What is catnip, and how do I use it? Call it cat weed, cat mint, or catnip, it’s the stuff that makes cats wacky. And as with any herb, freshness matters. Catnip is an herb related to mint. It’s safe and natural. Catnip works in both dried and fresh forms. All you have to do is put catnip on the floor or on a dish - your cat will know what to do! While most cats only smell and roll around in the catnip, some will eat it, and that is totally ok!
What does catnip do to a cat? The active ingredient in catnip, Nepetalactone, is stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a "high" and hallucinogenic effects. Essentially, catnip will make your feline FLIP!
My cat doesn't seem to respond to catnip? 70-75 purr-cent of cats inherit a “catnip gene” which makes them responsive to and crave catnip. Kittens and cats younger than six months don’t respond to catnip - so wait a few months before buying little Mr. Catrick Swayze his first bag of 'nip.
Are there any catnip alternatives? Yes! For the felines not intrigued by catnip, try a blend of catnip and valerian root such as our Kalico Kush, or a blend of catnip and silvervine, which you can find in a bottle of our Purrple Passion. Both valerian root and silvervine act in a way similar to catnip, however, they appeal to cats that are not normally intrigued by catnip.
Is there marijuana in your products? No, of course not.
Tips and Facts About Catnip
1. Catnip stimulates the pleasure-seeking pheromones in a cat’s brain. Result: Rolling, rubbing, purring, wild-eyes, racing, friskiness and frolicking – for about ten minutes, before the cat abandons the catnip. (Some cats get aggressive, so watch your fingers.) The crazy-session is followed by a crash: sedentary zoning or naptime – which can be handy if you want your cat to be tranquil for a spell.
3. Let your cat inhale! Cats get their kicks by inhaling the vapor from the catnip oil. Chewing, pawing and slobbering on a catnip toy helps release the oil’s vapor. (With our Catnip Joints, we recommend running the joint under the cat’s nose, like a fine cigar, to get them engaged, before tossing the joint in the air like prey.)
4. Stale catnip won’t work. Which is why cat toys that have been on the shelves for months lose their potency; mass-market brands often start off with cheap, inferior catnip. No wonder kitty won’t play! Don’t waste your money on schwag, get the good stuff!
5. Smell the freshness. Catnip’s essential oil “nepetalactone” makes the magic happen, and it’s found mainly in the leaves and buds. When the oil dries out, no more magic. It’s just like the herbs in your kitchen cabinet. If your herbs or catnip don’t have aromas, throw them out. They’re duds.
6. Quality matters. Again, as with all herbs, there are weak strains of catnip and stronger ones. Soil, sun and growing conditions make a difference between “premium catnip” and inferior catnip.
7. Freeze dried catnip airtight to keep it fresh. This includes catnip toys. (If you buy a multi-pack of our Catnip Joints, freeze a few for later use.)
8. If a catnip toy needs reviving, roll it in dried catnip (stuff that’s not stale). Don’t just sprinkle the catnip: crumble it on scratching posts or toys to release the potent oil.
9. Is catnip safe to eat? Yes, but best in small amounts. It acts like a sedative, making cats more sleepy than frisky. Large quantities may cause digestive issues. Don’t set out a platter of catnip (I’ve seen this happen on the Interweb; the cat was passed out for days.)
10. Desensitization happens. Problem: My cat stopped playing with her catnip toy. Solution: Remove catnip toys after playtime. Cats’ noses get desensitized when they’re always around catnip. Bring the toys out again in a day or so. To revive an old toy, rub loose catnip on the outside to refresh the aroma.
A Tip for Owners of Mischievous Cats
"If you have a cat that seems bent on the destruction of your furniture then Catnip may again be able to come to the rescue. Cats can be frustratingly picky about just about anything under the sun including where they want to sharpen their furniture destroying claws. It is not uncommon for a cat to damage or destroy a piece of furniture just because the owners finally gave up on trying to redirect their cat to the unused cat scratching post that set them back anywhere up to a hundred dollars and more. A good way to attempt to change this frustrating and expensive behavior is to rub some Catnip or Catnip oil on a scratching post that you are attempting to get the cat to use. Introduce your cat to the newly “Catnipped” scratching post and see how he/she reacts. If all goes well, your cat will sniff and inspect the post and then begin clawing at it. After a few times (you may have to re-Catnip the post) hopefully kitty will be trained to use the post rather than the sofa." - The Purrington Post