What to do if your cat eats a lot of catnip

Cats are a type of creature that gets stressed very easily and this can lead to physical discomfort and sore spots caused by excessive grooming.

This is why it is useful to help your cat relax and there are many ways to do this, one of which is catnip.

Although catnip is safe for cats, overdosing on it can cause them pain or discomfort, and while there’s usually nothing to worry about, catnip overdoses can be irritating and your cat may need to see a vet, depending on the symptoms.

So what if your cat has a lot of catnip? How do you know it?

cat chewing grass
An archive photo shows a cat enjoying the grass. Catnip is not toxic to cats and they usually don’t take it in excess because they will stop eating it once they have had enough. However, if they consume too much, they may need medical attention.
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What is catnip?

Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family Lamiaceae, native to Eurasia but widely naturalized in all temperate regions of the world, and fairly easy to find. The active ingredient that cats attracts to catnip is called nepetalactone and fortunately it is not toxic to our feline friends.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the most intense experience with catnip begins with the nose, which its website says takes “a whiff of the stuff and your cat goes crazy fast” because it targets the receptors. the brain.

On the other hand, the site also notes that when ingested, peppermint tends to have the opposite effect and your cat will relax, meaning your cat will be more likely to lie down and relax rather than run and jump.

“Most cats react to catnip by rolling, twisting, rubbing and eventually isolating themselves. They can meow or growl at the same time. Other cats become hyperactive or even aggressive, especially if you come close to them,” the Humane Society said.

What to do if your cat eats a lot of catnip

According to Dr. Carly Fox, chief veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, New York City, catnip is safe for cats to swallow and sniff, but if they swallow a lot, they can develop some gastrointestinal upset, although they are not very common.

“If you feel your cat has swallowed a lot, just give it some time. The effects of catnip are usually short-lived, up to 30 minutes. But if your cat has vomiting and/or persistent diarrhea, they should be seen by a vet.” News week.

How do you know if your cat has eaten a lot of catnip

As mentioned earlier, a cat’s reaction to catnip can vary depending on how it is ingested, but usually side effects include poison-like symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

According to Fox, catnip can sometimes make cats hyperactive. Some cats will have a cheerful/happy reaction to catnip, while others will have the opposite reaction, becoming aggressive or aloof after ingestion.

“They can develop ‘zomosis’, which can put them at risk of infection at home, and they rarely develop vomiting and/or diarrhea if they swallow too much.”

Although he noted that cats are generally good at self-regulation and usually stop eating catnip once they have had enough.

What is the right amount of catnip to give your cat?

While catnip is non-toxic and poses no risk to your cat’s overall health, it should only be served in moderation.

Fox suggests giving catnip a maximum of once or twice a week, and using it when your cat is stressed, perhaps for entertainment purposes, or even to encourage him to exercise, as if he is sniffing, it has the potential to make him more energetic. .

She noted that over time the effects of catnip can wear off if it’s used too often, so if you want it to remain effective, you should only give it to your cat occasionally.

Can catnip be addictive for cats?

Catnip is not addictive and harmless to most cats. Some cats do not even feel the effects of grass. In fact, according to the Humane Society, allergies to catnip are genetic, and about 50% of cats do not have a reaction to it.

Although catnip is not addictive, cats can tolerate a little over time if they are exposed to it frequently, which means they will be less likely to experience any of its effects.

Can Excessive Use Of Catnip Be Harmful For Cats?

Excessive intake of catnip is unlikely to be harmful to cats because they usually do not swallow much, although your cat’s reactions to catnip may be.

“If your cat has an overreaction to catnip, she risks injuring herself while running/zooming after ingestion,” Fox said, and to prevent injury, she suggested making sure your cat is not on a raised surface/high surface when you give her catnip.

“If your cat has a sensitive stomach and has vomiting/diarrhea from eating catnip that does not improve over time, a visit to the vet is recommended.”

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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