Catnip 101

You’ve heard of catnip, but how much do you know about this substance that tends to make our feline friends go wild? Learn more here from a Frisco, TX veterinarian.

What Exactly is Catnip?

Catnip is a naturally occurring plant, categorized in the same plant family as mint. It’s originally from Europe, but has since spread all over the world and can commonly be found throughout North America.

In a pet store, you’ll find processed and dried catnip or catnip in another form, such as a spray or built-in to a cat toy.

How and Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oil of the catnip plant contains a chemical substance, nepetalactone, which causes a reaction in a cat’s brain. Experts say that this reaction amounts to a sexual response—catnip is almost like an aphrodisiac for our feline friends!

Why Doesn’t My Cat Respond to Catnip?

If you’ve tried catnip on your pet to no avail, don’t fret; your cat is fine. It turns out that your feline friend must have the proper gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects.

For more information on catnip and the way it affects our feline friends, call your vet Frisco, TX.

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