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Mild and Intense Effects of Catnip to Your Cats

cat eating catnip

Yeah, this is life…

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? Rolling on the ground, drooling and mashing their face into wherever the smell is present – no, I am not talking about your neighbor John. I am talking about your cat that is on catnip. I can’t blame you, but unlike the plant that we all know what, catnip is completely legal in most cases and countries.

Catnip is a perennial plant or herb that belongs to the mint family. It originated from North America and is now renowned and being cultivated worldwide. It was discovered as a medicinal element to motivate obese cats to exercise. Catnip’s smell is also proven to be effective stress relievers for wild or undomesticated cats who grew up in the streets.

Experts even concluded that this herb might actually be made for cats, hence, being the inspiration of the name. However, though catnip is very beneficial to cats, are you aware that giving your cat a large amount of catnip can harm them too?

Some signs of intoxication are the following:

Tummy Problems

Neurological and behavioral changes

An adverse reaction such as aggressiveness

If your answer is a NO, then it’s a must to go through this article to learn more. We’d never know, the fun time we get from their funny faces whenever they’re on catnip might already be a symptom of life-long and permanent damage.

Oh my gowd, I’m in paradise…


Catnip has an active compound called “nepetalactone” which is detectable by smell. This compound replicates the effect of a cat pheromone which resonates with mating. To put this simply, they are in cloud-9 whenever they are on catnip, whether they have their partners beside them or just in their head.

In some cases, catnip acts as a mood enhancer. We can almost say that the smell or the effect of the smell makes them feel happy. It’s the same reason why, sometimes, they act like kittens or they become more affectionate. But in more popular scenarios, they simply act high on drugs.


Yes, you can actually use catnip as a treat. Based on research, cats given catnip as treats are easier to train and calm down. That’s just how much they like it, they will be willing to put down their crown just to have a smell of it.

PRO TIP: Though their funny faces give us so much happiness, catnip is a bit pricey. If you want to make it a habit, just grow it in a pot. You can also sell it to your cat parent friends. Just make sure you raise that pot very high or you know what’s gonna happen.


For beginners, there are variations of catnip in the market you can choose from. We prepared a quick list for your reference below:

Powdered catnip – You can sprinkle a pinch of this anywhere you want to.

Catnip toys – these are balls or toys in any form that are pre-scented with catnip

Oil or Oil Spray – These tiny bottles are most recommended if you want your cat to stay in their bed. This type of catnip is not sprayed on cats but to their surroundings like their beds, toys etc.


If your cat is not that hyped-up with it could probably by an inherited trait, Cats are after all, not made equal or the same. If your cat is also still a kitten it’s most likely that they will not be interested. This is mostly related to the cat pheromone, kittens are not receptive or familiar yet with mating.


This is still normal and more often than not, this happens if the cat is male. Male cats are more sensitive to pheromone, especially during mating season. As male cats usually spearhead mating, catnip will just increase their desire to mate therefore it increases their energy and stress levels. If your cat changes and becomes more aggressive, you have to stop giving them catnip. It can make them violent and uneasy every time you approach them.


If you were able to try catnip for your cat you will be able to confirm that your cat has definitely enjoyed it. However, please be reminded that Catnip is not safe if used excessively. Like anything too much for us is harmful, it’s the same for our little feline family regardless if your cat is a kitten or adult. Unless recommended by a vet, it is best to use in moderate amounts to keep our cats safe and healthy.

We hope that this article was able to help clarify the effects and mystery of catnip. But take it easy on your cat,  know what you’re thinking, put that catnip bag down. You don’t want that cutie look like John.

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