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All About Catnip

Learn about this cat-friendly herb


Most people have heard of catnip, but what is it and how does it work? Is it totally safe for cats? Learn more about this herb and why most cats go crazy for it. Share your reviews of favorite brands of catnip and catnip toys and share your crazy catnip kitty stories.

1. Veterinary Q & A: All About Catnip

Purrcy and Catnip by cygnus921 on Flickr
by cygnus921 on Flickr

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family Labiatae. Catnip is known in scientific nomenclature as "Nepeta cataria". The plant is a weed-like mint that is now native in North America and Canada after being introduced from its native Mediterranean soil. Learn more about this herb and its potetial effects on cats in this FAQ.

2. My cat really goes crazy over catnip, is it dangerous?

Beaker gets 'nipped by iLoveButter on Flickr
by iLoveButter on Flickr
Cats are unique in their response to catnip, as cats have a special receptor for the catnip active ingredient, called Nepetalactone. Nepetalactone is a mild hallucinogen, but not addictive or harmful for cats. The behavioral response can be very dramatic in some cats.

3. Share Your Story: Is Your Cat Crazy For Catnip?

I Luv Catnip by barockschloss on Flickr
by barockschloss on Flickr

Catnip is a cat-friendly plant that causes a variety of behaviors in cats. Some cats get "wild," some seem drowsy, and some cats don't react at all. Catnip may be great for enticing some playful activity out of cats who may be more inclined to nap all day.

What about your cat? Please share your stories and photos of kitties and catnip here.

4. Write a Review: Catnip and Catnip Toys for Cats

Esteban the snake hunter by vieux bandit on Flickr
by vieux bandit on Flickr

catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a favorite for many cats, both the fresh plant and the dried variety; regular and organic. Catnip can be sprinkled on the floor for cats to enjoy, and it is a common "filler" for cat toys and scratching posts.

What's your cat's favorite? Please share your reviews of types of catnip, catnip-filled toys and scratching posts here.

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