Want to get on the good side of your cat? Give him some catnip. Catnip in fresh crushed leaf form will turn about 70% of the feline population into crazy cats experiencing cat pleasure which has been likened almost to the sexual experiences of a female cat in heat. A cat will sniff, play intensely, and jump around after being practically hypnotized by the mesmerizing effect of an oil called nepetalactone which comes from the leaves of the Nepeta Cataria plant, commonly known as Catnip.
Cats sniffing or rubbing catnip can have 10 minute bouts of kitty ecstasy
Some cats will even become very vocal. Many will roll forward over and over. It will definitely get lazy cats up and moving so that they want to exercise. After the catnip session is over, it can take a cat anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to get aroused again. Many cats will get drowsy and be very docile between sessions. TIP: Cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider recommends you only give your cat catnip once or twice a week. One reason is that catnip helps complete a cat’s need to mark. Since many cats will usually mark with their urine, a cat under the influence of catnip will often mark with his body instead and that will help stop him from urine marking. This provides a very good aid in urine mark protection and will help keep your house clean and free from bad cat odors Be prepared, some cats will not respond to catnip at all. That is because the catnip response is associated with a gene and about thirty per cent of the cat population worldwide does not have it. Some Siamese cats seem to be oblivious to catnip’s powers, although this gene is not determined by breed. Each cat is an individual who may or may not have the gene. The only real way to find out is to give your cat some catnip and see what happens. Fast Catnip Facts
- Catnip is native to Europe and Northern Africa.
- It can grow wild and is often seen on roadsides. It can grow 20-39 inches tall and has beautiful white flowers with splashes of pink and soft lavender.
- The plant is also called catmint, catwort, or field balm. These names are actually for plants which are a little different from catnip.
- Citriodora is the lemon variety of catnip
- Sensitivity to catnip will not show up until a kitten is three or four months old.
- The Egyptians, who worshipped cats, were probably the first to recognize the profound effects catnip can have on cats.
- Catnip has strong effects on tigers and some other large cats but not lions. The King of Beasts seems to be oblivious to it.
- It is believed to have been first brought to America in the 1600’s. Native Americans quickly adopted it for such uses as calming a colicky baby.
- Farmers often planted it near barns and farmhouses to keep away mice. Mice and rodents hate plants of the catmint family.
- Currently, entomologists are studying catnip because it is proving effective as an organic pesticide. In the future, it may possibly be used against mosquitoes, roaches, flies and termites, and perhaps fleas.
- Catnip is considered to be almost 10 times more powerful than DEET.
How to Give It To a Cat
Crushed fresh leaves have the strongest power. You can put the leaves out and allow your cat to roll around in them. You can store it in a freezer or refrigerator for short periods of time. There are many cat toys on the market which contain catnip. These are very good, but as the catnip ages, it looses its punch.
How to Grow Catnip
It is recommended you buy catnip in a store of that you grow it yourself. Never pick it from beside a road or railroad tracks since you will not know if it has been exposed to pesticides or insecticides. You don’t want to risk giving it to your cat if it has been contaminated with other chemicals. Catnip can be grown indoors underneath a sunny window. Make sure your cat can’t get to the plant or else he will destroy it. Catmint family plants will also attract butterflies and bloom from late Spring all the way into fall. They are ornamental and sold at most nurseries even through technically they are considered weeds. Catmint plants can quickly spread and get out of control, so they need to be kept cut back to prevent them from taking over your garden. If you transplant catnip in your yard, it will become more attractive for wandering outdoor cats. The leaves release nepetalactone through the handling of the plant. Cats will rub against the plants and even sit in them to get near for the effects. Seeded catnip’s leaves will not have been handled and won’t be releasing the oil as prevalently. As the plant grows, it will have a chance to develop because the cats most likely will leave it alone for a while at least. You can also place dowels or sticks around the plants which will also discourage the cats from sitting in them. Other Uses for Catnip Catnip has been used to treat cuts, a meat tenderizer and for herbal hair dye.
Possible Dangers and What Catnip Can Do To Humans
People have been drinking catnip tea for centuries. There have been lots of claims for the benefits and dangers as the debate continues. It is often used as a mild sedative and is even considered for a hiccup cure. Pregnant women should avoid catnip tea and should not drink it during pregnancy. Catnip tea is not used as often nowadays because of better medicines that are available.