Catnip. Why does it make cats so wild?
What makes cats so wild about catnip? The plant contains a chemical called nepetalactone which enters the body through the olfactory system (the system responsible for our sense of smell.) When your cat sniffs catnip, the nepetalactone stimulates sensory neurons in the brain and causes a euphoric “high.” The sensation usually lasts about ten minutes with wild chasing, playing and hyperactivity and ends with your cat falling into an hour-long catnap. (Check out the awesome infographic below from Catnipsum.com)
Catnip affects ~80% of cats and has no effect on young kittens. It’s safe for cats and humans to consume. (But it just makes the humans sleepy, like chamomile tea.)
Catnip comes in many feel-good forms, but these are The Happy Beast’s cats very favorites. Try a couple and see which makes your cat the craziest. Watching your cat go nuts is part of the fun!
1. Live Catnip Plants
The BEST catnip is fresh! Our live plants are locally grown and can be left in the plastic pot or transferred into the ground where they will grow into your cat’s very own, private catnip jungle. Most cats enjoy chewing on the plant, but you can also harvest and dry the leaves.
2. LoveNips Wild Birds and Mice
Hand-sewn, locally made, and packed with local, organic catnip, these bright, wool birds with feather tails are a favorite among The Happy Beast kitties!
3. Yeowww! Bananas and Cigars
Filled with 100% organic catnip and the perfect size for tossing, batting and attacking!
4. Kong Catnip Spray
Make any toy a catnip toy with a spritz of Kong’s Catnip Spray. The oil is steam-distilled making it the most concentrated and potent form of the herb. The spray is convenient and leaves almost no mess.
A ping pong-sized, solid ball of all-natural catnip. Cats go crazy chasing a Pawbreaker around their house! The balls last a long time (but may get trapped under the fridge or behind a couch!)
An awesome infographic from Catnipsum.com
Even domestic cats’ wild cousins aren’t immune to catnip’s effects. Hunters have used catnip to trap cougars and mountain lions, hanging dried plants to lure the big cats with their tempting aroma, Simon said. Studies have also shown that lions, leopards and jaguars respond to the compounds found in catnip, though