Crazy for Catnip!

Does your cat go crazy for catnip? Your feline friends probably love to mingle with this tasty herb, and many enjoy rolling in it whenever they get the chance. If you have a cat that loves catnip, you know all too well the curious (and hilarious!) effects it can have on your pet, and you might wonder what exactly is in this plant that drives them so wild. But did you know not all cats love catnip? It’s true! Not every cat goes crazy for the herb, and it’s estimated that only 75 to 80% of cats are affected by it. 


What is Catnip? 

Catnip is a perennial plant here in British Columbia, meaning it will continue to grow year after year in your garden. A member of the mint family, catnip originally comes from eastern Europe and outward to China and can grow up to 39″ tall! Blooming with white to pale pink flowers, catnip is also a favourite of pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. 

Can My Cat Eat Catnip From The Garden? 

Yes! Your cat can graze on live catnip plants as easily as the dried versions. Catnip’s fragrant leaves will attract your feline from quite a distance. This herb contains the organic compound Nepetalactone, which is what attracts cats. Once a cat has been attracted to your catnip garden, it may spend time wallowing and luxuriating in it while enjoying the taste of leaves, stems, and flowers. After enjoying a catnip snack, your cat may frolic happily for a while before settling down for a lovely catnap! 


How Much Catnip Should a Cat Have? 

A little can definitely go a long way when it comes to catnip. A pinch of the dried herb and several fresh herb leaves is a good amount for your pet. Most cats will only eat a small amount on their own as they are a good judge of how much to eat. But, no matter how much they ingest, they can not overdose on catnip. Rare cases have caused vomiting or diarrhea, but these pass fairly quickly. If you ever have any concerns about your pet’s health, you should always seek veterinary care.  

Will My Cat Get ‘High’? 

While your pet may certainly feel some euphoric sensations, cats do not get ‘high’ in the way humans do with their “herbs.” The Nepetalactone found in the plant’s leaves and stems attracts cats to catnip. Once this is inhaled and enters the nasal passage, it will activate sensory neurons, which tell your cat’s brain that something good is coming! This is typically when your pet may begin to exhibit the hilarious and crazy behaviour we all know and love. Once your pet has had a whiff of catnip, expect the sensation to last for 10-15 minutes, and then your feline will settle in for a nice snooze. 


The Benefits of Catnip 



As catnip ultimately causes relaxation, catnip can be used to relieve stress and anxiety. 



Catnip will stimulate senses that may not normally get fired-up—toys infused with catnip are an excellent way to eliminate boredom and get all their sensory neurons moving. 

Digestive Aid 

Catnip is a carminative that helps reduce gas in the intestines. Always a good side effect! 


Dry Skin 

Using catnip to make a soothing tea bath can help with some skin irritants and help ward off fleas, ticks, and other pesky insects.  



Not all cats get along. Introducing a new cat does not always go smoothly. Using catnip to help pave the way promotes a feeling of well-being, fun, and relaxation when cats are getting to know each other. 

Live or Dried Catnip? 

No matter which way you prefer to use catnip, you can be assured that your feline friend will love it no matter which you choose. Try growing some for spring and summer fun and then switch to a dried version for wintertime.  

At Mother Nature we have catnip seeds which you can direct sow now into your garden, as well as several different types of ready-to-go catnip including dried and spray versions. Stop by and learn about how your cat will benefit in body, mind, and soul with catnip!