Catnip Facts

Catnip Facts

What is catnip?

Catnip is the common name for a species of plant that contain a unique natural chemical that make’s cat react hormonally. A cat on a catnip high is quite fun to watch!

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), is a member of the Mint family of aromatic herbs. Catnip is a common aromatic herb of the high deserts of North America. Catnip was naturalized in Canada from its indigenous roots of Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Catnip has been used for centuries by herbalists as a treatment for colic, headache, toothache, and spasms. It is a mild stimulant when consumed in a tea. Catnip is an excellent sleep-inducing agent.


What can I expect as a reaction to catnip from my cat?

Cats reactions differ. Some cat will become hunter and stalker with their toys. Some will just run around and about in frenzy. Some will simply lie down and start biting, licking and drooling on the toys with catnip in it.


Why is my cat acting like that when it smells or eats catnip?

Cats react to the natural chemical “Nepetalactone” in the catnip plant.

The domestic cat along with the great cats of the wild; cougars, bobcats, lions and lynx respond biochemically to a compound called nepetalactone. This chemical is the primary constituent in the essential oil of catnip. Nepetalactone induces a harmless physiological reaction in some cats.

Cats have a special gland on the roof of their mouth called the Vomeronasal gland. Essentially, they use it to recognize and analyse other cat’s pheromones, like those contained in urine. The Nepetalactone in catnip have a similar chemical composition as those pheromones. That is why cats love catnip so much!

This reaction has been studied extensively, and has been found to induce a psychosexual response in both male and female cats. One might say that catnip has an aphrodisiac effect.



Can I overdose my kitty with too much catnip?

Not likely, cats seem to know when to say enough. If you give your cat to much catnip she will eventually turn her nose away from its lure. This reaction will not last long though, in a few days she will most likely be back to the catnip stash for another play time.


Is catnip good for my cat?

Yes it is. According to veterinarian, catnip is a nice way to make old and fat cat active and loose weight, which improve their health condition. You can give your cat some catnip toys without worry. The only thing you need to know is not to feed your cat too much catnip. 1 or 2 spoonfuls at a times, 2 or 3 time a day is enough. A small amount goes a long way!


Is there any other use for catnip than toys and play?

Indeed there is! You can use it as a training tool. Use catnip to encourage your cat to use its new scratching post, or his new fluffy bed. Our Catnip Oil Spray is an excellent training tool. That way you can easily pin-point certain area where you want your cat’s attention.


What shouldn’t I do with catnip?

Very important: Never use catnip to train your cat to go to his litter. For example, there is a lot of new natural litter format available on the market, and your cat may not like it at all and avoid his litter box. NEVER put catnip in the litter to attract your cat there. The reason his that he will more than likely eat the catnip and the litter filled with feces.

Doing so for feline can cause many fatal disease like heart worm and fungus poisoning. Also, using catnip on litter will associate play area with releasing area, which will confuse the cat.


My cat is already hyper, maybe he doesn’t need catnip?

Of course it is your choice. Catnip can also excite a hyper cat into super-hyper-activity, and after his light-speed running around, he will be very relaxed and maybe fall into a peaceful sleep, letting you enjoy him calmly!


What is the best way to store catnip? What is catnip shelf life?

Cats respond to catnip attractant “Nepetalactone” in concentrations of about 1 part per million, so there is not too much worries here. All essential oil bearing herbs will lose their potency over time. The best way to slow this process is to store your catnip is a hermetically sealed container (Bag or tub) away from humidity and direct sunlight, at room temperature. UV ray will deteriorate essential oil very fast, and humidity can create mold in the catnip over time.

Some people store their catnip in the freezer, that works too, just keep an eye for humidity content buildup!

Catnip shelf life is approximately 2 years in good storage condition (dry and dark).


My cat doesn’t react to catnip. Why? Any alternative?

Approximately 15% of all cats do not respond to catnip. Cats which are less that 6 months (not sexually mature) almost never respond to catnip regardless of their genes.

Asian cat breed are not genetically inclined to respond to catnip. Some common breed can also lack the “gene response” to catnip, which is natural. It’s Mother Nature’s choices!

But rejoice! There are alternatives. Less popular plant create the same effect on cats. Valerian Roots and Honeysuckle are two of them. Our kitty toys contain a catnip silver vine mix, aim is to have all of those finicky cats a mega-joyful time!


How can I differentiate the quality of the catnip? There are so many companies that offer’s it.

First, look at the color of the catnip. Like any other plant, bright green is a sign of freshness. Then you can try to smell the catnip through the bag. With potent catnip, you should be able to smell it.

Pale yellow catnip is usually been harvested a few years ago, and has been sitting in a warehouse for a long time before hitting the shelves of the store.

Our supplier grows its own catnip with farmers in the USA. All our products are made with catnip that is always with the current crop of the year.


In What format is catnip available?

Several formats are available. The most common is the “Leaf&Flower” format. It is a dry mix of leaf, flower buds, and very small pieces of stalk. There is also the Kitty safe fine ground format, the “Whole Bud” format, the compressed version called “No mess catnip pellets”. The one format worth noticing is the essential oil catnip spray.

Extracted catnip plants create essential oil that is 96% pure Nepatelactone. We use this precious oil and mix it with distilled water to create our potent Killer Catnip Spray


killer catnip spry MrsCopyCat


Is there any other plants that contains that Nepi..Neppo…Nipa…Nepetalactone cat attactant?

Yes, there is more than 100 plant species that contains Nepetalactone. Most of them are not commonly available, but you can find out about them on the internet.


What is Silver Vine?

Silver vine is a plant in the kiwi family. It is also called Matatabi. The most potent form is the flower that turns into a fruit, which looks like a medium sized brown dried nut. It is then ground into powder. The dried stems of the plant are also used as Silver Vine dental sticks.

Cat loves Silver Vine because it also contains “Actinidine”, a natural cat stimulant, along with the same catnip attractant Nepetalactone,. That is why about 70% of cats who don’t react to catnip will react to silver vine!


Are Catnip Pellets Safe for my cat? Can he or she eat them?

Our catnip pellets are safe for cats. They are made of simply milled and compressed catnip, organically grown in Washington State. We cannot vouch for other catnip pellets from other manufacturers in north America, so we recommend to always inquire about the content of other catnip pellets before giving them to your cat(s).

Although Catnip Pellets are not considered a cat treat, some cats will nibble on them while they play with them. It is safe for your cat to do so, like regular catnip.


How to give catnip buds to your cat?

We recommend pinching and crumbling our catnip buds between your fingers to release all the natural catnip essential oil, then removing stems if they fell out, and give you cat(s) the best and freshest catnip! 


Can I give catnip to my cat that has Asthma?

No. The only time a pet parent should stay away from catnip is when their kitty has feline asthma, since the small particles can exacerbate coughing and wheezing if inhaled.



Source: Our Catnip Supplier