What Is Catnip & How does it work for cats?

What Is Catnip & How does it work for cats?

What is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb that has some properties that stimulates cats. The stimulant that they carry in their leaves and stems is a type of chemical called nepetalactone. Catnip uses happen when cats sniff it, it stimulates certain brain chemicals related to mood and happiness. However, when ingested it makes them relaxed and mellow instead. Catnip can be found in many forms, dried leaves, sprays, catnip treats, toys or even the plant itself that gives fresh catnip for cats.

How to Use Catnip?

Many cat parents are familiar with catnip but still unsure of what is the catnip use for cats and wonder is catnip good for cats. Catnip is found in many forms thus can be used in different ways. Spraying or sprinkling on their favorite toys, feeding them catnip treats or exposing them to fresh catnip for cats. But they may become non-reactive to catnip after awhile, so it is encouraged to put the catnip for cats away afterwards.

Catnip for cats are used when you are trying to stimulate them, either becoming excited by sniffing or calm by ingesting. Depending on your goal, the catnip use for cats may be different. 
If you are trying to take your cat to the vet, shower, or car rides, you may give them catnip treats which contains small amounts of catnip like the Temptations™ MixUps with catnip flavor to keep them calm. We carry catnip treats for cats which are safe for them to eat and in low calories.

Is catnip a drug? Does it make cats high?

No, catnip is not a drug and you may wonder why is catnip good for cats. The effect of catnip comes from all natural oils in the plant that stimulates them which has the same effect as essential oils to humans. The effect of catnip for cats are stronger because cats have more sensitive senses than we do. 

The effect of catnip differs with the catnip uses such as sniffing scents of catnip or ingesting catnip treats. Cat parents may be worried and wonder is catnip safe and the side effects of catnip on cats.

There is no evidence that catnip is harmful to your cats. However, it is possible to give your cat too many catnips and the side effects of catnip on cats are different depending on how they took it.

Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

Not all cats are reactive towards catnip, only about 70% of them do. Cats who react and like them because they make them feel good. Don’t worry of the side effects of catnip on cats as they will not be addicted to it. They will not experience a withdrawal and they can’t overdose on it. Frequent exposure of catnip for cats will only make them grow tolerance towards it.

You may wonder is catnip good for cats? Catnip helps to stimulate cats both mentally and physically. Ingesting fresh catnip for cats or catnip treats for cats may even be helpful for their digestive system. For training catnip uses, you may put catnip on their scratch poles to attract them and discourage scratching at other places that may cause destructions. 

How Much Catnip Is Too Much For Cats?

Many cat parents may wonder is catnip safe to use and is catnip good for cats. Catnip is generally non-addictive and safe to consume in small amounts. Side effects of catnip on cats only happen from overindulgence, where they can get sick if they take in too much. Temptations™ MixUps with catnip treats for cats are overall safe to be consumed by your cats. 

Overall, there is no rule of how much is too much catnip for cats, however, try to limit your cat’s exposure to catnip as overexposure may make them desensitized to catnip, taking away the catnip uses of the toys and treats.

How To Introduce Catnip To My Cat?

Now that you are less worried about is catnip safe and is catnip good for cats, you may want to start introducing your cat to this wonderful treat. There are many catnip use for cats. If you want to make them calm for a vet visit or shower, you may encourage them to eat it while if you just want them to have fun with it, they can sniff it.

You should start with small amounts and see if they react to it. Usually, it does not take much for the catnip uses to start showing. Start to watch if there are any side effects of catnip on cats that occur. 


  1. How long does the catnip last?

    Catnip effects on cats usually lasts about 10 minutes and it will slowly wear off. It may take about 30 minutes to 1 hour for them to start to be reactive again. It is advisable to limit the intake of catnip so that they won’t be desensitized to the catnip use for cats.

  2. Can my kitten consume catnip?

    Catnip does not have affect on kittens. Usually it will have to wait until it is mature enough to show if it has the sensitivity trait towards it and it is usually around 6 months old.

  3. Can my cat overdose on catnip?

    Still wondering is catnip safe and the catnip use for cats? Cats usually cannot get overdosed on catnip. They only tend to build tolerance towards it, therefore you do not have to worry about if you cat may overdose on catnip. Overindulgence or usage may only create side effects such as stomach upset or dizziness. 


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