Why Some Cats Aren’t Drawn to Catnip

Gillie_and_the_catnip_(7382639870)

Catnip, which is a member of the mint family, is an herb that was originally imported from the Mediterranean. Many cats go crazy for catnip because of the oils present in the stems, leaves and flowers. The chemical is very similar to the odor of a female cat in heat, which explains why male tomcats are most affected by catnip.

Dr. Cathy Lund of City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats in Providence, RI, explains, “The mint produces a weird, euphoric state, and about 50% of all cats are sensitive to its effects. Catnip is hallucinogenic and narcotic-like, and it acts as a dis-inhibitor, which is why cats get so wacky when they are under its influence.”

If your cat is not interested in catnip, don’t worry — genetics actually determine if catnip will affect your cat. “If your cat is one of the 50% of cats who are not sensitive to the herb, then it won’t have any appeal whatsoever,” Dr. Lund said. “And catnip never affects kittens until they are older than 3 months of age.”

If your cat is one of those who isn’t interested in catnip, there is another natural alternative that your cat may enjoy. “The only naturally-occurring herb that can induce a similar response in the genetically susceptible cats is valerian,” says Dr. Lund. “This herb is commonly found in homeopathic relaxation and anti-stress remedies.”

Image via

From the Editors of The Daily Cat



Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

elderly cat
101-Year-Old Woman Adopts Oldest Cat in Shelter
cat in a wedding
Cat Steals the Show as the Wedding’s Ring Bearer
Cat Charities
The 10 Best Charities for Cats
cats
There are Over 200,000 Cats in Washington D.C.
Burmilla
10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Burmilla
German Rex
10 Things You Didn’t Know About The German Rex
Pixie Bob
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pixie-Bob Cats
Bengal Cat
10 Cat Breeds Who Shed the Least
cat watching bird
Colorful Collars Can Help Reduce the Number of Birds Killed by Domestic Cats
cat kneading
Why Do Cats Massage Each Other?
cat
Yearly Wellness Exams Keep Your Cats More Healthy
semi-feral cat
How to Help a Semi Feral Cat Adjust to Your Home
peas
Can Cats Eat Peas?
broccoli
Can Cats Eat Broccoli?
cat playing
Study Finds Cats Connect to Their Owners as Much as Dogs Do
Neosporin
Can you use Neosporin on Cats?