Can Cats eat

Can Cats Eat Catnip? (2023)

Catnip is a plant that can make cats go crazy, literally. It intoxicates cats and can cause reactions, including increased energy, rolling in the grass, drooling, and peeping. But can cats eat catnip safely? Yes, cats can eat catnip. Many cats enjoy eating catnip. However, it is essential to note that not all cats react similarly to catnip. Some cats may become more active after eating catnip, while others may become more relaxed. There is no right or wrong way for a cat to react to catnip, and it is ultimately up to the individual cat to decide whether or not they enjoy it. Here, we’ll research the ins and outs of catnip consumption in cats and answer some of your most pressing questions about this herb.

What Is Catnip?

What Is CatnipCatnip is a herb from the mint family, also known as Nepeta Cataria. It is native to Europe and Asia but is now widely grown and cultivated worldwide. The plant produces an essential oil called nepetalactone, which is responsible for its unique scent and effects on cats. When exposed to catnip, they often exhibit a range of behaviors, including rubbing their face and body against the plant, rolling around on the ground, and licking or chewing on the leaves.

These behaviors are believed to result from the nepetalactone found in the plant’s essential oil. It attaches to a cat’s nasal tissue receptors and stimulates its olfactory system. The chemical composition of catnip can vary depending on various factors, including the plant’s age, growing conditions, and preparation method. However, it typically contains a variety of essential oils, including terpenes, sesquiterpenes, and nepetalactone.

What Are the Different Types of Catnip Available?

Catnip is available in various forms, including fresh, dried, and powdered

  • Fresh catnip is the most potent form, followed by dried and powdered. Some cat owners grow their catnip plants to ensure a new supply.
  • Dried catnip is available in most pet stores. It can be stored for long periods without losing its potency. 
  • Powdered catnip is less common but can be found in some specialty stores. It has a shorter shelf life than dried catnip and is less potent.

Most cats prefer fresh or dried catnip, but some will also enjoy the occasional taste of powdered catnip. Your cat will have a great time no matter which forms you choose!

What is catnip used for cats?What is catnip used for cats

We do know that it is perfectly safe for them to consume. Many cat owners use catnip to keep their feline friends entertained and active. So, what is catnip used for cats? Typically, catnip is spread on the ground or placed inside a toy for a kitty to enjoy. When a cat smells the herb, it may show signs of happiness, such as purring, rolling around, or even drooling. Some cats will even eat the catnip plant itself. Generally speaking, the effects of catnip last around 10 minutes before wearing off. After that, a cat takes around an hour or two to start feeling its products again. So, if you want to keep your kitty happy and amused, consider giving them some catnip!

How Much Catnip Can a Cat Have?

How Much Catnip Can a Cat Have

Most experts recommend limiting catnip to no more than 1-2 teaspoonfuls per day for an average-sized cat. A good rule of thumb is to give your cat no more than a teaspoon of dried catnip per day or a few fresh leaves if you can access a catnip plant. Some even say it’s best to give it to your cat occasionally, as too much catnip can make them hyperactive. So, stick to the recommended dosage to keep your kitty calm and relaxed. If your cat is new to catnip, start with a small amount and monitor their behavior closely to ensure they are not experiencing any adverse effects.

Why It’s Important to Limit a Cat’s Intake of Catnip?

  • Consuming too much catnip can lead to an upset stomach and other digestive issues, as well as potentially dangerous levels of sedation or lethargy.
  • If a cat becomes too used to catnip, it may lose interest over time. Limiting their exposure can help ensure that catnip remains a special treat for your cat and that they continue to respond positively to its effects.
  • It’s important to note that while catnip is generally considered safe for cats, some other plants and substances can be dangerous or toxic if consumed in large amounts. 

Limiting your cat’s exposure to catnip can help reduce the risk of them accidentally ingesting something harmful.

How to Give Your Cat Catnip?

