If you’ve tried catnip on your feline friend, you’ve probably seen the amusing reactions: cats tend to dart this way and that in an excited manner, and some simply stretch out in a state of bliss. How much do you really know about your cat’s favorite plant? Learn more here from a veterinarian London, ON.
What is Catnip, Anyway?
Catnip is an herb, similar to mint. It grows in the wild, but you’ll purchase a dried, processed version in a pet store. Catnip can also be infused into sprays or included in cat toys.
What Causes the Reaction?
The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical substance, nepetalactone, that triggers a reaction in your cat’s brain. It’s perfectly harmless, and the effects only last a few minutes or so.
Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?
Is your cat seemingly unaffected by catnip? Don’t worry—your pet is perfectly healthy. It turns out that cats need a particular gene, inherited from their parents, to experience the chemical reaction caused by nepetalactone. If they don’t have it, catnip won’t do much at all!
Learn more about catnip and your cat’s behavior by calling your animal hospital London, ON.