The plant produces a chemical called nepetalactone in microscopic bulbs that coat its leaves, stems, and seedpods. When these fragile bulbs rupture, they release the nepetalactone into the air.
The chemical responsible for messing with cats' heads is called nepetalactone. It produces its effect through smell alone: the molecule doesn't have to be ingested or reach the brain for it to send cats wild. This frenzy of excitement usually lasts around 15 minutes.
Cats love catnip because it makes them feel good. As your cat licks and rubs on the herb, the release of nepetalactone sets off a euphoric reaction. Scientists aren't sure exactly why this happens, but many believe cats are responding to the nepetalactone as though it is a pheromone.
A human analog that causes similar effects [as catnip on cats], as in a comparable high, would be LSD or marijuana. But without the length of time or possible nasty side effects. [Ainslie: So maybe my brother and the police officer were on to something!] Gus gnawing on his catnip-infused mouse.
According to experts, approximately one in two cats are sensitive to catnip. Fun fact: Did you know that most Australian cats are usually not affected by catnip because they lack the gene that stimulates the sense of euphoria?
How catnip affects cats. Cats get high off catnip by inhaling the nepetalactone — whether from a live plant, dried plant material, or an oil extract. The chemical binds to receptors inside a cat's nose, which stimulate sensory neurons leading into the brain.
Researchers suspect that the herb targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, it tends to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows out. Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out.
The compound nepetalactone present in catnip has a calming effect on canines. Sprinkle dried catnip on your dog's bed or toys to alleviate anxiety symptoms. You can also use catnip-infused sprays for a quick and easy solution. Catnip for dogs is also beneficial for the occasional bout of digestive upset.
Catnip is an aromatic plant that contains antioxidants and volatile compounds like nepetalactone, thymol, and pinene that may have medicinal benefits. Catnip may help relax the body before bed and promote rest. Its calming properties come from its nepetalactone and nepetalactone acid compounds.
8 Medicinal Uses for Catnip
Pain reliever: Can be taken orally to relieve headaches, including migraines, toothaches, or pain associated with injuries. Anti-inflammatory: Can be used orally and/or topically to reduce swelling from arthritis, soft tissue injuries, or hemorrhoids.
Meowijuana's legendary organic catnip is grown throughout the United States and Canada. Cats go crazy for our unique catnip blends and cat parents love our premium quality.
It's called anise (or aniseed), also known as “dog nip,” and when given in moderation, it can have a stimulating effect on dogs. Anise, mixed in homemade treats, can be used during training sessions to get dogs psyched and motivated to learn.
WHAT IS DOGGIJUANA? It's catnip! Catnip is a plant in the mint family that contains the essential oil known as Nepetalactone.
Mountain lions, lynx, bobcats, tigers and jungle lions all respond to catnip in the same way. There is no doubt at all that they're all from the same family. However, the capacity to enjoy catnip is hereditary, so if a big cat's parents didn't enjoy it then they won't either. If your cat doesn't respond, don't worry.
However, do reward your cat with a few treats to help distract them if they're scared or nervous. If your cat enjoys catnip or catnip blends, feel free to give catnip or other treats to ease the stress.
However, catnip is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when smoked or taken by mouth in high doses (many cups of catnip tea, for example). It can cause headaches, vomiting, and a feeling of being ill.
Researchers say that catnip and another plant, silver vine, produce a chemical that activates their opioid reward systems. MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Even if you don't own a cat, you've probably seen one flip out over catnip.
Catnip tea is a safe and refreshing treat for your cat that is made by steeping the leaves of a catnip plant in boiling water, then serving over ice. Catnip is an inexpensive herb available at most grocery and pet stores.. or you can even grow it in your garden!
Nepetalactone, an essential oil found in the catnip plant, stimulates cats in ways that are similar to how cannabis affects humans, according to MyPetNaturally.com. When cats ingest or rub themselves with catnip, nepetalactone triggers a euphoric reaction, which makes cats feel good, according to Purina.
It does so by binding to protein receptors in the nasal cavity and stimulating sensory neurons which provoke a response in the part of the brain that regulates the emotions (Hypothalamus). Our signature catnip is grown throughout the United States and Canada.
Cats begin to feel the effects of catnip within a few seconds. The duration of the effect is variable, but typically lasts around 10 minutes and rarely more than 15.
The toxic effects of catnip poisoning in cats is short-lived, lasting only a few hours after the occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea. Without further exposure to the plant, the feline will make a full recovery in a few short hours.
While catnip is non-addictive, its effect can dull due to overexposure. So, while the occasional catnip “high” might be fun, it's best to avoid a daily catnip routine with your cat. The effects also start to decline as your cat ages.
There are some alternatives--plants such as silver vine, honeysuckle, and valerian have all been used to satisfy the feline sense of smell. Surprisingly, silver vine is the most effective of these plants, as more cats respond to its smell than even catnip.