We do often wonder about the fact that the owners of cats recreationally dose their pets with some psychoactive drug and of course by this we are talking about the catnip. It has been the only recreational drug that we do feed to our animals which makes them freak out. If you wonder how does catnip works on cats, then keep on reading.
WHAT DOES CATNIP DO TO CATS OR HOW CATNIP AFFECTS CATS?
When the smell of the catnip reaches the cats, they exhibit several sorts of behaviors. They may rub their whole body including their head on the herb, may jump and roll around it, salivate and vocalize. This behavior of the cats last for about 10 minutes and after that, the cats become immune to the effects of catnip for about 30 minutes.
The responses that the cats show due to catnip are hereditary. There are only about 70 to 80 percent of the cats who show such type of behavior in the presence of the herb. Also, in addition, the catnip does not have an effect on kittens that are younger than six months.
IS CATNIP ADDICTIVE?
Many people do wonder if Nepeta cataria, which is known as the catnip, is addictive or dangerous for their cats. Well, luckily there is nothing to worry about it. Catnip is not addictive and has been proved harmless for most of the cats. But again one question arises in our minds that if catnip isn’t addictive then why do cats love catnip? Let’s find it out.
WHY DO CATS LOVE CATNIP?
Catnips contain a chemical known as nepetalactone, which attracts cats towards the catnip. Nepetalactone is similar to pheromone than a drug, which is why cats really can’t get addicted to it. Pheromone releases a chemical in the brain which isn’t habit forming but is more for enjoyment than anything else.
While we don’t know the exact reason why cats are attracted towards catnip, but studies have shown that they are programmed to respond to catnip. Catnip serves as a great way to help cats in many ways such as to make them relax, unwind and to have some fun.
HOW DOES CATNIP WORK?
Nepetalactone, which is a chemical released from catnip, is one of the catnip’s volatile oil which generally enters the cat’s nasal tissues. From there it is believed to get bind to protein receptors which stimulate the sensory neurons.
After that, these cells send its message to the responsive neurons in the olfactory bulb, which tends to project to several regions of the brain including the amygdala, responsible for controlling decision making and emotions and hypothalamus, known as the brain’s master gland, responsible for controlling the body. This is how catnip works on the cats when they have a smell of it.
IS CATNIP GOOD FOR CATS?
For most of the cats, catnip is fun and enjoyment. Catnip isn’t dangerous and is also not addictive. Most of the cats are programmed to enjoy this catnip. But do you wonder what if your cat is consuming way too much of catnip? Scroll down below to check what if your cat consumes catnip in excess.
IS CATNIP BAD FOR CATS?
Catnip is not bad for cats, but what if your cat is more likely to ingest catnip? If your cat is ingesting the catnip, then please do have a watch on how much she actually consumes it. Some cats do have a sensitive system which may result in their vomiting or diarrhea.
In case, your cat likes to eat catnip, then cut it into very small pieces which become easier to digest but also always keep an eye on her when she snacks on it.
Read more: DOWN SYNDROME IN CATS