“Let Me Know When It’s Time for Catnip….”
Kitty is playing, rolling and twisting on the floor, rubbing her face in it, and seemingly in a dreamy state. And you realize she’s been in the ‘nip!
Catnip is a member of the mint family, which has about 250 species. The essential oil in catnip, nepetalactone, has a powerful effect on cats who are sensitive to it, turning even the most sedentary feline into a flipped-out ball of ecstasy.
The most intense catnip experience is an olfactory one—your cat smells the herb and promptly goes nuts. Researchers aren’t sure what the neurological explanation is, but it’s thought that catnip mimics feline “happy” pheromones and stimulates the receptors in the brain that respond to those pheromones. When eaten, however, catnip seems to have the opposite effect: the cat may become very mellow.
Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time. Some cats may even become hyperactive, running around like their tails are on fire, and some get downright aggressive, especially if you approach them. They must protect their toys!
Usually these sessions last about 10 minutes, after which your cat loses interest. It may take as long as two hours for her to “reset” and become reactive to catnip again.
Responding to catnip is an inherited sensitivity which an estimated 50 percent of cats have, so don’t be surprised or disappointed if Fluffy doesn’t react to your new 5# bag of catnip!l — it’s not for every feline! The catnip-loving trait doesn’t emerge until a cat is between three and six months old; until then, a kitten will not have a response, so save your money or invest in plenty of cat toys or a good cat scratching post — you’re going to need it!
Kizzme Kitty now has Kizzme-riffic Catnip! Find out more here….