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What is catnip exactly? As we all know, cats love their catnip. It makes them crazy, silly balls of entertainment. Where does catnip come from?
Ever thought about growing catnip? Looking for the best catnip cat toy? This page is all about catnip and cats!
Catnip is a plant. Cats love it both in its natural form (growing outdoors or in a pot) and they love catnip when it's been cut and dried.
This type of catnip is stuffed inside a catnip cat toy.
So what's so special about catnip, and how does it differ from other plants?
The catnip plant is also known as catswort or catmint. But most of us just call it catnip! Its scientific name is Nepeta cataria. It is in the plant family known as Lamiaceae.
When you watch your cat go bananas for catnip it might make you wonder why. What makes your cat have this reaction?
The catnip plant contains a chemical called nepetalactone. This is what the cat reacts to. It stimulates them much like a pheromone.
Catnip oil is the nepetalactone, taken from the catnip plant, using steam distillation. The oil only slightly affects people. It has been used medicinally for its mild sedative or antibacterial properties.
Research has shown that this oil repels cockroaches, and that it repels mosquitoes ten times better than DEET! Don't go rubbing catnip on yourself just yet, though. It loses its effectiveness when on the skin.
Ever thought about growing catnip? It's easy! You can get it from a gardening store. Or, there are even pre-seeded pots you can get.
You can grow catnip on a windowsill just like any herb. Just try to keep the cat from devouring it all at once!
A catnip cat toy is the gold standard - at least according to cats! They don't care where catnip comes from, they just know they love it! Not all cats have the same reaction, and not all are affected by it. But I've never seen a cat unaffected by it!
Nowadays, you can find catnip-filled toys of all shapes and sizes such as little bags, mice, balls, and so much more.
A lot of toys have a pouch that you can refill with fresh catnip from time to time, so the enjoyment never wears out!
Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
SmartyKat Catnip Mice, 3/pkg, Gray, Beige
SmartyKat Catnip Fish Friends (Set of 3), with Crinkle & Feathers
So what is catnip? Pure enjoyment for cats. It's a safe, natural, and a fun way for them to release some energy. Catnip and cats are a perfect pair.
Of course, it's really amusing for us to watch a usually dignified cat turn back into a silly kitten!