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.

Exotic Pets for Allergy Sufferers

If you’re one of the millions of people who can’t own a dog or cat due to allergies, you’ll have to consider other options. Exotic pets can be a great choice for the right family! Learn about a few possibilities here from your North Phoenix, AZ vet.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptile and amphibian pets like frogs, snakes, turtles, and lizards are a good choice for allergy sufferers. They don’t give off dander like dogs and cats, and are contained in a terrarium most of the time. Allergies simply won’t be a concern! Ask your vet for more insight into the health and care of these special creatures.

Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs may not be the most interactive pets out there, but they’re completely hypoallergenic. They also make great starter pets; if you have a young child who suffers from allergies, hermit crabs may be a good way to get them started with simple pet ownership.

Tarantulas and Scorpions

We know—tarantulas and scorpions aren’t for everyone. If you’re not squeamish about them, though, they’ll make great (and completely hypoallergenic) pets!

Want more advice on adopting an exotic animal? Set up an appointment to speak with your vets North Phoenix, AZ.