Many people have questions about cat nip, what exactly is it, why do you give it to cats and isn’t it messy? All great questions; we did all kinds of research before we decided to include cat nip in our product offerings, so we know a bit about the nip and are happy to share what we know!
Nepeta cataria, commonly known as cat nip, catswort, catwort, and catmint, is a species of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China, according to Wikipedia. In North America, the most potent cat nip is grown on the high plains of the north west. (Something to look when choosing cat nip).
Cat Nip is a member of the mint family. This explains why it takes over your garden if you plant some. All mints spread like crazy if uncontained. Many people who want to grow their own cat nip do so in a container to keep it in check. This way you can also give a cat who doesn’t go outside the opportunity to experience some fresh cat nip, on the deck or inside the house. People make tea for themselves from cat nip, it is said to taste like chamomile.
Some cats react to cat nip and others do not. It is genetics that play a part here. Cats react to the smell of the cat nip, not the taste or ingestion, that is why they chew it and roll around in it, they are releasing the scent. If you cat is going to react to the cat nip, one of two things will happen. Either he will go crazy and climb up the curtains, or she will just get dopey and lay around, possibly upside down. Whichever reaction you get, it will last for about 15 – 20 minutes and then it is back to cat normalcy, if there is such a thing…
What is the best way to give your cat, nip? You can put it loose on the floor for him to chew and roll around in, or you can put on or very near the area you want her to scratch in or on. It is an attractant, so they will go where you put it. You can buy toys that include nip, either inside the toy or if on the outside, the toy will be marinated in it. Check out our Nip n’ Toy, it’s raw sheep’s wool, (from New England), that has been hand felted around a belled ball and marinated in cat nip https://northwoodsanimaltreats.com/cats/nip-n-toy-1/ Cats love it!
A rare bad experience for a cat and nip is if you give him too much and he gets an upset stomach. Even though she may demand more, restraint is the key, they can have more later or tomorrow. Even kittens are safe to be given cat nip once they are 6 months old. Before that won’t hurt them, its just unlikely they will react to it. And, if it’s on the floor, it is messy. But if your cat likes it, what is a little bit of cat nip on the floor?
Should you give your cat some nip? He or she says yes, please!