How to give cats catnip?

Catnip, also known as Nepeta Cataria, is a herb that is loved by cats all over the world. It is a member of the mint family and has a distinct aroma that is irresistible to felines. When cats come in contact with catnip, they exhibit a range of behaviors such as rolling, rubbing, and even vocalizing. This reaction is due to the chemical compound called nepetalactone found in catnip, which triggers a response in cats’ brains. Giving your cat catnip can be a fun and enriching experience for both you and your furry friend. In this article, we will discuss how to give cats catnip and its benefits.

1. Choose the right type of catnip:
Catnip is available in various forms such as dried leaves, sprays, and toys. It is essential to choose the right type of catnip for your cat. Dried leaves are the most potent form of catnip and are perfect for sprinkling on your cat’s toys or scratching post. Catnip sprays are a convenient option for spraying on your cat’s bed or toys. Catnip toys are also a popular choice as they are infused with catnip and can provide hours of entertainment for your cat.

2. Introduce catnip gradually:
If your cat has never been exposed to catnip before, it is essential to introduce it gradually. Start by giving your cat a small amount of dried leaves or a toy infused with catnip. Observe your cat’s reaction, and if they seem to enjoy it, you can gradually increase the amount. It is essential to note that not all cats are affected by catnip, and some may not show any interest in it at all.

3. Use catnip as a reward:
Catnip can be used as a reward for good behavior or as a way to encourage your cat to use their scratching post. You can sprinkle a small amount of catnip on their scratching post to attract them to it. This will not only keep your cat entertained but also save your furniture from being scratched.

4. Avoid overexposure:
While catnip is safe for cats, it is essential to avoid overexposure. Giving your cat too much catnip can lead to adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. It is recommended to give your cat catnip once or twice a week in small amounts to prevent any negative reactions.

5. Store catnip properly:
To maintain the potency of catnip, it is essential to store it properly. Dried leaves should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Catnip toys and sprays should also be kept in a sealed container to prevent them from losing their potency.

6. Observe your cat’s behavior:
Every cat reacts differently to catnip, and it is essential to observe your cat’s behavior when they are exposed to it. Some cats may become more playful and energetic, while others may become more relaxed and calm. It is also common for cats to become more vocal when they are under the influence of catnip. If you notice any unusual behavior, it is best to stop giving your cat catnip and consult your veterinarian.

7. Benefits of catnip:
Apart from being a source of entertainment for cats, catnip also has several benefits. It can help relieve stress and anxiety in cats and can be beneficial for cats who are prone to destructive behavior. Catnip can also be used to encourage cats to eat or to help them relax during car rides or trips to the vet.

In conclusion, giving your cat catnip can be a fun and enriching experience for both you and your feline friend. It is essential to choose the right type of catnip and introduce it gradually to your cat. Remember to store catnip properly and avoid overexposure. By following these tips, you can give your cat catnip safely and enjoy watching them indulge in their favorite herb.