How Does Catnip Affect Cats

While many people may not know it, cat lovers everywhere celebrate the holiday of National Cat Day every April by celebrating something called “catnip day” or “fall into conversation day”- when cats do their famous nose rubbing behavior that seems to get them very excited.

This behavior happens when your cat is exposed to an allergen like cat hair, or cat saliva with some cat nectar (the liquid that comes from plants) in it. For those who are allergic to cats, this process can be frustrating as they try to help their skin cope with its reaction to the cat hairs and saliva.

For one particular ingredient used in cat nectar, studies have shown that it can reduce allergy symptoms! That special compound is menthol.

Effects of catnip on cats

A Close-Up Shot of a Cat Eating


Like most plants, there are several known effects that catnip has on your average domestic cat. These effects vary depending on what stage of exposure they have as well as how much you apply.

Some studies report that catnip can help ease anxiety in older or stressed out kittens or adult cats. Kittens under six months old who are exposed to catnip often play longer and more intensely than their non-catnippied counterparts.

For example, during these playful episodes, they may climb around more quickly, jump higher, run faster, and explore larger areas than normal. This usually lasts for an hour to few hours!

When said kitten is finally done exploring, he/she will typically rub themselves against anything covered in cat hair such as a furniture leg, bed sheet, etc. To give yourself this effect, wash all white sheets with a natural soap like Ivory Liquid.

Ways catnip effects cats

Photo of Cat Standing on Top of a Book


When it comes to cats, there are many ways that they enjoy cat nip. These ranges include:

Drinking it directly– sometimes called direct sniffing or ingesting.

Playing with toys that have been infused with cat nip

Rolling around in the area where cat nip was placed

Some cats love their tongue rubbed against the area where cat nip was sprayed

If your cat is trying to get away by running, chasing, or rolling, let them! They may find it more appealing than before.

Never give your pet cat too much of the herb as it could be harmful for him/her. The amount needed to produce an effect varies between individuals and conditions, so do not use it if you do not know how to determine an appropriate dose.

Cat owners should always check with their doctor or veterinarian before giving their pets any new products. Some health problems can be related to internal exposure to cat nip, so make sure everything goes into place first.

More catnip effects

Photo of a Cat Eating


One of the fun things you can do with cat nips is to give them as gifts or for yourself! There are many ways to prepare your favorite furry friend to receive some drops of this herb.

You can make an infusion by mixing one part dried leaves, stems, and/or flowers with three parts water and letting it sit overnight. You can then strain the liquid and add more flavorings if needed (like vanilla or cinnamon).

For older cats, you can use less infused cat food as a gift idea since they will have learned how to taste differences. For example, if someone gives their kitty plain chicken soup, they could just put in a little bit of catnip during baking or serving time.

If giving the recipe as a gift, help the recipient measure out their own dose so that it doesn’t go bad.

Does catnip make cats more friendly?

how catnip effects cats

Recent studies have determined that not only does catnip make some cats love sticking around longer, it also makes other cats seem less threatening to them!

Many people know of at least one individual cat who loves eating an entire bag of cat food that contains no nutritional value whatsoever. (We won’t name any names!) This is because they are very familiar with either just the smell or taste of cat food.

For these dogs who enjoy this habit, you can try planting a few drops of dried cat nip in their feed. Not only will this help fuel your pet’s hunger, but it could also help re-establish trust between two animals that might need some time to get back into each other’s good books.

Does catnip make cats more playful?

how catnip effects cats

Many people get their first taste of cat nip when they adopt a new feline friend. They may try some to see if it works as a way to initiate play with your pet, or you can use it as an alternative reward for good behavior.

Cat nip comes in various forms, but all contain alcohol which makes it pleasant to sniffle. Some are even dried plant matter such as leaves that have the intoxicating effect.

While most dogs respond to cat nip by chasing them around the room, not every dog will! This could be because some dogs are born without the instinct to chase games. For other dogs, it is too strong and they become uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

Some individuals develop an obsession while others find it entertaining. Because there is no known health benefit of cat nip, over-indulging in this product should be avoided so that it does not contribute to mental or physical illness.

Does catnip make cats more affectionate?

how catnip effects cats

Recent studies have determined that not only does catnip influence how many times your cat wants to play, it can also increase their overall level of happiness. A few ways that this happens is by enhancing their sense of smell, increasing blood flow to their paws and socializing them.

Many people believe that since cats are drawn to the scent of other animals, then giving away some cat nips will get your kitty all googly eyed. This isn’t true though!

Most cats aren’t very good at identifying their own kind so offering some cat nip to another cat may actually decrease their desire to be close with that pet.

Another myth about catnip is that it makes dogs jealous or aggressive towards your cat. Unfortunately, just like humans, different breeds of dog are susceptible to differing levels of jealousy, so this theory doesn’t hold up.

Does catnip make cats more sociable?

how catnip effects cats

Many people have noticed that if you add some cat nectar to your cat’s water or food, then your cat will become much more active and playful.

This is because cat nectar contains inositol, which is a compound that acts similarly to glucose in humans. Glucose is what gives us energy so when we drink milk or use sugar as an ingredient in our foods, there is enough of it for our bodies to work with.

For animals, including cats, insulin works like a switch to tell their body how much blood glucose it should have. When there is not enough insulin, then glucose does not get moved out of the blood very well, and therefore it can stay elevated.

When this happens, patients feel hungry even though they are eating, and they may want to eat more than they normally would. This can be bad if someone wants to maintain their weight!

So how do you give your cat cat nectar? You can either buy it pre-made or you can make your own. The easiest way to make your own is by mixing dried kitty milk with liquid cat nectar.

Does catnip make cats more energetic?

While some studies claim that eating too much cat food is harmful to your kitty, there are other ways to give them happier meals!

One of these ways is adding an ingredient called catnip to the diet. Many people use catnip as a way to get their cats to play longer and higher up on the couch.

Some believe that it helps soothe symptoms related to stress in animals. It may also help promote sleep in older or sick cats.

However, not all cats respond to catnip the same. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to its effects while others seem completely immune.

It is important to do a little research before giving your feline his next meal. Luckily, you can now find almost anywhere how to prepare cat nectar.

Back to blog

Personalized Gifts For Cat Owners