What is Catnip?
Catnip is a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family Labiatae. It has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy, but it’s most commonly known for its effect on cats. When cats come into contact with the dried leaves of catnip, they become incredibly excited and playful. The chemical responsible for this reaction is called nepetalactone, which can be found in the leaves and stems of the plant.
Can Cats Eat Catnip?
The short answer is no, cats should not eat catnip directly from its natural form. While some cats will try to eat it when presented with a fresh sprig or bag of dried leaves, eating too much catnip can lead to digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Instead, if you want your kitty to enjoy all the benefits of catnip without any health risks associated with eating it raw, opt for specially prepared treats or toys infused with small amounts of nepetalactone extract (the active ingredient in catnip). These are generally safe and non-toxic options that won’t cause any adverse effects when eaten by your furry friend.
Benefits of CatNIP
There are several benefits associated with giving your pet cat access to catnip:
1) It reduces stress levels – exposure to nepetalactone may help reduce anxiety levels in cats, making them calmer overall; 2) It promotes exercise – because cats get so hyperactive after sniffing or chewing on fresh or dried nips, they’re more likely engage in physical activity; 3) Helps keep fur clean – since exposure encourages grooming behaviors like licking and scratching at fur; 4) Can improve appetite – gently rubbing some nips onto food dishes may stimulate appetites in picky felines; 5) Aids digestion – consumption helps relax GI muscles aiding digestion processes; 6) Relieves pain – chewing on nips releases endorphins providing relief from aches such as joint discomfort caused by arthritis among other bodily issues; 7) Keeps claws healthy – gives felines something soft yet sturdy enough chew on preventing overgrown nails while keeping their mouths happy!
In conclusion while many people assume that feeding their feline friends raw catmint might be beneficial there actually isn’t much research backing up these claims nor has it been proven safe do so due potential gastrointestinal distress caused by excessive ingestion as well other health related side effects such oral irritations etcetera instead opting out purchasing special treats toys infused small amount extracts found inside plants safer option both owners pets alike since still offers same stimulating qualities without riskier consequences inherently involved consuming directly from source