What Is Catnip And How Does It Work?

Is your cat crazy for catnip? If the answer is yes, your cat is not alone – in fact, there’s a scientific reason for this.

Why is Catnip So Enticing for Cats?

Catnip isn’t just a particular flavor of cat treats. It is actually a perennial herb that is categorized in the mint family, scientifically referred to as Nepeta cataria. Catnip is natively found across Africa, Asia and Europe but was introduced into North America where it can now be found across the continent.

Just like cannabinoids, catnip has an effect on certain receptors within a cat’s brain. With catnip however, Nepetalactone, which is an essential oil in the plant, affects cats after they are over 3-6 months old. When catnip ‘connects’ with these receptors, the result is a happy or euphoric feeling in your beloved pet. Not all cats respond to catnip strongly; however it is estimated that 70-80% of cats respond to catnip.

Reactions to Catnip

Your pet, when exposed to catnip, can show signs of euphoria through actions such as licking, rubbing, vocalizing, salivating, and rolling head-over-tail. For some cats, aggressive playfulness can be a reaction to catnip. They feel the herb’s effects by simply sniffing it, which produces a stimulant effect. Beyond sniffing, ingesting catnip has a sedative effect for cats.

Once the short euphoria is over (about 10 minutes) your feline pet will not likely respond to the herb for another 2 hours. That said, cats have not been found to build up a tolerance to catnip, which means that the treat will be effective indefinitely!

Is Catnip Safe For Your Pet?

In a word, yes. Catnip is a natural occurring herb that belongs to the mint family which is non-addictive and safe to eat for both humans and cats. (Humans have also used catnip in tea for centuries to help calm nerves and a mild sedative, similar to camomile).

Catnip has an effect on the majority of cats whether it is smelled or eaten, but different methods produce different results (that are both safe). As with all products, you should be aware of the right dosage and the same rule applies to administering catnip to your feline pet. Following the suggested dosing on the package can prevent adverse events like vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat does develop these symptoms they will subside and your cat will be perfectly healthy again.

Catnip + CBD = A Good Combo For Felines

Many people witness the fun and enjoyment cats have when they smell or eat a small amount of catnip. On the other hand, many cat owners report the opposite when sharing the experience of introducing cannabidiol or CBD to their cats. The reports vary from felines loving it to flat out refusing it directly and even avoiding food with CBD oil mixed in.

As cats most often experience catnip from a euphoric standpoint, combining it with CBD, can be a great way to positively introduce CBD to cats. In addition to the health benefits CBD offers, the catnip portion can be a handy tool to reinforce behaviors and training.

Animal wellness company, Emisha, specializes in natural products specifically made to enhance the health of family pets. This is one of the first wellness companies to combine the pleasurable experience of catnip with the health enhancing aspects of CBD into a new hemp CBD Catnip. The best of two worlds!

Ways CBD May Be Helpful For Your Kitty:

Some conditions that CBD has been found to help with in terms of cat health include:


For many older cats, arthritis is a painful reality, however CBD has been known to help with easing the symptoms of arthritis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

This is a condition that many cat owners find themselves treating. With inflammation as the root cause, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can be a natural tool and useful method with the treatment of IBD.


CBD can provide calming effects can also be useful in cats that are prone to agitation or anxiety.


Unfortunately, some cats experience seizures. Luckily, however, CBD has been found to help reduce some seizure disorders in cats.

Although CBD is not addictive and non-toxic, it should be dosed correctly for pets (and humans). A holistic veterinarian based in Colorado, Dr. Angie Krause, offers suggestions on starting dose for cats at 0.2 mg/kg twice daily and working up to 0.5 mg/kg twice daily. Some cats may experience increased appetite or sleep more. Give time for CBD to take effect as it may take up to 30-days to witness the improvement in your cat’s quality of life.

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