Do all cats like catnip ? – Various cat reactions to catnip
The crazier activities like intensive meowing, growling, purring and drooling shown by your cat after catnip exposure may have made you wonder that do all cats like catnip. However, the answer is not a full yes and various factors are responsible for it. To know more about cat’s reaction to catnip and what all factors are responsible for them, continue to read.
About catnip and the ‘catnip effect’ on cats
The plant of catnip is known to be a member of the family of mints and goes with the scientific name Nepeta cataria and other names like catswort and catmint due to its close association with cats. The catnip plant has been a native of the countries of Asia, Europe, and Africa but is now cultivated in different parts of North America too and there are around 250+ catnip varieties found in the world today.
The fragrance of this plant is the characteristic quality that makes it loved by the cats. This smell mostly reeks from the stems and leaves of this plant due to the presence of oil known as nepetalactone in them. It is said to be containing a set of chemicals that are called pheromones.
When cats come in contact with the distinctive catnip smell, their special receptors that are sensitive to these pheromones get activated and cause a sort of chemical reaction. This leads to the emergence of a feeling of happiness, calm, and euphoria in cats which is similar to the impact of hallucinogenic drugs seen on humans. This is also sometimes referred to as the ‘catnip effect’.
Aspects of cat’s reaction to catnip
Cats love catnip but the love isn’t shared unanimously by all members of the cat world. Other than this fact, there are many other aspects of the ways cat respond to catnip fragrance, and here are some of the important ones:
Positive responses of cats to catnip
To put it simply, the impact of catnip on cats is equivalent to getting a pleasurable and happy time with scent without any risk and consequence. So if you think that why do all cats like catnip, these impacts of catnip on cats will make you understand:
Negligent response to catnip by cats
We have already seen that a considerable portion of the cat population shows no stimulation post catnip exposure and some might even show signs of dislike. Now, these kinds of reactions simply stem from the lack of catnip gene in these cats and the age factor when you think 'do kittens like catnip'.
By no response, we also mean that your cat may show a very weak or soft reaction to catnip exposure that contrasts with the usual ways cats respond to the smell, making you think that they don’t like it. This means that some cats may just get a bit relaxed and soothed with the smell but not show aggravated stirring up. It must be remembered that not liking catnip doesn’t make them cats with poor standards or deficient in any way.
The response of cats to catnip can also possibly weaken when being exposed to it too much. That can become the case if you are using catnip excessively for training your cat or other purposes.
Bonus tips on using catnip
Now that we have cleared the air on’ do all cats like catnip’, here are some tips on the usage of catnip for good:
Alternatives to catnip
Based on cat’s reaction to catnip, you may want to have some alternatives ready if your cat needs stimulation but doesn’t like catnip much. Here are some of the alternative plants you can try:
The key to using these alternatives and calming equipments is doing a reaction test with the cats firstly and then going ahead accordingly.
We hope to have cleared about doubts regarding ‘do all cats like catnip’ and related queries. It wouldn’t be wise to force your catnip into liking any enticing smell like that of catnip or substances alike and you can try alternative things to engage and energize them. Wishing the best for your cat and you!