Catnip – effect, application & plant yourself

Catnip is a special plant that is particularly popular with cats because of its smell and its effects. The peppery scent and unique chemical composition of the herb are known to be stimulating to furry friends and induce a state of playful joy.

But why is exactly this plant so fascinating for our furry friends? What are the possible uses and can the herb itself be planted in the garden? This article provides answers to these and other questions about catnip.

“>Catnip, cat melissa or in English “Catnip”, is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the family of mints is classified.

“>The plant originally comes from the warm, southern regions of Europe, Africa and Asia and has a growth height of up to one meter. In the second half of summer, catnip blooms with small white or bluish flowers, and not just once – a perennial Catnip is perennial and therefore blooms many summers in our home garden.

The special thing about the herbaceous plant is the essential oils contained in leaves, flowers and stems.The tart scent is reminiscent a mixture of lemon and mint and is perceived as pleasant not only by cats, but also by humans.

Due to their sensitive sense of smell, this scent triggers cats emit a veritable firework of emotions and behaviors, similar to valerian.

Where and how is Catnip available?

“>Catnip can be used in different forms. The most natural variant is fresh catnip, which can simply be picked in nature or planted in the garden or on the balcony. The plants can basically be purchased inexpensively in any garden center.

For many cat owners, the dried form of catnip is especially practical. The mint can be bought in small tins or bags in pet shops and can therefore easily be taken anywhere.

Tip: So that the catnip can be stored for a long time and does not lose its effect, the dried herb should always be sealed airtight.

Catnip can also be used in fl liquid form can be purchased. The catnip is usually offered as a spray or in the form of drops and is particularly highly concentrated. It is therefore important for sensitive fur noses that the liquid is used very sparingly.

Catnip is also available in the form of Cat toys or pillows are offered that contain a core of dried catnip. These toys offer a special joy for the little fur noses, as the animals combine fun and exciting smell impulses.

Why is catnip so attractive to cats?

The catnip effect is very noticeable in many cats – Image: Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock.com “>Cats have a much finer sense of smell than humans and thus perceive smells much more intensely.So the aromatic scent of catnip has a much stronger effect on furry noses than on us humans.

Catnip contains including the sex attractants actinidin and Nepetalactone.These pheromones are very attractive to attractants similar to what a cat in heat exudes and can therefore have a high attraction to the house tiger and trigger special impulses.

But not all cats show interest in catnip Especially young or very old cats ) often do not react to the plant at all. Otherwise, the effect of catnip is independent of the sex and breed of the four-legged friend – even neutered cats can react to the plant in. However, the effect is limited in time: interest in the plant usually wanes after a few minutes and the smell is only perceived as exciting again at a later point in time.

How does the catnip work?

“> How exactly catnip works has not yet been scientifically clarified in detail. It is clear that the plant has a euphoric, relaxing and also a soothing In response, the cats will often roll in the mint or rub their heads against it, and will often lick the toy or plant for minutes while purring with pleasure themselves.

The scents of catnip also encourage many velvet paws to play. lured out of reserve and become much more relaxed and playful.

How to use catnip on your cat?

“>Depending on the reaction a cat shows to the plant, there are different possible uses for the herb. If the catnip smell calms and relaxes the furry nose, you can Stressful situations , such as visiting the vet, can be defused with catnip.

“>By putting some fresh or dried herb in the basket, the cat is attracted and then often stays in the basket voluntarily. This way, going to the vet is relaxed and peaceful and the cat can experience the time cheerfully and stress-free.

Other situations such as moving to a new environment can be associated with stress for cats – catnip can also be used here as an anti-stressor and make the new sleeping place palatable for the cat but still further:

For minor injuries or minor ailments such as abdominal pain the catnip to Soothing and Pain Relief are used – of course combined with a trip to the veterinarian. With the help of the special herb, the Play instinct of the cats are stimulated. Catnip attracts the attention of four-legged friends with its calming and attractive effect and the toy also becomes more interesting with a bit of miracle herb. Catnip can be used on cats appetizing and thus influence eating behavior. The herb can therefore be helpful, especially for cats that refuse food or do not want to eat because they are nervous. Tip: Dried catnip from Kater Kasimir

Tip: Catnip Spray from Kater Kasimir

How many times can you use them?

“>Even if catnip is basically harmless for cats, the use of the herb should not be used too often . If the fur nose can no longer properly perceive its familiar smells because Catnip Spray has been used throughout the apartment, confusion often sets in. As a result, the cat can start, for example to urinate in the apartment, to mask the smell of the catnip.

