All about cats

What age can you give catnip to cats

Catnip is a good attention-getter for cats, says the ASPCA. But some cats don't respond to it, no matter how much you feed them.

Excerpted from the ASPCA's new book, "The Cat Book: Know Your Cat - Watch Your Cat."

The cats at the ASPCA Animal Hospital in New York City were undergoing routine surgeries.

Just as the final suture was being removed from one cat's abdomen, the animal caretaker noticed he was purring loudly.

"It was the strangest sound we'd ever heard," recalls Dr. Tracey Rogers.

"A cat purrs when he's happy, but this cat sounded like he was in heaven. He had the biggest grin on his face."

The cat was actually on catnip!

Catnip has long been a favorite of felines, and it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe for cats.

Spread it on a rag, a piece of cardboard, or a fluffy pillow, and place it in a place where your cat can get at it.

But some cats don't respond to catnip.

"A cat's response to catnip is not absolute," says Dr. Rogers. "Sometimes, cats just don't respond to it."

If that's the case, you can try to engage your cat's interest in other ways.

"A cat may ignore catnip because he doesn't like the taste," says Dr. Rogers.

"So, if your cat doesn't want to play with catnip, try his favorite treat.

"Or, you can try to engage him in other ways.

"Say 'hi' to him, pet him, and rub against him.

"If you can't find catnip, try a different plant or herb that he might like."

• Do not leave catnip or other plants in your cat's room or litter pan, advises the ASPCA.

• Do not use catnip as a substitute for your cat's regular food.

• Do not feed your cat catnip, or other plants, if you are worried about your cat getting into it.

• When giving your cat catnip, use a small amount.

• Keep catnip out of reach of children.

• Catnip should not be given to pregnant or nursing cats.

• Catnip should not be given to cats who have a history of heart, liver or kidney problems.

• If your cat has a history of seizures, you should not give him catnip.

Dr. Rogers says she's known other vets who have used catnip to calm anxious or fidgety cats.

See more

After about two hours, cats may encounter catnip again and have the same reaction. Not all cats respond this way to catnip, though. Experts estimate about 50 to 75 percent of cats are affected by catnip. Young kittens and older cats are less likely to be affected. Whether a cat reacts to catnip is believed to be hereditary, which means cats inherit this trait from their parents. Read more

Not all cats will respond to honeysuckle, but many cats that do not respond to catnip will indeed respond to honeysuckle. To ensure the health of your pet, only buy honeysuckle sprays and cat toys from trusted sources in order to ensure that the proper species of honeysuckle is used in the manufacture of the... Read more

GREAT FOR TRAINING: Cat tearing up your couch? Spray on a scratcher to make it instantly more interesting to your cat than your old loveseat. Also a great way to make new cat beds feel like home! NON-ADDICTIVE: Meowijuana is a non-addictive catnip. There are no added ingredients that are harmful for your pet. Read more

Although catnip is considered safe for cats it is important that you do not overfeed your cat catnip. Unfortunately, cats do not know their limits when it comes to catnip and food and will commonly overindulge when given the opportunity. Cats who overindulge on catnip may develop an upset stomach and commonly vomit or have diarrhea. Read more

Leave your comment