Is Catnip a Cat Drug?
We often have people ask: Is catnip a drug? Does catnip get my cat high?
The short answer is no, catnip is not a drug in the traditional sense. To have an effect on your cat it does not have to be ingested or be metabolized in the way a drug does. This is because catnip actually works entirely off scent. The all natural oils within the catnip mimic a type of cat pheromones that make them react physically when smelled. It’s the similar to how essential oils and candles (or even a really delicious smelling meal!) can make people feel a certain way, but the reaction is many times more strong because a cats sense of smell is much more sensitive than our own.
The effects of catnip on cats is sometimes compared to the reactions people experience with recreational drugs, though. Some kitties become more hyper and playful while others become more loving and relaxed. Some become more playful at first and then crash and fall asleep! Every catnip reacts a bit differently depending on their personality and genetics. It is also important to say that catnip is totally safe (and even beneficial!) to give to cats, but NEVER give your cat any sort of human drug. It can be very dangerous to do so. There are plenty of safe cat stimulants to try instead!
There is no such thing as catnip withdrawal or dependence and catnip is totally safe even if your cat eats some. Many cats actually love to eat it! The effects are temporary and typically last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Catnip is simply an herb in the mint family that is even safe for people to eat and drink that happens to also be greatly enjoyed by many felines. Feel free to give your cats as much catnip as they enjoy and worry not!
Some cats just don’t genetically have a reaction catnip. If this sounds like your cat, lucky for them there are a few different alternatives to look into! You can try Silvervine (which comes in a few different forms- Silvervine Powder, Matatabi Sticks, or Whole Silvervine Gall Fruit) or Valerian Root as well! There is bound to be something your kitty enjoys.
We have many different forms of catnip available, all of which are all natural and high potency! Check them out and give them a try to see what your cats favorite is!