It is therefore usually sufficient to apply the catweed in low doses to certain objects or toys and after a few days to Need to be re-sprayed.

Catnip in cat food

“>Catnip can also be added to the food and taken orally by the cats. Normally, however, the edible catnip is in very small doses so the typical effects of the herb are only mild. However, many cats like the taste of the mint and find the herb appetizing and slightly sedating.

“>Important: Before catnip in If larger amounts are given orally, a consultation with the veterinarian should be made.On the other hand, there is no need to worry if the cat occasionally nibbles on the mint in the flower pot.

Catnip in toys

“>Catnip is often used in toys to strengthen the play instinct and to give the cats a feeling of exhilaration.The cat weed is also popular in cuddly pillows to calm the house tigers and create a stimulating cuddly oasis.

Balls and small play mice that are sprayed with catnip stimulate the four-legged friend’s hunting instinct and make playing even more interesting.

Play cushion with catnip

Play cushion with fresh catnip. 22 x 4 cm tall, perfect for romping or cuddling.

Refillable cat toy

Refillable cat toy with catnip – Fair handwork from natural sheep’s wool.

Small ball of wool felt filled with catnip. Premium cat toy, refillable.

Encourage chewing while caring for the cat’s teeth naturally.

Is catnip harmful to cats?

“>The basic rule is: catnip is not poisonous for house tigers or Harmful Nevertheless, long-term use is not recommended. In addition to the usual habituation effect, stress and restlessness can also occur in the cats in the long run – even real withdrawal symptoms can be triggered by an overdose of the “cat drug”.

However, occasionally nibbling on catnip or using it on toys or cat sleeping places is harmless to health as long as the cat reacts positively to the active ingredients.

Warning: Exceptions confirm the rule, as always. Some cats do not tolerate the active ingredients of catnip and react, for example, by hissing or biting. If such reactions to catnip are observed, the herb should be banned immediately from the reach of the fur nose.

Planting catnip in the garden

“>Catnip is a hardy, easy to care for garden plant, which thrives in sunny locations and adorns the garden with its blue or white flowers. Catnip feels at home in our home gardens and can also overwinter there without any problems. It is therefore advisable to plant the perennial perennials in a bed instead of in a bucket – antifreeze should be used here to be on the safe side.

“>For your own cultivation it is important that it is the “Real catnip” (Nepeta cataria) and not the catnip (Nepeta fassenii)! The latter has no effect on cats, but is much more common in the trade – this is supposed to look nicer.

The best time to plant catnip is spring or autumn, once planted the plant will self propagate – however regular pruning is recommended to keep the perennial nice and tidy to hold.

By the way: Not only cats benefit from the aromatic plants. Catnip in the garden has other advantages: For example, it protects against unwanted insects such as vermin and mosquitoes and provides beneficial insects such as Bees and bumblebees Food.

Tip : Catnip seeds for planting in your own garden

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Hello! My name is Dominik Hollenbach, I am the founder of Katzenkram. I’ve lived with cats since I was a child and have always been intensively involved with these fascinating creatures.

The topic of healthy nutrition for cats is particularly close to my heart. There is just way too much bad and unhealthy cat food on the market.

That’s why I test a lot with my five cats PonPon, Bella, Tequila, Azrael and Lori different varieties and evaluate them according to ingredients, declaration, analytical components, acceptance and tolerability.

As a nutritionist for cats, I know exactly what is important for good cat food . Our cat food test should help everyone to find the best cat food quickly and easily!

6 replies

Hello Dominik, find your text on catnip very well written. However, one “very important” note is missing: There are also cats that react extremely strongly to catnip, no matter what form it is. My cat reacts to even the smallest traces, e.g. B. fragrance, so extreme that she gets into a real intoxication, the pupils dilate extremely and she starts to e.g. B. biting my hand or sleeve when I was in the garden cutting catnip. This means I have to wash my hands thoroughly with soap and hot water beforehand and remove the item of clothing I was wearing. I believe there is also corresponding information on the Internet about this extreme reaction. I’ll have a look. My cat, on the other hand, is not interested in catnip at all. But he completely freaks out over carrot salad 🙂



Hello Anne,

so that’s in my form not yet found. I know that there are cats who become really addicted to it, but your cat seems to react in a much more extreme way.

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