- Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family and is a cousin to basil and oregano.
- Nepeta Cataria originally came from Europe and Asia, and now grows like a weed over much of the U.S.
- Its Latin-origin cataria means 'of a cat.'
- It is the chemical, nepetalactone, found in the oil of catnip leaves, stems, and seeds that attracts domesticated cats, and larger cats like lions, leopards, pumas, and panthers.
- About one cat in two inherits a sensitivity to the herb, and it starts when your kitty is anywhere between 3 and 6 months old. Some cats have no reaction whatsoever to catnip.
- After a couple of sniffs of the oil, a cat will rub it, roll over it, kick at it, and go nuts over it for a few minutes, but will soon lose interest and walk away. It may be two hours before the cat comes back to it and has the same reaction.
- Some cats are mellowed and calmed by the smell of catnip.
- Catnip is non-addictive and safe for cats. Eating it won't cause a reaction. They have to breathe in the chemical released into the air to react.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
What is in Catnip that Kitties Love So Much?
Special thanks to Wintergreen for yesterday's comment question about catnip....and why kitties like it so much.
Posted by Nature Weaver Gypsy