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Why Do Cats Like Catnip

Updated on December 7, 2010

Does Your Cat Like Catnip?

You've seen them rolling around on the floor...So...Why do cats like catnip so much?

Nearly all cats enjoy catnip, each cat that reacts to it has its own little means of responding to it, some will rub themselves all over it, and others with spend the day trying to eat it. My cat insists on licking the whole area where I put the catnip until it's all gone. Nobody particularly knows as to why do cats like catnip and go so mad over it, it may be the fragrance of the plant, there may be a plant hormone like a cat hormone that attracts them, or it could behave like a drug to your cat, no one can be completely certain, as each cat will behave in its own way.

There's a lot of other uses for Catnip, you can apply it as convention mint, and steep the leaves in hot water to make tea, this will assist you sleep and help digestion. If you raise it near your doorway it will also work as a excellent insect repellant keeping those nasty bugs out of your house.

So...Why do cats like catnip so much? While it doesn't affect most cats, some are not fazed by it at all. It will impact approximately one-half of the cats in the world. This is since there's a gene that's genetic that will decide whether or not your cat will go wild over cat nip. You'll not be able to distinguish whether your cat loves catnip until it's about 4 months old, as they don't demonstrate any affect prior to this. Besides when your cat becomes a senior, it will show less and less interest in catnip. You can just about guarantee if your cat's parents were from a area that was in the beginning native to catnip, then they'll be effected, where as those from different places of the world likely won't be.

Catnip is also real good for teaching your cat. If you have a couch fraying cat, you can assist your cat to use a scratching tree, by placing the tree nearby the couch it's tearing up and spraying some catnip on it, your cat will then become far more concerned in the post rather than your couch. A few applications should have your cat trained.

Now that you have a better understanding as to why do cats like catnip...Why not grow your own supply. Visit your local garden centre and just search for the Cat Mint plant or seeds. It's really simple to grow and watch out that it doesn't take over your whole garden [it's very invasive] if it's not contained. So you might want to grow it in a container, buying a little plant is better than growing from seed, as your cat might be far too interested in the seedlings to allow them grow to maturity.


These plants won't break the bank and because of the spreading nature of the plant you will likely only ever need to buy one. This will save you lots of money, since in the stores catnip can be really expensive. Simply chop off a couple of leaves at a time when as you need them. Or you can chop off entire stems at summers end and hang them up to dry in a warm and dry place [ sort of like drying onions or garlic], and then mash them up and keep them in a jar, as long as there's a lid on the jar it will keep forever.

For knowing the exact reason as to why do cats like catnip...Part of the answer is going to remain an mystery. Don't go crazy with catnip, otherwise your cat will lose its sensitivity to it. So use it as a treat, or for training and your cat will be far more appreciative and enjoy it for years to come.


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    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 5 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      I like your hub.I am glad to read it.