You may have heard of catnip, but do you know what it is, whether it’s safe and how you can give it to your cat? Read more to find out.

You’ve probably heard of ‘catnip’ before. It’s a fun treat for cats, right?

But do you really know what catnip is? If not, don’t worry, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about the amusingly-named substance and why it’s so adored in the feline world.

Carry on reading to find out what catnip is, whether catnip is safe for your cat and about the various types of catnip you can give your furry friend.

So, what is catnip?

In short, catnip (officially Nepeta cataria) is a herb known for its mood enhancing effects on cats. That’s right, exposure to the catnip plant can leave our felines in a temporary state of euphoria, usually expressed as hyperactivity or sleepiness. You could even describe your cat as appearing “high” while they’re under its spell!

In some cases, you can use catnip to encourage your furry friend to exercise or play, or to help them relax or calm down. It all depends on how your cat reacts to it! Check out our article about [when to give your cat catnip] for more information about how it can be used.

What is catnip made of?

Catnip is made of, well, catnip! The catnip plant to be more specific. An essential oil found in the plant is the active ingredient of catnip that causes the unusual response in cats. Our article on the [effects of catnip] explains more about how catnip casts its spell on cats and what it does.

Is catnip safe for my cat?

Luckily for our furry friends, catnip is safe for cats to enjoy in moderation. The only time catnip is bad for cats is if they eat too much of it. If they do overindulge, it can cause an upset tummy along with dizziness, vomiting or diarrhoea. Fortunately, cats will usually refuse catnip once they’ve had their fix, so they’re unlikely to eat enough to make themselves unwell.

Even so, catnip is best kept as an occasional treat and limited to a small amount at a time. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your cat while they’re feeling the effects, as zoomies aren’t out of the question and you don’t want your crazy critter to get hurt during all the excitement!

Can kittens have catnip?

Yes, kittens can have catnip, but it’s not likely to affect them in any way until they’re around 6 months to a year old. This said, it won’t cause them any harm, just don’t let them have too much.

How can I give catnip to my cat?

There are a few types of catnip products about, including fresh and dried catnip, as well as catnip sprays and treats. These work in various ways, so it’s all about finding what works best for your cat. For example, cats can eat catnip or lick it, or you can sprinkle or spray it nearby for them to sniff and roll around in. There are also various types of catnip toys that you can fill with dried catnip for your feline to toss about, paw and rub against.

All cats are different, so you might want to try a few different types of catnip products to see what hits the spot!

Catnip treats

Dishing out some catnip treats is a delicious way that cats can eat catnip and awaken their fun-loving side! Our DREAMIES™catnip treats are simply irresistible to our furry friends, thanks to their crunchy outside and soft inside. So go on, give the bag a shake and watch your cat come running! Discover more about picking out treats your cat will love in our article about [which treats are best for your cat].

Fresh catnip

Catnip plants are pretty easy to grow at home and can provide you with a constant supply. It’s also the freshest version of the herb, so it can be more potent than when it’s dried. Simply trim a few leaves off and give it to your cat to eat, chew, sniff or rub against. Just make sure you place the plant somewhere your cat isn’t going to be able to reach it!

Dried catnip

You can buy bags of loose dried catnip for your cat to eat, sniff or roll around in. It can be sprinkled around your cat’s play area or put inside a toy for them to mess around with. If you buy loose catnip, be sure to store it in a sealed container and place it somewhere your cat can’t get their paws on it. The temptation will be there!

Catnip sprays

A catnip spray is a great option if your cat experiences a tummy upset after eating catnip, as they can sniff it or rub themselves in it instead. You can also use it to encourage them to play with a certain toy or to use their bed. Simply spray your cat’s belongings with the catnip spray and they’ll likely turn their attention to that item. Even when the effects of the catnip have worn off, your furry friend will associate their happy feelings with the item you sprayed.

Hopefully you’re better clued up about what catnip is, what the ingredients of catnip are and how you can give it to your cat. Check out our [DREAMIES™ catnip treats] for a fun and entertaining moment that’ll brighten your cat’s day and yours!