The Fundamentals of Catnip

Is your feline friend familiar with catnip? It’s our cats’ favorite plant! Here, your veterinarian North Phoenix, AZ tells you all about the basics of catnip.

What Exactly is Catnip?

Catnip is an herb categorized in the same plant “family” as mint. It occurs naturally, having originated on the continent of Europe before being spread all over the world.

In the wild, catnip is a leafy green plant with white flowers. The catnip you’ll buy in a pet store is a processed and dried version of the natural plant, and catnip can also be infused into sprays or included in pet toys.

What Makes Cats Respond to Catnip?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical substance known as nepetalactone. It’s this substance that causes a reaction in your cat’s brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and excitement.

Why Doesn’t My Cat Respond to Catnip?

Cats require a certain gene, inherited from the parents, to respond to nepetalactone. If they don’t possess this gene, catnip won’t cause much of a reaction whatsoever! If your cat doesn’t respond to catnip, don’t worry—they’re perfectly healthy.

Want to know more about Fluffy’s favorite herb? Contact your animal hospital North Phoenix, AZ.

Sun Protection Tips for Your Pet

The sun poses as much danger to our animal companions as it does to us—remember to keep your pet’s safety in mind when the sun is pounding down! Use these tips from a North Phoenix, AZ veterinary professional to do just that:

Shade

When your pet is spending time outdoors, he or she should have at least one shaded area to cool off under. If there aren’t trees or other objects in your yard that create shade, consider hanging a sheet or setting up an awning structure. Your pet will thank you!

Sunscreen

Did you know that pets can get sunburnt just like humans? It’s particularly likely to occur on the nose tip, ear edges, or other areas of the body that aren’t covered in fur. Use a canine- or feline-formulated sunscreen to combat this problem; ask your vet for a recommendation.

Hydration

Of course, when the sun is at its worst, it’s likely to be quite hot outside. Provide your pet with a dish of cool, fresh water to drink from at all times, whether they’re indoors or out.

Want more tips on keeping your pet protected from the sun’s harmful rays? Contact your Veterinary Clinic North Phoenix, AZ.