What is Japanese Catnip?
Nepeta cataria commonly called as catnip is a herb native to Europe but now grown widely around the world. Japanese catnip is slightly different than the European catnip. For humans the herb smells similar to mint, but for cats it gives a different effect altogether. If cats find this herb in the neighborhood, then they play with these herbs the whole day scratching and smelling them.
The main ingredient of the herb that causes these effects is nepetalactone. This a mild and safe hallucinogen, the effects are seen when it is inhaled by cats. To find out if your cat is having the effects you should look out for ‘Flehmen response’. The cats will pull back their gums exposing its front teeth and will press their tongue against the roof of their mouths. If you see the ‘Flehmen response’ then it means the cat is experiencing the effects of the herb.
The duration of these effects depend on the dosage, usually the effect will last for few minutes and then there will be a cool down period where the cat will stop showing interest to catnip.
Where to Buy Catnip:
It is important to buy catnip from a trusted vendor. We recommend this Matatabi Japanese Catnip. They provide a wide range of catnip products like tea bags, leaves and dried branches.
Best Way to Serve:
The best way to serve this to your cat is in the form of tea. It is easy to make this tea, all you need to do is place the teabag or 2 tsp of dried leaves in a tea cup and pour hot water (not boiling water). Wait for 10-15 minutes until it cools down and then serve it to the cat. We can also give the cat a small dried branch to chew upon, the cat will be extremely keen to chew the branches (check the video below).
Health Benefits of Catnip:
There are numerous health benefits for your cat if it consumes Catnip tea. In Catnip in addition to the hallucinogen nepetalactone there are several other micro nutrients like vitamins A, B, and C and dietary minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients will ensure good health for your cat. Just like humans cats also feel emotional stress, and catnip can be an excellent stress reliever. Catnip relieves stress, anxiety, and its calming effects will give your cat a peaceful sleep. It is also a natural digestive aid and improves the digestion of your cat. 30% of the cats are immune to catnip’s effects, but even then they will have these health benefits, so if you have a cat then go for it.