Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is an aromatic herb. Used in human herbal remedies since the 15th century, catnip is a member of the mint family. Long before the importation of tea from the orient, Europeans consumed copious quantities of catnip tea. One can only assume that a lucky cat owner around this time must have noticed the influence this herb has on housecats.
Not all cats will respond to catnip. In fact, it has been estimated that at least 15 percent of cats lack the genes that generate the catnip response. However, if your feisty feline is among the 85 percent that does respond to the herb, you are in for an entertaining treat.
A pinch or two of catnip, crushed between your fingers and sprinkled on the floor, cat tower or favorite toy, will elicit an amusing response from your furry friend. You can expect her to roll in it, eat it, zoom around the room, bounce off the walls and finally settle down for a well-deserved rest.
When buying catnip, choose a certified organic variety. This means it was grown in controlled conditions, without the use of pesticides. While catnip grows wild throughout many parts of the U.S., these sources may have been exposed to pesticides or other environmental pollutants and should be avoided.
Catnip buds are the flowers of the catnip plant. This is the most potent form of catnip you can buy. While it may carry a premium price, catnip buds are certain to please even the most discerning of catnip connoisseurs. Consider Pet Greens Dried Catnip Buds, stored in the freezer to maximize freshness.
Whether you want to use catnip as an occasional treat for your kitty, a training tool, or to encourage a lazy cat to exercise, rest assured that it is a completely safe for feline consumption and a whole lot of fun.