If you’ve never experienced your cat around cat nip, you’re in for a treat. What exactly IS cat nip anyway? Is it cat drugs? No, not really. It’s just that while cat sitting in Chandler, we get to watch your feline friends *act* as if they are on drugs, if we give them cat nip. 🙂 Cat nip is actually an herb that is a member of the mint family and you can even grow it for yourself.
So how does it work? The cat nip contains an essential oil, nepetalactone, that is mainly what drives them wild. Interestingly enough not all cats are effected by cat nip. In fact, only about 50-70% of cats will react to the smell. And generally speaking it doesn’t effect kittens under 12 weeks. There also appears to be a hereditary component, so if you have a family of cats and momma likes it, well chances are good so will her kittens when they’re older.
What are some common reactions when cats sniff the cat nip? You really only need to give a small pinch to your cat in order for it to work. The most common effect is wanting to rub against the herb, extra hyperactivity and arousal (note the large eyes), they may drool and become more playful. The herb can also increase cat salivation. Do be careful because in their over-excitability, cats can get a bit playfully aggressive. They may swat at and bite you due to the herb arousal. Additionally your cat may chew on and eat the herb. This actually releases the oil that they love. Some cats become relaxed after eating/playing with the herb. After the arousal they chill out all content.
What are some ways your Chandler Cat sitter recommends giving your cats cat nip? There are a number of fun ways to do this. If you have in its most common form, the dried leave pieces of the plant often sold at pet stores, you can simply sprinkle a little on the floor. I like to put mine on the shelves of my cat condo for my fur-kids – it gives them another happy association with the cat condo. There are many toys you can purchase that you can sprinkle cat nip into and the cat will be able to smell the nip through the toy. Don’t want to buy a toy? Get an old sock and put a teaspoon of cat nip in the sock and tie it off. Instant cat nip toy. Watch the sock though; it will most likely become shredded. Another fun way to give it to your cat is to sprinkle it on a piece of large newspaper. Double fun because they get the noise of the paper with the cat nip! If you prefer not to have dried cat nip around there are also some sprays that contain the same cat nip oils smell that you can spray on cat condos or scratchers, but personally I think it’s more fun to watch the cats roll in it and bat toys around with the herb in it.
How long does cat nip last? It can vary from cat to cat, but a general rule of thumb is about 5-10 minutes. Some lucky felines can enjoy the smell for 10-20 minutes; most often though, the effect is short-lived so enjoy the hilarity while you can! It will take about 1-2 hours before your cat can smell the oils again. Cat nip is in no way dangerous or addictive, but once a day or once every couple days is enough to keep things fun and interesting for your feline fur-kids.
Your Chandler pet sitters encourage you to get some nip for your best feline friends and watch the fun unfold!