are catnip plants safe for cats

Is It Safe? Cats can ingest catnip, and it may even be helpful for their digestive tract. The catnip plant has actually been used in people for its antidiarrheal properties. With this said, it is important to prevent your cat from ingesting large amounts of catnip, as this can cause digestive upset.

Is catnip safe for cats?

There isn’t any proof that catnip is bad for cats or kittens. However, they may experience upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if they consume a large amount of fresh or dried catnip leaves. Because they are skilled at self-control, cats usually won’t overdo it if they manage to get their hands on a catnip plant or accidentally end up in a bag of the herb.

Though catnip is safe, it’s important to remember that cats can suffer injuries when they run around the room. Zoe once leaped onto the bed, but she immediately rolled off the other side—not landing on her feet! Fortunately, she didn’t fall very far, and after she recovered from her initial shock, she appeared fine.

Regardless, you should give your cat catnip sparingly as a fun treat every now and then. An additional caution when using catnip excessively is that it tends to lose its effectiveness with repeated use.

Although cats can safely consume catnip, many other plants can have negative effects, such as mild stomachaches or abrupt renal failure. Check out this list of 25 plants that are poisonous to cats.

Catnip Effects on Cats

Nepetalactone, an essential oil (say that ten times fast!) is the active component of catnip. Although it’s unclear exactly how this chemical influences your cat’s brain wiring, it has been observed to bind to receptors in the nose, which in turn activates the sensory neurons that lead to the cat’s brain. What exactly does catnip do to cats? It is believed to resemble the euphoric effects of feline pheromones.

Catnip produces a blissful high that usually wears off in less than half an hour. Your cat may become crazy for ten or fifteen minutes before stumbling off to sleep. It takes a few hours for a cat to become susceptible to catnip again after they have consumed it.

Cats can roll on the ground, zip around, meow, purr, growl, and even drool when they are around catnip. Additionally, it can have a slight hallucinogenic effect, which helps to explain why a cat high on catnip might bat at the air or avoid an imaginary object. While eating catnip is more likely to induce a sedentary and relaxed state in cats, sniffing it has a more stimulating effect.

Certain cats may exhibit mild aggression in response to catnip, such as swatting or low growling. If you have multiple cats in your home, you should think about giving it to just one cat at a time to prevent any fights, and make sure you keep a watch on them while they’re gone.

Interestingly enough, not all cats are affected by catnip. It’s thought to be a hereditary sensitivity, with only one in three cats possibly having it. Cats younger than two or three months old are also unlikely to react to catnip, and older cats may be less likely to do so, though my Zoe definitely defies that theory!

What exactly is catnip?

Catnip, or nepeta cataria, is an herbaceous perennial. Although it looks like oregano, dried catnip is actually a member of the mint family. Originating in Europe, Africa, and Asia, it was brought to North America and currently proliferates like an invasive plant in every area. It can even reach a height of two or three feet!

Fresh catnip can produce tiny white, blue, pink, or lavender blooms and has heart-shaped leaves on its stems. It does well in full sunlight and grows rather easily.

It implies that even those like me who aren’t very green thumbs could probably handle it. If you want to keep your own supply of catnip on hand, you can clip the leaves and hang them to dry in a dark place. To keep it fresher for longer, keep it in a baggie in the refrigerator.

Just watch out that no catnip plants are within paw’s reach. Although your cat won’t likely suffer much from nibbling on the leaves, the plant might not fare as well. Additionally, your cat might trip over the plant and sustain injuries, or scurry around in the dirt and create a huge mess that you’ll have to clean up.


Can cats eat catnip plants?

And it’s perfectly safe – there’s nothing in it that can harm your cat. If by some chance your cat was to eat a large amount of catnip, it could cause a mild tummy upset, but that’s not likely to happen. What is Catnip? Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family.

What do you do with a catnip plant for cats?

Catnip plants are pretty easy to grow at home and can provide you with a constant supply. It’s also the freshest version of the herb, so it can be more potent than when it’s dried. Simply trim a few leaves off and give it to your cat to eat, chew, sniff or rub against.

Is it safe to have a catnip plant?

Think of catnip as a recreational drug for cats. It doesn’t even affect all cats, and has different effects on those it does depending on whether they chew the leaves or just rub, lick and smell them. It’s not dangerous.

Is growing catnip good for cats?

Growing Catnip. Fresh catnip is a real treat for cats. Get expert tips for growing the unique catnip herb at home, both in your garden and even indoors. Plant catnip in a place where your cats can rub and roll in it without hurting adjacent plants.