Catnip : What is it?
Catnip (or catmint) is the popular name for the Napeta Cataria plant known for its positive effect on domestic cats. It is actually a cousin of cannabis (marijuana). Although it may seem like a drug, there are no known side effects on cats, and it is not addictive to them. Not all cats are attracted to it, however. Some claim that the attraction to catnip is hereditary--about 2/3 of cats respond to it. Those who are attracted to it respond to it like it was a drug--sniffing the plant, licking it, biting and chewing it, rubbing up against it, rolling around in it, purring loudly, growling, meowing, and leaping about. The movements made by cats “high”on catnip are almost the same movements they make when they are in heat. Kittens are mostly repulsed by it, and they only appreciate it only until after three months of age.
Kinds of Catnips include the following:
- True catnip comes in two species from the Nepeta family: N. cataria and N. grandiflora.
- It has a sharp, biting taste.
- The Nepeta cataria is a hardy perennial groundcover.
- It grows two to three feet high.
- Catmint is a member of the mint family.
- It forms in soft mounds about two feet high.
- It grows throughout North America.
- The smaller plants have a biting taste while the large ones are relatively bland.
|Toys: If you want catnip to be always available to your cat, look for cat toys made with fresh catnip.|
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