There are about 250 different species of catnip, but the figure can easily be more if you consider hybrid species as well. This particular herb is believed to be effective for influencing cat behavior.
How does catnip work for cats?
This herb contains nepetalactone, which is a special type of essential oil found on the leaves and stem. If it’s sniffed by your cat, then several things can happen:
• Significant increase in aggressive behavior
• Moderation of aggressive behavior (e.g. drooling and rolling on the floor)
All of these, as well as other types of reactions can happen because nepetalactone tends to have a hallucinogenic effect on felines. It’s been likened mostly to the effects of marijuana as well as the “sexual” high a creature has during intercourse or activities leading to the latter.
One thing you should know; however, is that catnip does not affect all cats.
• Studies show that only 50% of cats experience effects when exposed to this herb.
• Kittens appear not to be affected by exposure to catnip.
• Although the effects of this herb are also like an aphrodisiac, it has been proven that it can affect female cats as well as those which have been spayed.
Sniffing versus eating
Cats do not always end up sniffing this herb. Sometimes, you’ll find your cat eating it instead. If this happens, then most of the time the herb will act as a sedative instead and cause your cat to feel sleepy. This can be beneficial when dealing with an aggressive cat as it will help to put an end to their aggressive behavior, especially if it has become uncontrollable.
Is It Dangerous to your cat’s health?
No. The possibility of your pet overdosing on it is quite low – or even nil in fact. Like many animals in the world, cats are smart creatures and they will know when they’ve had too much of something. If they’ve reached their limit, then they will be the first to shy away from having to continually sniff or even swallow this herb.
How long do the effects last?
In most cases, the effects of this herb on cat behavior would last about five to ten minutes. It depends on various factors, such as how long your cat’s been sniffing it or what its natural level of susceptibility is to catnip. Once the effects wear off, you will notice that your cat want have anything else to do with the herb. You will have to wait maybe two hours at least before you can “reintroduce” the herb to your cat.
Although most people know it as a benefit to feline health and behavior, this herb actually has benefits in other areas to offer as well. Studies show that this herb can get rid of insects and pests like cockroaches, mice, and even ants. It can also be of help to humans.
Where to get catnip
If you are hoping to use this to influence your cat’s behavior and make it easier to train, then you have two choices – you can either buy it from your local pet store or you can grow catnip in your own herb garden, your cat will thank you for it!
Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com