Learn About Fluffy’s Favorite Plant

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.

Giving Your Cat Milk

It’s easy to picture a cat lapping up milk—the two just seem to go hand in hand. However, cats and milk really don’t mix! Here, your Riverbend, ON vet tells you more about your cat, dairy, and milk.

Why Can’t Cats Drink Milk?

It turns out that most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t properly digest lactose. If a cat ingests too much milk, they’ll experience an upset stomach at the very least, and are likely to exhibit vomiting or diarrhea.

Don’t Kittens Need Milk?

Yes, kittens require their mother’s milk (or a synthetic substitute) during the early stage of life for proper growth. After that, milk doesn’t need to be a part of the diet. As cats age, they produce less and less lactase in the gut, which allows them to digest lactose. By the time a kitten is grown, they’re most likely lactose-intolerant!

Is Any Dairy Safe?

Dairy foods of any kind—cheese, yogurt, etc.—aren’t nutritionally necessary for cats, and too much could cause problems. A commercially available “cat milk” that has had all lactose removed is a much better idea!

Contact your vet clinic Riverbend, ON to learn more about cats and milk.