Catnip And Your Cat

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an herb that has long been associated with felines. It is a member of the mint family and excretes a substance called nepetalactone that appeals to cats (although there are those that are non-reactive to it). Cats that are reactive to catnip may become hyperactive and engage in other weird behaviors such as writhing on the ground and loud meowing when they catch a whiff of the substance. The reaction usually lasts for about 10 minutes. It may take about 2 h ours for a cat to become reactive again to catnip. Some cats eat catnip but the effect is usually the opposite as the cat appears to mellow out. 

But for non-reactive cats, it’s a different story. Experts believe that both age and heredity influence how a cat responds to catnip. “About 1/3 of cats lack the catnip response gene. Also, kittens that are below 3 months of age and many elderly cats don’t respond to catnip. 

Your veterinarian Seminole, FL is a valuable source of information about your pet’s health and/or behavior. 


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