
- You need to first crush the buds, and remove any stalks that may be present in the catnip herb.
- Remove the flowers.
- Finely ground it after you’ve extracted the stalks and flowering.
- Don’t use this in cat food, or it will hamper / spoil their diet.
- Sprinkle this on their play things, sleeping area or around the floor.
Reaction to Catnip
- Some cats will showcase aggressive behavioral patterns, where you should avoid using the catnip plant.
- It induces a psycho sexual reaction, since this has a sort of aphrodisiac effect.
- Feel good hormones are released (pheromones) making cats get into a state of rolling and trotting around happily.
- They get into a sleepy, comfortable pose. It’ll look absurd, and keeps them rooted to one spot for a while.
- On finding the catnip, it will roll around in it, meowing constantly.
- Gazing at the ceiling without moving, lying on its back with its paws outstretched.
- Overjoyed and jumpy.
Catnip Effects on People’s Health
Catnip and its effects are not only enjoyed by cats, but can be used by humans as well for varied purposes. These are the effects that catnip has on humans, where this herb can also be used for everyday purposes.
- Has natural healing properties, and can be used for bruises and cuts.
- Can ease the onset of headaches.
- Can help relieve the symptoms of smallpox.
- Eases an upset stomach.
- People can drink this with tea.
- Can alleviate muscle pain.
- Can be used to ease the signs of scarlet fever.
- Can help those suffering from insomnia
- Diminishes the effects of chills.
- Contains antibiotic, anesthetic, antispasmodic and anti rheumatic properties.
- Can treat toothaches.
- Eases coughing.
- Helps those suffering from recurrent joint pain.
- Acts as a diuretic, astringent and carminative (for gas problems) too.
If catnip should prove unhelpful for your cat, you can always try using honeysuckle or valerian instead.