Catnip Effects on Cats

Catnip effects in cats can be compared to the usage of marijuana. In fact, catnip is actually a relative of the marijuana family; though related in a far off manner. The general purpose of catnip is to give your cat a natural high that he will enjoy during playtime. And according to recent findings, it appears to have no detrimental effects on your cat; only funny and incidental effects.

The High of Catnip

Catnip is actually an herb which belongs to a family known as Labiatae. Catnip contains an ingredient known as nepetalactone, which is what causes the feeling of the high.

When the scent of the plant is inhaled, it triggers a response in the brain and the chemicals are altered by nepetalactone. These alterations of the brain chemicals can also cause an effect which is similar to hallucination.

Effects of Catnip

When you bring catnip around your cat, you may notice some differing effects in different cats. However, for the most part, the effect of the high will be similar in most all cats.

When you give your cat catnip for the first time, he will most likely sniff it, then rub against it, then play with it for a minute or two and then attempt to eat it. The scent of catnip is so appealing to cats that they will actually roll around on the little tiny catnip leaf and try to spread the scent to every area of their body. Cats do this because they are trying to capture the scent that has made them feel so good.

After your cat has given the catnip a good rub down, you will then start to notice how the high affects his individual personality. Some cats will become extremely playful and start running around the house at 100 miles per hour. Other cats will simply become mellow and more affectionate and eager for a belly rub. On the other hand, some cats will become extremely aggressive and begin trying to fight with other cats or animals that are in the house.

It is impossible to know how your cat will react to catnip; however it is known that the effects of catnip typically only last for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minute period is over, you will probably notice that your cat is very mellow and ready for a nap as the high is coming down.

The Safety of Catnip

Being as that catnip is somewhat similar to marijuana, you are probably wondering if it is actually safe to give your cat. Catnip is very safe to give to your cat.

The thing to remember about cats is that they are survivors and they know what their limits are. In most cases, your cat will go crazy over the introduction of a catnip leaf. But once he has had enough, he has had enough and will walk away and sleep it off.