Catnip’s charm lies in volatile oil, in particular the chemical compound in this oil – nepetalactone. Found in the leaves, stems and seeds of catnip, all you need is one or two sniffs of this wonderful oil, before sensitive kittens start crazy – they lick, chew and fall on their backs.
Although intense, bliss is usually short-lived, lasting about 10 minutes for most cats. For some, euphoria means aggressive play. At the same time, it makes other cats gentle and calm. But no matter how your cat reacts, when pleasure passes, it will take about two hours before the cat reacts to catnip again.
Catnip: toys and training
Because cats react to catnip, the herb can be a powerful training aid.
Do you want to keep the kitty from scratching the furniture? Rub the cat tree with catnip to make it more attractive. Have you bought a new cat bed? Pour some herb over the pillow to make it more attractive to your cat’s friend.
You can also enrich your kitten’s fun by creating catnip toys. Pour some herb into an old sock, then tie the top.
Or place a large pinch of catnip in a small paper bag and crush it into a tight ball.
The type of catnip used will affect the intensity of the kitten’s reaction to toys and training. While most cats like dried or fresh herbs, they’re usually less interested in catnip-based sprays, which generally don’t contain enough nefetalactone to encourage the cat.
Fortunately for the kitty, catnip – which is not addictive and safe to eat – grows easily in a sunlit window. You can even go so far as to create your own garden for cats with one patch with catnip and one with wheat, oat, rye or barley grass. Not only will the kitten enjoy both, but with his own house plants, he can keep the kitten away from you and make him less annoying during the day. If you plant catnip directly in the garden, remember that it is easy to sow in different places.
Catnip’s potential doesn’t last forever; essential oils disperse quickly. So if you buy dried catnip for your cat friend, store what you don’t use in the freezer.