First of all, there is a little introduction about this wonderful feline familiar shrub. Catnip is the same family with mint and spearmint. It has aromatic essential volatile oil which is very useful as the insect repellent and also used in not only some cosmetic products but also insect repellent sprays, lotions. Catnip is a seriously attractive thing to most of the cats. Yes, I said most because some few kitties do not interest in it surprisingly. Most owners know that fur babies sniff the dry leave toys or fresh pants. But few still puzzle that does cats eat catnip or not?
The answer is yes because our beloved fluff balls really do nibble on fresh leaves and stem. Owners who plant catmint at home notice this action. Dry leaves are best if used in stuff in soft cloth toys because letting the kitty sniff scramble dry flakes without any cover may cause respiratory tract problem due to tiny flakes entering to lungs from the nose. When they see the plant and get the scent of nepetalactone, the attracted feline will sniff, rub against the plant and chew the leaves and stem. The more they bite, the more nepetalactone compound essential oil will come out which will bring them stage of Ecstasy. Kitties eat dry flakes too but should be careful about sniffing unprotected dry tiny flakes. Eating catnip gives opposite effect of smelling it because chewing can give sedative effect instead of enhancing active energy. So do you know the reason why cat chews catmint? There is little explanation for you.
Why do cats like catnip?
Kitties cannot get a variety of tastes like humans. The truth is not all felines are the fan of this herb as only 70% of them are attracted and respond to the chemical compound. For example, we are being attracted by a different type of aromatic fragrances and response to each scent with own choices. Furbabies also in the same condition as most of them are being attracted by this special aromatic herb. They can sense the scent of catmint from miles away. They sniff the catnip to enjoy the drug-like effects such as erratic, active nature which is similar to the drunk condition in the human.
They chew catnip leaves and stem to get sedative when they are in pain or just to calm and themselves. The catmint reaction comes from the genetic trait. Generally sensitive felines including wild jungle big cats just cannot resist going away from the attraction of the volatile oil called nepetalactone. They prefer to sniff and chew fresh plant more than dry flakes because they will be bored and lost interest on dry herb stuff toy within few days. Cats like catnip sometime just to get high but also to be mental therapy for calming themselves down.
How long does catnip last?
Even though it can make cats high in the euphoric moment, this is not completely drug and totally safe from addiction. The ecstasy period can be longterm or short-term depending on the dose a feline takes. Short term is when they take enough amount to have fun or calm. Kitties may jump, roll, play, do pawing and non-stop meow that you will feel fun of seeing them act like mad. Few cats may have aggressive nature after smelling it. They may just drool, mellow and fall sleep after nibbling leaves or stem. This hyper period last 5 to 15 minutes after that they will stay for few hours before another pleasure time.
The longterm effect comes when fur babies take an excessive amount of swallowing. That can cause the stomach sickness like diarrhea or vomiting which can last the whole day. Do not worry about being overdose because cats know the limit of high and when to stop by natural alarm, therefore, sickness by overdose case is very rare.
This informative answer can help you to understand the basic about catmint herb. I think, now you may know, that cats eat catnip or not. We all have fun watching our furry companions get high.