How to Give Your Cat CatnipGiving Catnip to your cat can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it’s essential to do so safely and responsibly. If you want to give your cat catnip, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

  1. Choose the Right Form: Catnip comes in a variety of forms, including dried, fresh, and in spray form. Dried Catnip is the most common and can be found at most pet stores. Fresh Catnip can be grown in your garden or purchased at a local farmer’s market. Catnip spray can apply the scent to your cat’s toys or scratching posts. Choose the form your cat prefers and is easiest for you to administer.
  2. Make sure that the plant is fresh. Cut off a piece of the stem and leaves and give it to your cat. If your cat does not react immediately, try crushing the leaves to release the oils. Some cats chew on fresh Catnip, while others roll around or rub their face. 
  3. Use Catnip Sparingly: As we mentioned earlier, limiting your cat’s exposure to Catnip is important. Give your cat a small amount of Catnip at a time and only once every few weeks to prevent over-stimulation.
  4. Observe Your Cat’s Behavior: Some cats may become more playful or relaxed, while others may become overly stimulated. If your cat shows any signs of discomfort or distress, remove the Catnip immediately and seek veterinary attention if necessary.
  5. Use Catnip in Moderation: Giving your cat too much Catnip too often can lead to over-stimulation, which can cause your cat to lose interest in it altogether. If your cat seems to be enjoying the experience, give her more. 
  6. Provide Toys and Scratching Posts: To enhance your cat’s experience with Catnip, provide them with toys and scratching sticks treated with catnip spray. This can help stimulate their senses and provide a fun and enriching experience.

However, if she becomes nervous or seems uncomfortable, stops giving her Catnip and consult your veterinarian.

When Can Your Cat Eat Catnip?

This question has no definitive answer, as it depends on the individual cat. Some cats can eat catnip from a young age, while others may not be able to tolerate it until they are older. If you are unsure whether your cat can eat catnip, it is best to consult your veterinarian. Most cats can generally eat small amounts of catnip without any adverse effects. However, some cats may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal issues after consuming catnip. If your cat experiences any of these side effects, it is best to discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian.

What Happens if Cats Eat Too Much Catnip?

What Happens if Cats Eat Too Much Catnip

Consuming too much catnip can lead to a range of potential effects. Some of the most common side effects of consuming too much catnip include:

  1. Vomiting and diarrhea: Consuming large amounts of catnip can irritate a cat’s digestive system, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
  2. Lethargy: In some cases, cats may become overly sedated or dull after consuming too much catnip, which can be concerning for cat owners.
  3. Hyperactivity: While catnip typically has a calming effect on cats, consuming too much can sometimes lead to madness and hyperactivity, which can be dangerous if your cat becomes unruly or starts engaging in risky behaviors.
  4. Allergic reactions: Some cats may be allergic to catnip, leading to various symptoms, including skin irritation, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.

Is Catnip Terrible for CatsIs Catnip Terrible for Cats?

No, catnip is not bad for cats. It’s often considered beneficial, providing them with relaxation and joy. Some experts even believe that catnip can help relieve stress and anxiety in cats. However, it’s important to note that not all cats react to catnip similarly. Some may become more playful, while others may seem more agreeable. And, as with anything else, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any new food or substance.

Is Catnip a Drug for Cats?

Catnip is a type of mint that is popular with cats. When they smell it, many start rolling around and acting playful. While the effects of catnip only last for a short while, some cats may become quite spoken. Some people believe catnip is a drug for cats, but it is safe and non-addictive.


Catnip can be a fun and enjoyable treat for cats, but using it safely and in moderation is essential. Cats can eat catnip. Many cats enjoy eating catnip. Some people believe catnip can help keep cats calm and relaxed, but no scientific evidence supports this claim. Catnip can offer cats a fun and enjoyable snack that can help to keep them entertained. However, it is important to remember that catnip should not be consumed in large amounts as it may lead to digestive issues or upset stomachs.

When using catnip as a treat for your beloved feline friend, it’s always best to monitor their behavior closely and only provide small amounts at once. Taking the appropriate precautions will ensure you provide your furry friend with all the benefits they need while keeping them safe from potential health risks. Overall, being informed about catnip and its effects on cats is essential for cat owners. Using catnip responsibly can help enhance your cat’s playtime and enrich its overall experience.

Jenifer Miona

Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families. After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments. In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal. Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine. Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.

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