5 Fun Facts About Catnip

Orange cat stiffing fresh cat nip

Anyone with a kitty at home knows about catnip. It comes in sprays, plant form, dried, and stuffed in toys! Below are a few fun facts about catnip that you may not know. Check them out and share any other fun facts in the comments.

1.  It attracts cats but repels mosquitos!

The main chemical in catnip, nepetalacone is a great mosquito repellent!  Growing some of this plant in your garden should help keep those itchy pests at a distance, but it may attract some neighborhood kitties!

2. It can make your cat sleepy or super active!

When your kitty inhales catnip, it typically has a stimulating and euphoric effect, whereas if your kitty takes some bites out of the catnip it has a calming, sedative effect!  While the response only lasts about 10 minutes, it takes 1-2 hours before a kitty can experience another reaction.

3. Not all cats are affected by catnip! 

Response to nepetalacone is an inherited trait, which appears in about 70% of kitties!  Even big cats such as tigers and lions can be sensitive to catnip!

4. It is completely safe and non-addictive!

While catnip can cause a variety of funny behaviors, it is in no way harmful for your kitty.  Just look for an organic version to avoid those pesky pesticides which are better left not ingested.

5. Humans have been using catnip for centuries!

This mint family herb has been used in cooking and even in herbal teas to help reduce nausea, headaches, and even insomnia!

Does your kitty react to catnip?  What’s his/her typical response?

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