Catnip is a common item in most cat parents’ houses. Most common reasons of giving catnip include trying to get lazy cats to exercise, or to get cats to confine their scratching and fiddling to the scratching post and spare the furniture or to help a restless cat get a good night’s sleep (while the parents sleep peacefully too!). But does catnip treat cat anxiety? And does it really relieve joint problems in cats? Not quite.
Catnip works just fine if you’re simply giving it to get your cat some exercise and activity around the house or to help house train a young cat.
Catnip might not help your cat cope and recover from the following situations:
If you are using it to calm an anxious cat or de-stress a cat going through any trauma
If You have recently moved to a new place and it is causing your cat anxiety
If you have introduced your cat to a baby or a new pet
If you have a restless kitty who won’t let you sleep peacefully in the night.
If you have a cat suffering from separation anxiety, who refuses to be left alone even for a few minutes.
If you have an old cat suffering from joint problems and showing signs of arthritis.
How much catnip is good for your cat?
If given once a day, catnip has no perceived harmful effects. But more than once a day can be too much. But what if you found out that all those doses of catnips are actually going nowhere because your cat is not responding to them. Yes, that is possible. On an average, only 70% of cats respond to catnip and their response to catnip can actually be hereditary.
How does catnip work?
Catnip is actually a kind of a mint which stems and leaves contain a certain oil that triggers the particular odd behaviour in cats. The oil’s scent, causes cat smelling catnip to exhibit behaviours common to female cats in heat, rubbing their head and body against the plant, pawing, licking and chewing it. In short, catnip creates a sexual response, the result of your cat reacting to an artificial cat pheromone. Catnip is considered to be non-addictive and completely harmless to cats. Experienced vets often explain that this response lasts for about 10 minutes, after which the cat becomes temporarily immune to catnip effects for roughly 30 minutes. Catnip does not effect kittens until they are more than 6 months old. And some cats, roughly about 20-30% might not react to catnip at all; which entirely depends on their genetics and nothing else. If your cat falls into the non-reactive category, you will have to try a substitute for catnip.
What are the alternatives to Catnip?
Catnips can rarely treat stress and anxiety in cats. Joint problems in older cats need a deeper solution and not just a daily fix of 10-30 minutes. Here are the alternatives to try:
Like catnip, honeysuckle contains the same chemical compound. But unlike catnip – which usually affects cats who have been through puberty – cats younger than six months often react to honeysuckle. Though there are over 180 species of honeysuckle, the only one your cat will be interested in Lonicera Tatarica. The shrub, native to North America, has berries that are poisonous to your cat so make sure you only give her the aromatic woody part.
Our herbal stress relief supplements use the perfect mix of natural ingredients like the anti-anxiety Valerian root, muscle relaxing Lobelia herb and calming mistletoe herb that can de-stress your cat and have it back to being crazy and chirpy soon. Our herbal hip and joint supplements help your older cat cope with joint problems and symptoms of arthritis by using all natural ingredients, just like you like it.
Here you go. Now you know that catnip is not the answer to all cat anxiety problems and is also not a pain reliever for older cats facing joint problems. Some situations or some cats need a different solution. And the best solution is always herbal, like ours.
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Reference: This article is based on the findings of a recent study conducted by ‘Modern Cat’ magazine.