How Often Can You Give Cats Catnip? Purrfectly Potted Posers

How Often Can You Give Cats Catnip? Purrfectly Potted Posers

Catnip is a perennial herb, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria. It has a minty smell and can make cats go gaga. Cat owners worldwide are aware of the unique effects of this herb on their feline companions. Cats become playful, euphoric, and excited after consuming catnip. Have you ever wondered how often can you give cats catnip? This article will answer this frequently asked question and other related queries.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is a herb from the mint family. It has a compound called nepetalactone that induces a response in cats. This response is neurological and often amusing to watch. The plant contains small hairs that release the substance nepetalactone when rubbed or crushed. Ingesting it can cause different reactions in cats, which can last for a few minutes to hours.

What are the Effects of Catnip on Cats?

Catnip has a unique effect on cats. While some cats may find it repulsive, others respond in varied ways. When cats inhale or ingest catnip, they may start rolling, rubbing, and pawing themselves or nearby objects. They can become active, hyper, and more playful than usual. The effect of catnip usually fades after 10-15 minutes. The herb has not shown to have any significant harmful effect on cats.

How Often Can You Give Cats Catnip?

While cats can’t overdose on catnip, it’s best to give them moderate doses. The effect of catnip can last for 10-15 minutes, and it can be a while before they respond again. Ideally, it is safe to give cats catnip once a day.

Can Catnip Affect a Cat’s Behavior?

Catnip affects a cat’s behavior temporarily. It can make them more playful or sometimes aggressive. Some cats may start meowing, rolling or drooling, while others may completely ignore the herb. Catnip is not addictive or harmful to cats. It is safe to give them, provided you use it in moderation.

How Much Catnip Can You Give Your Cat?

Cat owners need to be mindful of the catnip quantity they give their cats. Overstimulation might cause adverse effects like diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy. The amount of catnip depends entirely on the cat’s weight and age. A general thumb-rule is one teaspoon of dried catnip for every five pounds of the cat’s body weight.

How Do You Give Cats Catnip?

Catnip is available in loose-leaf, sachet or spray form. Many cats are seen responding better to loose-leaves than spray varieties of catnip. Giving catnip to cats can create a mess, but owners can use catnip toys for convenience.

When Should You Give Your Cat Catnip?

The effects of catnip don’t last long, and it is better to give it to cats when you have time to interact with them. Some cat owners prefer giving catnip before leaving their cats alone, while others may choose to give it as a treat before bedtime.

How Do You Store Catnip?

Catnip should be stored in a dry, dark place. If you buy in bulk, it is better to store it in an airtight container. Catnip can lose its potency if it comes in contact with air, moisture, or light. It is best to store it away from heat and light sources to prevent spoilage.

What Are the Alternatives to Catnip?

Cat owners can try out different herbs and plants that may have a similar effect on cats. Some of these are Valerian root, Silver Vine, and Honeysuckle. These plants/ roots release a different set of compounds that stimulate cats in unique ways. They are safe and non-toxic to cats when given in moderation.

Why Does Catnip not Affect all Cats?

Researchers believe that only sixty to eighty percent of cats have a genetic inclination towards catnip. It is possible that the cats who do not respond to catnip may have different genes that don’t create the same reaction to nepetalactone. Catnip sensitivity may vary depending on age, health or stress levels of cats.


Cat owners worldwide are fond of catnip as it creates a fun and responsive environment for their feline companions. However, moderation is essential when it comes to catnip. Giving catnip once a day is safe and doesn’t result in over-stimulation. The amount of catnip should be in proportion to the cat’s body weight, and owners should be mindful of the cat’s age and overall health. Catnip is harmless, and the effects do not last for hours, making it a perfect treat every once in a while.

List of Common Questions Related to How Often Can You Give Cats Catnip

  • What is catnip?
  • What are the effects of catnip on cats?
  • How often can you give cats catnip?
  • Can catnip affect a cat’s behavior?
  • How much catnip can you give your cat?
  • How do you give cats catnip?
  • When should you give your cat catnip?
  • How do you store catnip?
  • What are the alternatives to catnip?
  • Why does catnip not affect all cats?



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