Can Cats Overdose on Catnip?

Most cats love catnip and the good news is that catnip is safe. The occasional use of catnip is safe and recommended as a lifestyle enhancer by feline experts and behaviorists.

Its also called catmint, catsup, catwort, nip, new and field balm, and most of these names come from the plants obvious attraction to cats. That being said, some people believe chronic exposure to catnip may cause an apparent loss of mental faculty in their cat.

The overall recommendation is to offer your cat a small amount of fresh catnip every 2 weeks or so. Cats use their sense of smell to perceive and interpret their world to a far greater degree than humans do. Other plants that are pleasant to the feline olfactory center are honeysuckle wood, valerian root and silver vine.

An ornamental plant commonly called catmint ( Nepeta curviflora , to name one) is attractive to cats to a lesser extent. Photo: LV11 The literature states that up to half of cats do not respond or react to catnip. In a recent study, researchers hypothesized that the cats who were exposed to catnip and simply reclined or maintained a sphinx-like position may have actually been in a hallucinogenic state.

Spontaneous vocalization Euphoria (not sure how to quantitate this one either) Sphinx-like position Aggression Excitement Depression Burst of energy The high or behavioral change induced by catnip usually lasts 1015 minutes, and I have found that most cats seem to lose interest in the plant after their 15-minute episode. Toxic in this sense does not mean the plant makes a cat deathly ill but may bring on some uncomfortable symptoms.

People have used catnip for centuries, but its usage has largely been replaced by more effective drugs. A stimulant A depressant Infant colic, flatulence , hiccups Reproduction, menstruation and child birth in women Toothaches Whooping cough and measles Cold remedy Hives Rheumatism Asthma I love the perennial Nepeta plants in my garden, and my cats show mild to moderate interest in them.

It leans a bit to the left now but should overwinter fine and come back stronger in the spring. Nepeta is easier to grow than lavender and makes a similar statement in a garden. She looks like a cat-girl, fights for justice, loves animals (particularly cats), and leijon is a Swedish word connoting lion or lionhearted.

Bol, Sebastiaan, PhD, et al. Responsiveness of Cats ( Felidae ) to Silver Vine ( Actinidia polygama ), Tatarian Honeysuckle ( Lonicera tatarica ), Valerian ( Valeriana officinalis ) and Catnip ( Nepeta cataria ). BNC Veterinary Research 13, no. This pet health content was written by a veterinarian, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD . It was last reviewed for accuracy and updated Dec. 31, 2019.If you have questions or concerns, call your vet, who is best equipped to ensure the health and well-being of your pet.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How much catnip can I give my cat in a day?

For most cats, one serving of catnip is more than enough. Although the herb is safe and non-toxic to felines, you should not give it to your cat more than once. The main reason behind that recommendation is the law of diminishing returns. The more often you give catnip to your pet, the sooner he becomes desensitized.

Can catnip overstimulate cats?

Catnip overdose would be highly unusual. If a cat ate a significant portion of catnip in a short period of time, he or she might show very strong symptoms of a catnip reaction. High doses can cause some cats to become very overstimulated, possibly even aggressive. It can cause heavy sedation in others.

If youve ever witnessed the dramatic reaction of a cat being introduced to catnip, you will know our feline friends absolutely go nuts over anything that even faintly smells of catnip.

The catnip plant makes a chemical called nepetalactone in small bulbs that grown on the leaves, stems and seed pods. The appearance of the plant is green with pointy leaves and thick stems that are covered in fuzzy hairs.

The reason many cats chew enthusiastically on catnip is to release more the the nepetalactone chemical into the air so they can get more of a high. Increased energy levels Sniffing and licking Chewing and biting Rolling around on the ground in a frenzy Shaking its head from side to side Being affectionate and smoochy Rubbing its body on things Drooling and producing excessive saliva Jumping around and acting hypoactive Aggression or moodiness Also young kittens sometimes dont show any sign of enjoying catnip, but that can all change when they approach adulthood.

Fun fact : Big cats like tigers and lions have been exposed to catnip and displayed similar reactions to our little pet fur balls. It is possible for your cat to get sick with diarrhea or an upset stomach or emotionally irritated if it is overexposed to catnip. When you do reintroduce your cat to its beloved catnip make sure you only give a little to start with.

You can also buy blankets, scratching posts and pillows scented with the alluring smell of catnip. You will find these products online, at your supermarket, pet store or local veterinarian. If you put the toys in a sealed bag the enchanting aroma wont lure them.

The best place to grow the herb is inside where there is plenty of sun and natural light. You can also give your cat fresh or dried catnip or buy oil or spray so you can add a few drops to bedding or other items kitty plays with. Dont put catnip in your pets food unless you want to sedate your cat.

You can also add some catnip to your cats bedding to train them to know it is the right place to sleep . Talk to your veterinarian who will be able to advise if catnip, medicine or no sedation at all will be best for your cat. Take it easy and remember cats have strong survival instincts and experience things much more difficult and stressful out in the wild.

Here are some more natural remedies for settling down cats during travel in case catnip doesnt work well on your fur ball friend. Some veterinarian clinics, animal shelters and animal care givers use catnip as a soothing, non-toxic aid to calm cats down and put them into a happy state when they might be scared, stressed or frightened. It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians, who kept domestic cats, were the first to discover the uses of catnip.

Then the Romans are thought to have used catnip for medicinal reasons before it was recorded as being used in the Middle Ages then introduced to the USA around the 18th century. So catnip was discovered a long time ago and used consistently for its mood enhancing and medicinal properties . Attach some string or stretch fabric and drag your homemade toy in front of your cats nose.

