The catnip or Nepeta cataria is an aromatic plant that belongs to the mint family. It is called "catnip " because of the attractive and hallucinatory effect it has on cats.
How does it work?
Catnip contains nepetalactone, an active ingredient which acts on cats' the nervous system. We can compare the effect to the one exerted by the released of pheromones during coitus. Cats do not eat it, but inhale it. The nepetalactone causes a hallucinatory effect. Some say the effects are similar to those of LSD or marijuana.
Cats can suddenly seem "crazy." They can rub themselves against it, rolling on the ground in the same way females do when they are in heat, leap, run, salivate, hunt... The effects, which vary according to the cats, only last a few minutes.
Not all cats are susceptible to the effects of catnip. It is estimated that 30% of the cat population is insensitive to catnip as kittens and older cats. This sensitivity also seems to be hereditary.
Catnip is not toxic or harmful to cats. You can give your companion some occasionally to make them happy. If you give them some too often they will eventually get used to the effects.
Used in humans
Catnip has been grown for centuries by men to relieve numerous pains ( headaches, insomnia problems, digestion, toothache and colds). Women used the leaves to relieve their menstrual pain. However, pregnant women should be cautious using catnip as it is considered harmful. Crushing the leaves and rubbing them on it the body is known to repel insects.
How to grow catnip?
Catnip is a perennial plant, very easy to grow and spreads rapidly. You can plant it during the spring, in a slightly sandy, well -drained soil. It simply needs sun and water.
Most pet stores sell toys containing dried catnip. You can also dry your catnip by hanging it upside down in a dry place. You can also store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Does your cat love catnip?