Cat owners know about the powerful effect that catnip has on their favorite feline. All types of cats from domestic pets to tigers are highly sensitive to the oils found in the stems and leaves of catnip. Catnip is completely harmless for cats and is a naturally grown member of the mint family. It seems when cats encounter this plant, their mood and behaviors change, causing them to go from mellow to super active. Some cats do not respond to the enchantment of catnip at all.
Catnip’s allure is in its volatile oil, found in the leaves, stems, and seeds. It only takes one or two sniffs of that powerful oil before felines are licking, chewing and rolling head-over-tail in pure kitty bliss.
Although intense, the kitty bliss is short lived, lasting about 10 minutes for most cats. It can take up to 2 hours for kitty to “reset” before indulging in the catnip again. The Humane Society suggests cats are unlikely to overdose on catnip, but they can get sick if they eat too much. Trust kitty to know when he/she has had enough.
Catnip can lose its effect on your feline if it is offered too often. It’s a good idea to provide catnip as a treat about once a week.