Catnip goes by several names: catwort, field balm, catmint. Regardless, it’s probable that your cat goes crazy for this aromatic herb that’s originally from Asia and Europe.
About 1 in 2 cats genetically inherits sensitivity to catnip, a sensitivity that won’t reveal itself until your cat is 3 to 6 months old. Cats prone to sensitivity will react specifically to an oil in catnip called nepetalactone that’s found in the herb’s leaves, plants, and seeds.
The burst of euphoria a cat will experience after just a sniff or 2 of catnip is usually short and intense, only about 10 minutes. For some, this happiness will cause playfulness, while others will be mellow and calm. Either way, once the burst is over it will be about 2 hours before your cat can react to catnip again.
Catnip is non-addictive, safe to eat, and can be grown at home. To learn more about catnip, check out the link at the bottom of this post.
“Truth about Catnip.” WebMD. Web. 1 April 2014.