You haven't seen a truly blissful cat if you don't have witnessed one rolling around in some catnip. With only a sprinkle of this minty green herb (known as nepeta cataria in the scientific community), your cat may react with a number of unusual behaviors-including licking, chewing, rolling around, cheek rubbing and vocalization-all from the euphoric and relaxed state induced through the 'nip.

Not all cats respond to catnip the same-and about 30% from the cat human population is totally unaffected by it (sensitivity to catnip is definitely an inherited, gene-dependent trait). Usually, the cat won't react to catnip until they reach sexual maturity (about 3-6 months), and older cats are typically less enticed than their younger counterparts. For those kitties which do feel the results of catnip-once they smell it, they go right into a non-addictive and pleasure-induced state that lasts about 10 minutes. Once olfactory fatigue sets in, your cat will leave immaterial happened. A couple of hours later, you are able to guarantee they'll be back and ready for round two.

How It Works

The chemical in nepeta cataria that is accountable for triggering the euphoric state in cats is nepetalactone. Whenever a cat smells catnip, caffeine enters the cat's nasal tissue and binds to protein receptors that stimulate the neurons, thus signaling their brain to react. Your cat will behave similarly to how a cat typically responds to pheromones: excited and happy. Samantha Bell, cat behavior and enrichment lead at Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in L.A., says that your cat may go through different effects for the way they use the catnip. “If cats consume the catnip, it always has a calming effect. But when they smell the catnip, it usually has an energizing effect.”

Boosting Their Spirits

Besides sudden alterations in mood, cats can benefit from the catnip plant in a variety of ways. “One wonderful advantage of catnip is it may be used to encourage a scared, shy or depressed kitty to play, which will help them gain confidence and brighten their spirits,” says Samantha. “You want to enrich all five of the cat's senses, and catnip is wonderful olfactory enrichment for cats. Scent is a big part of your cat's life.”

Finding the very best Catnip

When you are looking at the type of catnip you need to get your furball, know that not all catnip goods are created equal. There are various forms catnip is sold in (like sprays, oils and compressed pellets), in addition to different leaf grades. In addition, catnip can come in organic or non-organic varieties. When it comes to all-natural and organic catnip, you cannot go wrong with Sojos Catnip. The foliage is hand harvested in the Cascade Mountains of Washington and therefore are held in a tin to preserve freshness and potency. If you are growing your personal catnip plant, Samantha recommends crushing the leaves of the catnip plant between your fingers before giving it for your cat to increase the effectiveness of the herb. “This releases the nepetalactone oil, that is what gives cats the euphoric feelings,” she says.

KONG Naturals Premium Catnip is yet another high-quality catnip with a potent formula. This catnip is harvested at peak freshness and made from all-natural ingredients and oils. All the KONG Naturals products are ecologically responsible making from renewable resources, so that you can feel better about treating your cat.

Beyond the catnip plant like a dried-out herb, you can also purchase catnip as an oil packaged in a convenient spray bottle. KONG Naturals Catnip Spray is made from steam-distilled oil, making it probably the most potent catnip oil available on the market. Without the flakes of dried catnip, there is no mess to wash up afterwards, and you may spray it on nearly anything-cat trees and towers, toys, and scratchers. This is especially ideal for training your cat to scratch and claw places apart from your furniture or rugs.

Kitty-Friendly Greens

Besides rolling in greens, cats also like to consume them, too. Sometimes, cats have a longing for grass and does not hesitate to indulge on your own front lawn or landscaping plants. This can be possibly damaging to your kitty, as most outdoor plants and grasses are often given pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. To ensure your cat is content without putting him in harm's way, consider growing your own organic pet grass indoors. Bellrock Growers Pet Greens Self Grow Garden Pet Grass is ideal for growing all-natural greens which are loaded with nutrients like chlorophyll, carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, plus fiber that can help support digestion. All you do is add water to the bag, and in in regards to a week your cat will be thanking you for his or her all-natural, chemical-free treat.