But some colorful felt and cut out shapes (fish and stars are easy to start with). Use a marker pet to draw on features and dont forget to put the magic ingredient inside the catnip!

A cats response to catnip is mediated through the olfactory system, or sense of smell. As with any scent, the active ingredient of the scent source enters the nasal passages and binds to the receptors in the olfactory system. This action stimulates the sensory neurons which then go on to trigger the olfactory bulb to send signals to the brain. Felines are especially sensitive to the smell of catnip because they have a specialized receptor in the hard palate (roof of the mouth) known as the vomeronasal organ. This olfactory organ is receptive to the active ingredient in catnip, called nepetalactone, causing the feline to display dramatic behavior of running, jumping, drooling, rubbing, licking and rolling on the ground. Researchers believe the plant to cause a similar release of feel-good pheromones as marijuana, but catnip does not affect all cats in the same way. Only 50 to 60 percent of felines can pick up on the scents released by the weed-like plant and kittens, as well as older felines, are not affected at all.

Catnip is a perennial herb from the Labiatae mint family. Catnip can be identified by its heart shaped, scalloped leaves, hairy stalk and greenish/grey coloration.

Catnip is native to North America, known for its unique effect on cats. Catnip releases feel-good pheromones that over half the feline population are heavily attracted to, displaying a subdued or in-love behavior. Although catnip is not a true toxin and is not addictive, consuming the plant in large amounts can cause a poison-like reaction.

A feline that has consumed too much catnip will display clinical signs of vomiting and diarrhea with no other accompanying symptoms. Compare plans Catnip Poisoning Average Cost Catnip poisoning in cats will cause clinical signs of diarrhea and vomiting.

No other symptoms have been reported to accompany gastrointestinal upset and occasional lethargy associated with this form of feline toxicity. Catnip poisoning in cats is caused by an ingested overdose of the week-like herb. Although nepetalactone is not a true toxic element, a large quantity of fresh catnip can make the cat sick and display symptoms that mimic a reaction to poisoning.

Diagnosing catnip poisoning in cats is difficult, as there is no specific test available for identifying this type of toxicity. The diagnostic process will begin with a physical examination, review of the felines medical history and a consultation with the pet owner. The clinical signs that catnip poisoning causes in cats, such as vomiting and diarrhea, are the same symptoms as several other feline-related health conditions.

The veterinarian will want to conduct a series of diagnostic tests to ensure your cat is truly suffering from a catnip toxicity and not a more severe underlying condition. Diagnostic tests the veterinarian will likely request to be performed on the feline include: However, a feline may require veterinary attention to induce vomiting and replenish fluids.

The toxic effects of catnip poisoning in cats is short-lived, lasting only a few hours after the occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea. Without further exposure to the plant, the feline will make a full recovery in a few short hours. Your veterinarian will likely ask you to encourage the feline to consume a larger amount of water than usual to further eliminate the toxin from the body for the day of toxic intake, but activities should return to normal.

If you suspect your cat is at risk of being poisoned by catnip, start searching for pet insurance today . Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace . may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed. I have a kitten who is 7 months old and we have him catnip for the first time 2 nights ago.

He didnt seem to react to it until we woke up the next morning and he destroyed the bag we had it in.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip (Nepetalactone is an essential oil (and the main ingredient in the plant that is attractive to cats).It’s also called catmint, catsup, catwort, nip, new and field balm, and most of these names come from the plant’s obvious attraction to cats. Catnip causes neurologic changes in cats and is considered a mild hallucinogen.Catnip’s effect on cats is best defined as aCommon sense dictates catnip should be used occasionally. The overall recommendation is to offer your cat a small amount of fresh catnip every 2 weeks or so.Catnip toys are safe, and most cats lose interest in the toy after a few minutes. If your cat seems obsessed with the toy, take it away after 10–15 minutes and give the cat a rest.

Pleasurable Olfactory Stimulant (Translation: It Smells Good)

Cats use their sense of smell to perceive and interpret their world to a far greater degree than humans do.Catnip may be one of the most pleasant and attractive scents in the world to many cats. The nepetalactone binds to their olfactory receptors.Other plants that are pleasant to the feline olfactory center are honeysuckle wood, valerian root and silver vine. An ornamental plant commonly called catmint (

Not All Cats Respond to Catnip

The literature states that up to half of cats do not respond or react to catnip. This ability to smell or not smell catnip is hereditary.Kittens do not respond to catnip until they are at least 9 weeks old. Some cats need to be older before they get pleasure from catnip.In some cats, catnip is found to be a depressant rather than a stimulant. It’s possible that more cats respond to catnip than previously thought.In a recent study, researchers hypothesized that the cats who were exposed to catnip and simply reclined or maintained a sphinx-like position may have actually been in a hallucinogenic state.Interestingly, one study found that cats who did not pick up on the catnip scent responded positively to silver vine (75% of cats) or Tatarian honeysuckle (33%). These plants also contain nepetalactone.

Is Catnip “Toxic”?

Your cat may exhibit some or all of the following:The “high” or behavioral change induced by catnip usually lasts 10–15 minutes, and I have found that most cats seem to lose interest in the plant after their 15-minute episode. Perhaps they self-regulate their transient drug-induced behavior.

The Cat Gardener

People have used catnip for centuries, but its usage has largely been replaced by more effective drugs.Historically, catnip has been drunk (catnip tea), smoked, used as a poultice and topically. This list is not an exhaustive list of its uses in history:Catnip was used as a replacement for marijuana in the 1960s or as a filler in marijuana. People were even buying catnip toys and using the catnip stuffing to get high. Its usage declined as marijuana became more readily available.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HXYcnCAIg4