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Why do cats like catnip?

Why do cats like catnip?
February 23, 2023 Yuup
Tempo di lettura: 4 minuti
Gatto grigio sdraiato sul letto che abbraccia un ramo di erba gatta fresca.

Today we’re talking about catnip, if you already know it you’ll be aware about the benefits it can bring to your kitten, but if you don’t know it yet, believe us, we’re sure of one thing: our feline friends go crazy for it!

Let’s learn more about this topic together.

What is catnip?

Catnip is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to (together with other plants such as: lemon balm, marjoram, sage, rosemary, valerian) the large Laminaceae family.

This plant grows spontaneously in nature and, to the delight of your kitty, can also be grown in the garden.

Our kittens are really greedy for catnip!

Our kittens are really greedy for catnip!

But why are cats so attracted to catnip?

This phenomenon is mainly due to a substance contained in the plant – nepetalactone (what a tricky term!) – an active ingredient that reminds cats of the hormonal effect developed during mating season.

What are the effects of catnip?

Catnip may not have an effect on all cats, after all they’re different from each other just like us. But generally, the majority of our feline companions quickly respond to the plant presence with beneficial effects, it seldom happens that reactions are less positive.

Catnip beneficial effects

One of the main benefits of this plant is that it can improve your cat’s mood. Actually, just by smelling it and rubbing his muzzle on the leaves; he could develop extraordinary energy, a sudden eagerness to play and to run, as well as craving affection and cuddles that will make him a real cute pooch. An excellent choice, to enjoy to the full these delightful moments, could be to take advantage of your cat’s relaxing condition to convince him to take a good bath, with Yuup! products.

Catnip can also be useful for introducing the cat to new conditions, such as a new cat basket or a new toy; generally, this type of change can take time and can cause stress to the kitty. So, try to rub some catnip on these objects and… wait for the magic! Your cat will be happier and more inclined to change.

How cool to rub on catnip!

How cool to rub on catnip!

Negative effects of catnip

If catnip is at your kitten’s complete disposal for too long, it is important to remember that he could be such happy and stimulated to develop an aggressive game; or, on the contrary, he could be so relaxed to the point of reducing motor activity and movement. In any case, the effect could have a duration that fluctuates from 10 to 15 minutes.

If it’s the first time ever your feline interacts with catnip, don’t worry too much about his reaction. He too, could need some time to get used to this stimulating novelty.

But how to dispense catnip to our felines?

There are several ways to do it, the most popular ones are:

  • Catnip spray, a very widespread product, through which you can stimulate and direct your cat to the game, exactly in the spot of your choice. For example: a few simple sprays of the product on a new cardboard scratching post recently bought, or on the old scratching post that may seem to be no longer to his liking, could be enough to make him gain confidence more quickly.
  • Dried catnip to spread on areas of interest or to use as DIY toys. For example: you could take an old sock, stuff it with dried catnip, and close it with a knot. You will then see how happy your cat will be with his new pastime!
  • Growing catnip is a good idea if you have the necessary space, you could choose to plant it directly in your garden or inside a flower vase, so it’s always available.
Gatto rosso che annusa l'erba gatta all'interno di un vaso

Your cat will be happy to have his own supply of catnip in the garden.

Catnip could therefore turn out to be a good ally for the well-being of your cat. If you haven’t tried it yet: do it, and have fun discovering what will be his reaction!

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