catnip

What Is Catnip?

Cat owners probably know what catnip is. But for those new in cat care, catnip is a type of plant containing a chemical that, when smelled or eaten, makes cats react hormonally, or as most people would term it, “high.” Nepetalactone is the chemical that causes such reaction. The reaction differs from cat to cat. Some cats on catnip would be hunting maniacs, while others would run around on a frenzy! Some would start licking and biting and even drool on their cat toy with catnip. A lot of cat owners enjoy this, and it’s also good for your cats. Indoor cats tend to be more docile, and catnip will make them active and lose weight. It is good for your cat’s health as long as you don’t overdo it.  1 or 2 spoonfuls or 2 to 3 times a day is more than enough.

Approximately 15% of cats do not respond to catnip. Cats less than 6 months in age and are not sexually mature almost never respond to catnip. But cat owners should not worry because there are known alternatives. Here are a few alternatives to catnip.

A Catnip Alternative?

Honeysuckle is a catnip alternative with greater reaction. When honeysuckle gets wet, its potency is increased, which leads to reactions in cats that may not otherwise respond to catnip. Unlike catnip, honeysuckle also don’t lose its potency. But be ware that are many variants of honeysuckle. Some are not good for cats. So never improvise your own honeysuckle cat toy. Pet stores usually sell cat toys with honeysuckle in them.

Valerian Root. Another plant which is safe for cats and has effects like catnip is Valerian root. You might purchase this in your local health and dietary supplement shops. Valerian root is usually located with the herbs for sleeping. Though sleeping aid for human, Valerian root does not make cats drowsy. You should get it in dried and powdered form. You might also find it in capsules, which you then can pull open, or in tea bags. Just make sure it is not part of a formula containing other herbs because the other herb ingredients may be harmful to cats.

Another possible alternative is lemongrass. Lemongrass is said to drive cats crazy, according to some cat owners. This is another plant found in garden shops. I haven’t tried lemongrass, so if you happen to have used it on your cats, please tell me about it.

What About Marijuana?

While talking to friends over lunch, the idea of blowing smoke into the cat’s face became a heated topic. Please readers, do not, in any case, do this to your cats — not even letting the marijuana smoke linger to your cat while you smoke it. Marijuana is hazardous to your cat’s health. Please be responsible cat owners.