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What is Catnip?

Catnip, also known by its scientific name Nepeta cataria, is a perennial herb from the mint family. It grows throughout Asia, Europe and North America and has long been used as an herbal remedy for humans in treating ailments such as headaches, colds and stomach pain. In addition to its medicinal properties, catnip also has an interesting effect on cats: when they smell it or eat it, they become more lively and energetic.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

When cats come into contact with the volatile oils found in the leaves of the plant (either through smelling or ingesting them), these chemicals act on their brain receptors to induce a variety of physical reactions – most notably hyperactivity. Cats may roll around on the floor excitedly while rubbing their faces against objects that contain traces of catnip oil; some will even chew on catnip-infused toys or fabric items. This response usually lasts between 5 – 15 minutes before your pet tires out and goes back to resting comfortably again!

Is Catnip Safe for My Pet?

Yes! Consuming small amounts of fresh or dried catnip can cause no harm to your pet; however too much can lead to nausea or vomiting so be sure not to overfeed it! Additionally if you choose to give your pet store bought treats containing this herb make sure that there are no additional additives which could be harmful (i.e., preservatives). If your feline friend exhibits any unusual behavior after consuming cat nips then stop administering them immediately – although unlikely this could indicate an underlying health issue which should be addressed by a vet promptly!


Cat nips have been known since ancient times as being beneficial – both medicinally speaking for people but also providing entertainment value in animals (especially felines). When given in moderate doses these herbs can produce quite spectacular results with cats becoming more active than normally within minutes before returning back down again shortly afterwards – like all things moderation is key here otherwise problems such as nausea/vomiting may arise from overeating them! All in all though when administered responsibly there’s little danger associated with giving our furry friends these special plants so why not let them enjoy themselves every once in awhile too?!