Cat is a playful pet that really enjoys playing either with toys and with its owner. Cat really know how to have fun! If you are wondering how to know that a cat wants to play with you, you can check signs of cats that wants to play If you see those signs, then you either have to spare your time for your cats, or prepare something for your cat to play by itself.
Catnip is a smart choice of something given to cats to play with. There are even some toys full with catnip. What is catnip? Why do cats love it so much?
Let’s learn more about catnip’s characteristics and the reasons why cats love it so much. If you want to see some ideas on cat toys, you can simply make them at home. Check easy DIY cat toys to make one for your baby.
- What is Catnip?
Catnip is a plant that has fragrant and comes from the mint family. It has scientific name which is Nepeta cataria, and some nick names, such as cat mint or cats wort. This plant originally comes from Africa, Europe and Asia, but now you can find it all over the world, including in your nearest pet shop.
Catnip has a sturdy stem and purple flowers. It usually grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Instead of being given as fresh plants to cats directly, catnip toys for cats are mostly dried and grounded into tiny pieces. Giving catnip toys is one of the ways you should do to make your cat happy.
Catnip has stems and leaves that contain “nepetalactone”, a oil that is able to stimulate the special receptors that are able to sense chemicals
Why do Cats Love Catnip so Much?
It might look as a toy or a common plant, but your cats might get crazy about it. You might start wondering why they go crazy only because of a plant? Here are the reasons.
As stated before, catnip has an oil called “nepetalactone” that stimulates the cat’s special receptors. When smell the stem and the leaves, they will be given a sense of overwhelming happiness. It is a chemical reaction between the chemicals “pheromones” and the receptors. That’s why your cat is really fond of having catnip as its toy.
It also triggers chemical reaction in the brain. It is mostly compared to psychoactive drugs in humans. It is able to make your cats acting weird, but it is really fun for the cat and you as the owner as well.
This catnip also brings up your cat’s mood and happiness. Once they are catnip or catnip toys, they might go crazy about it. Those cats that have strong reactions to catnip will eventually get frisky, purr, droll and keep showing crazy actions.
These actions might be fun for you! 6 fun games to play with your beloved cats will also bring so much fun for both of you.
Different cats have different reactions to catnip. Some will show overexciting actions over catnip, while other might just okay with it, even not reacting at all. The effect of catnip on cats generally will end around 5- 10 minutes, but it also can last to 1 hour.
However, not all cats are fond of having catnip toys. It is predicted that catnip only affects around 50 to 75 percent of cats. Catnip is mostly favorable for young kittens and older cats.
Benefits and Side Effects of Catnip
Besides bringing happiness and excitement to cats, catnip also has some other health benefits. For anxious cats, for example, it can reduce the stress and anxiety.
Besides, by playing with catnip, it will allow you cat to move and play instead of being lazy. There are some other reasons why you should play with your cat or get a catnip for your cat!
However, please note some side effects of catnip as well. If your cat eats large amount of fresh catnip, your cat will be likely to vomit or have diarrhea. Do not give large amount of catnip directly, especially if it is a new thing for your cat. Give a small amount in the beginning and let’s see your cat’s reaction to it.
Catnip can be given in a form of toys which you can easily get from any pet shop near your house. Moreover, there are other ways of getting catnip for your cats. You can sprinkle dried catnip to the toys or scratching places. Besides, growing fresh catnip will also be a good idea.
Do you know that catnip can also be beneficial for humans? Catnip is very beneficial for treating nausea, headache and toothache due to its soothing and numbing effects. So, if you plan to grow catnip, you can enjoy the plant both for you and your cat!