1 year ago · Comments Off on Crazy for that Catnip – A Guide for a Cat Owner
If you are a cat owner or thinking about becoming a cat owner, then chances are you have heard of catnip. Most pet stores have a whole section dedicated to catnip. Every other cat toy seems to boast on its catnip properties. Catnip is advertised as a product that will get any anti-social cat to come out of its hypothetical shell (no offense to our turtle readers out there). Simply stated, most cats love catnip! The trick in our house was finding a catnip that was the right fit for all the cats in our house.
Though most cats love catnip, they can all have very differing reactions. Part of these differences can be linked to how a cat chooses to partake in catnip. Simply sniffing catnip can produce a powerful stimulant effect that results in increased playfulness and energy. While cats that prefer to lick up all those yummy flakes may experience a more sedative effect that leads them to a peaceful nap. (What is Catnip? What Does Catnip Do to Cats?)
Not to a Cat Owner: Not All Catnip is Equal
Despite how popular catnip has become as the treat of choice, catnip does not affect all cats equally or even affect some at all. It is estimated that 25% to 50% of felines are not affected by the nepetalactone (What is Catnip and Why do Cats Love it?). This is the compound found on the catnip leaves and stems that ultimately impacts cats. Additionally, our cats can be affected differently when it comes to the different catnip options available on the market. Unfortunately, there were a few members of our pride that just couldn’t seem to handle their traditional catnip well, and it resulted in an upset stomach.
As a parent to six cats, catnip has been an important conversation in the pride. We’ve used many different brands and mediums for catnip to find one that worked best for the cats. If your cat pride isn’t as big, then the search may take less time. Unfortunately, it seemed like every time we found a brand that was enjoyed by all, it resulted in an upset stomach for one of the babies.
The Great Catnip Journey
Through experience, I have found that there are some catnip brands that just negatively affect the stomach of our cats. This is because most of our cats enjoy not just rolling in the perennial herb, but also partaking in its culinary delights. This is where catnip spray came in as a possible alternative.
While catnip spray is less effective than traditionally bagged flakes, it does have the benefit of not being digestible for those felines with a delicate constitution. The spray is also very effective for training a cat to have excellent scratching etiquette on the post and not the couch. However, I noticed that the cats didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as when they had something flaky to eat.
The catnip spray just was not going to cut it. This was because the cats may have enjoyed their buff to energy at the moment, but they also loved their post-catnip naps that came from digestion (and I missed taking pictures of their adorable naps).
Catnip Experiment by a Cat Owner
Since different brands seemed to be a hit or miss for different cats, it was time to ditch the traditional store brands and take up gardening. Acquiring the pot, the potting soil, and the heirloom catnip seeds were the easy part. The catnip seeds were also surprisingly easy to grow. A little fertilizer, some water, and a dash of baby plant-talk later, the catnip seeds had grown into a flowing plant.
The naturally grown catnip leaves were an instant hit with all the members of the pride. They loved nothing more than to roll around in the greenery, eat a few leaves, and snooze off the afternoon. It quickly became clear that the natural catnip was stronger than the store brand. And they were given only a little bit at a time. The fresh scent and green leaves seemed to be all the cats needed to have a great time!
All six cats enjoyed their catnip, in their unique ways, with no negative tummy troubles afterward. The gardening would continue!
It looked like everything was going smoothly and there would be no trouble with this new venture. Boom!! Suddenly it became clear, in all our careful calculations and planning there was one aspect of growing catnip we failed to account for! Keeping the cats out of the pot!
It was decided the catnip plant would be allowed to winter in the house. At this point the catnip was drying out and preparing for its winter survival, this was the perfect situation for the cats. Since the leaves had mostly begun falling off, the potency of the plant seemed to diminish. The cats enjoyed just being around the catnip. They loved visiting their plant regularly. Maybe they loved it a little too much!
Though it was unplanned, the catnip plant became a year-round source of fun and adventure for all the cats! We had finally found the catnip that worked best for all the cats in the house.
Although all cats deserve to be equally loved, all cats are not going to love their catnip equally. There are many options available for catnip out in the market. Shop around, or grow a few, to see what works best for your fur baby. If you’d like to learn more about catnip and how it affects your cat, I recommend checking out the source articles.
With so many catnip options out there, I’m curious about your kitties! What catnip medium does your cat enjoy best? Does your cat even like catnip? Are you curious about another natural alternative to catnip?
Leave a comment and let’s discuss cats and catnip!
What is Catnip? What Does Catnip Do to Cats? https://www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/what-is-catnip
What is Catnip and Why do Cats Love it? 5.26.2022. https://vbspca.com/what-is-catnip-and-why-do-cats-love-it/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CWhether%20or%20not%20a%20cat%20responds%20to%20catnip,explains.%20Young%20kittens%20aren%E2%80%99t%20affected%20by%20catnip%20either.