Catnip is that little herb we grow in the garden and cats love it, right?
Well… partly right. Catnip is a herb, botanical name Nepeta cataria. It smells faintly of mint and it’s not that hard to grow. It’s a perennial. The active ingredient is Nepetalactone, found in the leaves.
We mostly know it as something that affects cats, usually in a nice way – or that it attracts them, anyway. But catnip has quite a range of effects on cats, which some of you may already have observed. It would be interesting to know whether your cat has had one of the more unusual responses. What effect does catnip have on your cat? We’d love to hear.
The Catnip Effect
An article in Cats of Australia & the World is stuffed with interesting catnip information and tells us:
Some cat owners have described the affect of Catnip on their cat as getting ‘high’. Nepetalactone is said to have a hallucinogenic effect. The cat will often rub, lick, sniff and eat the catnip plant. After this contact the cat will often undergo short term behavioral changes. Catnip can affect different cats in different ways. Some of the more common effects are:
* Intoxicated behavior or drunken appearance
* Rolling around the floor
* Drooling and ‘smiling’ (showing gums)
* Meowing more than usual
* Adversely, some cats show signs of aggression
Does catnip affect ALL cats? Find out on the next page…