Mia, Sophie, Prince Charming

Cat Tips

While spring and purified water are OK, do not quench your feline's thirst with mineral water. Excess minerals can, over time, promote health problems, such as feline urinary tract disease.

read more

Expert Q&A

Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

BY: Stacey Brecher

Catnip, which is a member of the mint family, is an herb that was originally imported from the Mediterranean. Many cats go crazy for catnip because of the oils present in the stems, leaves and flowers. The chemical is very similar to the odor of a female cat in heat, which explains why male tomcats are most affected by catnip.

Dr. Cathy Lund of City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats in Providence, RI, explains, “The mint produces a weird, euphoric state, and about 50% of all cats are sensitive to its effects. Catnip is hallucinogenic and narcotic-like, and it acts as a dis-inhibitor, which is why cats get so wacky when they are under its influence.”

If your cat is not interested in catnip, don’t worry -- genetics actually determine if catnip will affect your cat. “If your cat is one of the 50% of cats who are not sensitive to the herb, then it won't have any appeal whatsoever,” Dr. Lund said. “And catnip never affects kittens until they are older than 3 months of age.”

If your cat is one of those who isn’t interested in catnip, there is another natural alternative that your cat may enjoy. “The only naturally-occurring herb that can induce a similar response in the genetically susceptible cats is valerian,” says Dr. Lund. “This herb is commonly found in homeopathic relaxation and anti-stress remedies.”

Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily. 

Tags: cat behavior , cat care


Follow Us

    Black and blue logo for content marketing agency, Studio One, with greater-than sign used as a title.

    Copyright © 2014 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved