What Is Catnip & How does it work for cats?

What Is Catnip & How does it work for cats?

What is Catnip?

Keeping cats comes with lots of fun surprises, and one common question is “Do cats like catnip?”  Additionally, we find ourselves pondering “What does catnip do to cats?” To uncover the answers, let’s explore the world of catnip. Catnip is an herb that has some properties that stimulate cats. The stimulant that they carry in their leaves and stems is a type of chemical called nepetalactone. Catnip uses happen when cats sniff it, it stimulates certain brain chemicals related to mood and happiness. However, when ingested it makes them relaxed and mellow instead. Catnip can be found in many forms, dried leaves, sprays, catnip treats, toys or even the catnip tree itself.

How to Use Catnip?

Many cat parents may be familiar with catnip but still unsure of what does catnip do to cats and whether is catnip good for cats. Catnip is found in many forms and thus can be used in different ways. Spraying or sprinkling on their favorite toys, feeding them catnip treats for cats or exposing them to fresh catnip plant. But they may become non-reactive to catnip after a while, so it is encouraged to put the catnip for cats away afterwards.

What does catnip do to cats? The benefits of catnip are useful when you are trying to stimulate them, either becoming excited by sniffing or calm by ingesting. Depending on your goal, the catnip use for cats may be different.

If you are trying to take your cat to the vet, shower, or car rides, you may give them catnip treats for cats which contain small amounts of catnip like the Temptations™ MixUps with catnip flavor to keep them calm. We carry catnip treats for cats which are safe for them to eat and in low calories.

Is catnip a drug? Does it make cats high?

No, catnip is not a drug. You may wonder is catnip bad for cats and what does catnip do to cats. The catnip that comes from the catnip tree has effects that comes from all natural oils in the plant that stimulates them which has the same effect as essential oils to humans. The catnip effect on cats is stronger because cats have more sensitive senses than we do.

The catnip effect on cats differs with the catnip uses such as sniffing scents or ingesting catnip treats. Cat parents may be worried about whether is catnip good for cats or if they should have fresh catnip for cats.

There is no evidence that catnip bad for cats. However, it is possible to give your cat too many catnips and the side effects are different depending on how they took it.

Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

Do cats like catnip and should I plant fresh catnip for cats? Not all cats are reactive toward catnip, only about 70% of them do. Cats who react and like them because they make them feel good. Don’t worry if you plant a fresh catnip for cats as your cats will not be addicted to it. They will not experience a withdrawal and overdose on it. Keep your catnip plant for cats out of reach as frequent exposure of catnip for cats will only make them grow tolerance towards it.

You may wonder what the benefits of catnip are and what does catnip do to cats in terms of health. The answer is that catnip good for cats, and it helps to stimulate cats both mentally and physically. Ingesting fresh from catnip trees or catnip treats may even be helpful for their digestive system. For training catnip uses, you may put catnip on their scratch poles to attract them and discourage scratching at other places that may cause destruction.

How Much Catnip Is Too Much for Cats?

Many cat parents may be worried of too much catnip for cats. Catnip is generally non-addictive and safe to consume in small amounts. Side effects of catnip on cats only happen from overindulgence, where they can get sick if they take in too much. Temptations™ MixUps with catnip treats for cats are overall safe to be consumed by your cats.

Overall, there is no rule of how much is too much catnip for cats, however, try to limit your cat’s exposure to catnip as overexposure may make them desensitized to catnip, taking away the catnip uses of the toys and treats.

How To Introduce Catnip To My Cat?

Now that you may have a clear understanding of whether catnip bad for cats or catnip good for cats, you may want to start introducing your cat to this wonderful treat. There are many catnip uses for cats. If you want to make them calm for a vet visit or shower, you may encourage them to eat it while if you just want them to have fun with it, they can sniff it. As the answer to “Do cats like catnip” is multifaceted, understanding and knowing your cat’s preferences and providing them with catnip in a suitable form may enhance the overall well-being of your adorable cat.

You should start with small amounts and see the catnip effect on cats. Usually, it does not take much for the catnip uses to start showing. Start to watch if there are any side effects of catnip on cats that occur.


  1. How long does the catnip last?

    The catnip effect on cats usually lasts about 10 minutes and it will slowly wear off. It may take about 30 minutes to 1 hour for them to start to be reactive again. While there is no evidence that catnip bad for cats, it is advisable to limit the intake of catnip so that they won’t be desensitized to the catnip use for cats.

  2. Can my kitten consume catnip?

    Catnip does not have affect on kittens. Usually, it will have to wait until it is mature enough to show if it has the sensitivity trait towards it and it is usually around 6 months old.

  3. Can my cat overdose on catnip?

    Still wondering if is catnip good for cats and if is catnip safe? Cats usually cannot get overdosed on catnip. They only tend to build tolerance towards it; therefore, you do not have to worry about if your cat may overdose on catnip. Overindulgence or usage may only create side effects of catnip on cats such as stomach upset or dizziness.


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