Cuckoo for Catnip! Feline 'happy' receptors explained.
Some cat's go cuckoo for their catnip. So, the MyDog'NMore team thought it might be useful to understand more about what it is and if it's a good thing to be giving to our feline friends.
So firstly, a good thing about catnip is that it's a natural product and is part of the leafy green mint family. The active ingredient that can turn even the laziest kitty a little crazy is the essential oil called Nepetalactone.
Although it's commonly tought that all cats love their catnip, it's interesting to note that only about 2/3 of cats have a sensitivity to it's effects and it typically only gets a response from mature cats.
Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain. But the effects can vary. The most intense catnip experience is associated with smell, which can create an instance stimulation which could result in hyperative behaviour or even agression. However, ingestion of catnip has a very different effect and tends to make your cat mellow and super chilled!
Although the catnip response can be very noticeable, luckily the effects of catnip wears off quickly and within 15 minutes or so you're cat will be back to themselves.
Whilst occassional use hasn't shown to be a bad things for cats, it's wise not to over use catnip. As they say; all good things in moderation!
Remember, your vet is also a very good source of information and advice and will help you understand what might be best for your pets.