Our cats don’t have to drink boring water all the time. Instead, we can fix some beverages that they will enjoy and will allow us to share a nice moment with them.
To make catnip tea, first, place one tablespoon of dried organic catnip into a tea ball. Let the catnip steep in 8 ounces of hot water for 5 minutes. Remove the catnip and add one tablespoon of milk. Serve to as many cats as needed. It is safe for cats since it is natural and non-toxic.
Catnip has several benefits for our cats. It can be viewed as a health supplement with benefits like reduced anxiety and mosquito repellency. It is very popular among cat owners. However, what is catnip? Let’s dig a little deeper and see what we can find. Later on, we will see all other catnip and catnip tea aspects that we must know before using them.
What Is Catnip?
The name of catnip comes from the attraction that cats have to it. It is also referred to as catmint, catswort, and catwort, but the real name is Nepeta Cataria. It is a herbaceous plant from parts of China, the Middle East, Central Asia, and eastern Europe. It blooms from spring to autumn. It has relaxant and sedative properties when ingested. The leaves look like small teeth and are triangular or elliptical.
Regular tea is not beneficial for cats, which is due to the amount of caffeine that most of them contain. Hence, we have to be very careful because the consequences can be terrible. Not all food that is consumable by humans is good for our pets. We have very different systems, and we always have to be careful.
What Makes Catnip So Unique?
That would be the “nepetalactone,” which is the active ingredient in catnip. It is an essential oil that changes the behavior of cats when they smell it. However, not all of them are affected by it. It is said that only about 2/3 of them are affected by its smell. Like any dry herb, catnip can become less potent over time. So, try not to store it for long periods.
In Europe, during the 1600s, the plant was used as a soft sedative. Additionally, as tea, juice, to smoke, and to chew. A couple of centuries later, in the 1960s, scientists discovered that nepetalactone acts as a powerful mosquito repellant. However, its effects last for a short period of time.
Where Can I Get Catnip?
- Pet shops sell different types of toys filled with catnip.
- Fresh catnip can be grown indoors.
- Dried catnip can be sprinkled on the floor or toys.
- There are sprays to refresh old catnip toys or play areas.
What Does Catnip Tea Do To A Cat?
It is pretty interesting how cats react to catnip. As we saw, the nepetalactone enters the body through the nose or mouth when the cat plays with the plant or drinks the tea. The olfactory bulb is stimulated when the oil binds with the receptors and sends multiple signals to different brain areas. The cat responds emotionally because the amygdala is triggered in that process. The pituitary gland, in charge of hormones, is stimulated as well. This results in a carnival of signals in the brain. That is the “high” behavior that has made catnip famous. This behavior includes chewing, head shaking, vocalizations, and sniffing. In addition, they will rub their cheeks, chins, and body.
Other responses include drooling, jumping around, stretching, licking, hyperactivity and aggression. However, it all depends on the cat’s personality. The effect lasts from five to fifteen minutes, and kittens are not affected by it until they grow into adults because they need sexual maturity to produce the necessary hormones.
An overdose is highly unlikely because cats will refuse to take more catnip when they have had enough. Still, if the cat overeats, it can cause digestive issues.
Can I Give My Cat Catnip Tea Every day?
It is perfectly safe to give catnip tea every day to our pets. But it is recommended that we do it only once a day because the effects can be diminished if consumed too often. The best way to go about it is to give it to them every other day so that they can enjoy it more.
There is nothing wrong with mixing catnip and cat food. It can be used as a trick to make them eat their whole plate, especially those cats that are delicate when it comes to food.
Does Catnip Tea Get Cats High?
Catnip tea will have the same effect on cats as catnip itself. They will probably prefer to eat the bag’s contents, but eventually, they will consume the tea without suspicion. After that happens, the results would be the same as in catnip, and when they have had enough, they will walk away.
The effect of catnip is usually very positive on cats. It helps them feel happy and relaxed. Nevertheless, there are a few unique behaviors that some cats present. One of these reactions includes repetitive actions. This means that they will repeat the same thing they are doing, over and over again.
Catnip and catnip tea does not affect us, humans, in the same way, because our brains and systems are different. So the effect is less noticeable. Nonetheless, people have been using it for a long time.
We have covered the most relevant information about catnip and catnip tea. However, to wrap it up, let’s remember some of the critical elements that you have to keep in mind when you are having your cat consume catnip and catnip tea.
- Use it as a treat: let’s use it as a fun, healthy treat for the cat. For example, if we want our cat to be interested in some areas of our house, we can sprinkle some dried catnip on those areas of interest. Additionally, we can spray a small amount on their toys.
- Give in small doses: It doesn’t take a lot of catnip to stimulate a cat. The smell ratio is about 1:1 billion in the air. So, a small amount will go a long way. They will enjoy the pleasant effect for about five to fifteen minutes, then they get saturated, and the effect will be gone. Remember to provide equal amounts of catnip to all of your cats to avoid any competition.
- Don’t overdo it: We have to be careful and conscious of the amount of catnip that we give to our cats. If we give them too much, there can be side effects like crankiness and nausea. But don’t get me wrong, that is not an overdose. Remember that it is non-toxic. Cats will walk away if they have had enough.
- Catnip products: Most products will let you know if they contain catnip. It is included in the package. But, if we are not sure, we can smell it to identify its characteristic scent.
- Don’t give catnip to aggressive cats: Cats have different personalities. Some of them are aggressive in their normal state. Suppose we provide them with something that will alter their behavior. In that case, things can escalate very quickly and get out of control.
- Not all cats are interested: Around 25% of cats are not interested in catnip. Kittens and elderly cats don’t feel the effects. It is better if we try with a small dose and see if our cat responds. This is to avoid spending unnecessary money.
Now go, let’s play with our cats, make some catnip tea and enjoy life.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.