Tip – 13 – Cats and catnip – what is catnip?
Catnip is a non addictive, harmless herb that just over 50% of cats react to. Whether your cat responds to catnip or not, is genetically determined. The reaction that most cats have to catnip, includes rubbing, rolling around, purring and a sense of euphoria. The active ingredient in Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is nepetalactone, and the behavior it produces is short-lived, lasting only a few minutes. Kittens do not respond to catnip until they are about three or four months of age.
Since many cats are attracted to catnip, it is often a good idea to rub some on a scratching post or a new toy. That way, the cat puts its scent on the new object, thereby increasing the chances that it will use or play with the new object.
Catnip is available in many forms, including the actual herb, in concentrated sprays, and even in bubbles, which is a blast to watch.