Everything You Need to Know About the Catnip Plant

Catnip is widely available and beloved by many of our feline friends. How much do you know about this fascinating plant? Learn all about catnip below from your veterinarian Westminster, MD.

What is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is an herb, related to mint and other common herbs that you might have growing in your spice garden. It grows in the wild all over North America and many other parts of the world. In a pet store, you’ll purchase “raw” catnip—a dried and processed version of the wild plant—or toys, sprays, and other products that contain catnip oil.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant’s stem and leaves contain a chemical substance, nepetalactone, that triggers a chemical response in a cat’s brain. It affects the same part of the brain that creates sexual responses, so many experts liken catnip to a sort of feline aphrodisiac!

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

If you cat doesn’t do much of anything when given catnip, don’t worry—she’s perfectly healthy. If your cat doesn’t possess a certain gene inherited from her parents, catnip won’t have any effect.

Learn more by calling your vet clinic Westminster, MD. We’re here to help!

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