What Does Catnip Really Do To Cats

About 50-70% of cats respond to catnip. Reactions depend on genetics, age (kittens under 6 months old are immune!) and exposure.  

Not All Cats React  

 The chemical compound nepetalactone in catnip triggers special sensory receptor neurons in cats when inhaled or ingested.

Activating Compound

Catnip has a transient euphoric effect lasting 5-15 minutes resembling opiates. But it's perfectly safe non-addictive fun for cats!  

Euphoric Effects

Typical catnip-induced play includes frenzied pawing, rolling, leaping, back arching and aggressive toy attacks known as "mousing".

 Signature Response  

As the active chemical wears off, cats seek to recreate the euphoric feeling. But they need at least 2 hours for receptors to reset.   

Why The Addiction

Many cats get more mellow and calm after the initial giddy phase. Purring and sleep may then follow.

Relaxing Properties Too 

Don't let your cat consume too much catnip to avoid upset stomachs. Stick to catnip toys and treats.

Consumption Cautions

Sneaky Signs Of A Depressed Cat