FAQs on Catnip

Is your feline friend familiar with catnip? We’ve all heard of our cat’s favorite herb, but how much do you really know about it? Here, your Fort Collins, CO veterinarian answers a few frequently asked questions.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is a naturally occurring, leafy green plant grouped in the same plant “family” as mint. It’s originally from Europe, but can now be found all over the world. The catnip you’ll buy in the pet store is a dried and processed version, and it can also be incorporated into sprays or cat toys.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone; it’s this substance that affects your cat’s brain chemistry. Experts say it’s almost like an aphrodisiac for cats, eliciting a kind of sexual response!

Why Isn’t My Cat Responding?

Have you tried catnip on your pet without success? Some cats won’t respond to catnip at all, but don’t worry—nothing is wrong with your feline friend! Cats actually need a specific gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects.

Do you have questions about catnip? Does your cat need medical care? Contact your veterinary clinic Fort Collins, CO for help.