Have you ever tried giving your cat some catnip? Some cats go absolutely crazy and hyper when they have catnip! And then, ironically, for some cats – like our Milo boy – catnip calms down their nerves. Catnip is an herb, and is actually part of the mint family of herbs. It can also be called different names depending on where you live: catnip, catwort or catmint. Cool! But, our main reason for writing this article today is to discover if it is SAFE for cats to have catnip. So is catnip safe for cats?
Is it ok if my cat eats catnip?
You’re an awesome cat owner to even ask this question. You might be worried that catnip is somehow unhealthy or even dangerous for your cat to ingest. Let us put your minds at rest right now. Catnip is totally safe for cats to eat. That’s why it’s an ingredient in many cat toys or cat treats – because cats just love it! And, it’s fine for them to eat catnip. Most of them will get a whiff of that lovely catnip smell and just go bonkers!
How can I give my cat catnip?
You can buy catnip in pure form, and then sprinkle it onto one of your cats’ toys or their cat tree or scratching post. We have a flat cardboard scratching board that Milo just loves, and we sprinkle a bit of catnip on that board every few days. And then he does his thing: rubbing his face in the catnip, rolling around a wee bit and then just flaking out. He’s the type of cat that chills out or relaxes when he has catnip, and it’s quite cute to see.
Here’s a tip on your cat getting the most enjoyment out of their catnip. Crush the catnip between your fingers as you’re sprinkling it on their toys, cat trees, or scratching post. Just as crushing any dried herbs helps bring out more of the flavour (a good tip when you’re cooking spaghetti sauce), crushing catnip will release more of the scent and your cat will go extra crazy! Which is, after all, the point of it.
Use catnip to encourage cats to use scratching posts and cat trees. If your cat is being stubborn, and doesn’t want to use the cat tree or scratching post you bought them, just try a little cat nip. Sprinkle some catnip on the piece of cat furniture, and you’ll find that the vast majority of cats will all of a sudden get way more interested in it! And once you’ve gotten their attention, they’re likely to keep returning and using that scratching post or cat tree.
Handmade Catnip toys
You can also purchase catnip toys – cat toys that are filled with pouches of catnip. I did a little hunting on Etsy and found some super cute handmade catnip toys. There are baguette ones that made me giggle at the screen they were so cute. For some reason it gave me a very funny mental picture of a stylish cat in a beret, enjoying a baguette in Paris. But then I saw the blueberry pancake catnip toys for cats and that was it – next time I place an Etsy order I need to get those!
Or if you’re more talented with a needle and thread than I am, you can easily make catnip toys at home. Just a little felt or wool toy with a removeable pouch of catnip is all you need! (The removeable pouch is a good idea, because then you can freshen up the catnip once in a while. When catnip goes stale, you’ll definitely notice that your cat will not react the same to it anymore.) You can find countless patterns for catnip toys if you search Google for ‘cat toy patterns’ or ‘catnip toy patterns’ or ‘how to make catnip toys.’
Conclusion – Can cats eat catnip
Yes, cats can eat catnip! It is perfectly safe for them to have catnip. And, there are many ways to give your cats a catnip treat: either in the pure form of catnip, or by giving them a toy or treat with lovely catnip inside. Some cats will go bonkers, some will just stare off contentedly into space, and still other cats will chill right out and rub their faces in the catnip in glee! Catnip is a safe and fun treat to give your cats – we hope your cat enjoys it!
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