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Can I Give My Kitten Catnip? How Outdated Ought to They Be?

Many cats go loopy for catnip and might begin performing fully completely different after getting a whiff of it. Fortuitously, catnip is totally protected and non-toxic for cats of all ages, together with kittens. So, you don’t have to fret in case your kitten ingests a little bit bit or rolls round in it.

In contrast to grownup cats, most kittens gained’t begin to really feel the results of catnip till they’re about 6 months previous. Some kittens could react to it after they’re a couple of 12 months previous, whereas others merely gained’t react to it in any respect.

Catnip is a curious plant with fascinating results. Right here’s what you must learn about this fascinating plant and its relationship to cats.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a plant species that belongs to the mint household. It’s also called catswort, catwort, and catmint. Regardless of its results on cats, it doesn’t comprise any psychedelic properties.

Cats react to catnip after they scent or ingest nepetalactone, which is an oil produced by the plant. Cats have a scent organ on the roof of their mouth known as the vomeronasal gland. When the scent of nepetalactone reaches the vomeronasal gland, it may journey as much as the mind. This will trigger a behavioral response in cats.

Do All Cats Like Catnip?

cat playing with catnip mouse
Picture Credit score: Chewy

No, some cats won’t react to catnip. About 60% of cats will expertise the advantages of catnip. Analysis exhibits {that a} cat’s response to catnip is said to a dominant genetic trait.

In case your kitten doesn’t reply to catnip, you possibly can attempt giving it silvervine, one other plant with comparable results to catnip. A examine accomplished in 2017 exhibits that extra cats react to silvervine than catnip. 86% of cats on this examine reacted to silvervine whereas solely 68% reacted to catnip.

Learn how to Know If Your Kitten Is Reacting to Catnip

Kittens will show completely different behaviors to catnip. Some will lick and roll round whereas others will immediately change into extraordinarily lively. Kittens may also change into extra relaxed and affectionate. In some circumstances, kittens can present aggression.

The consequences of catnip often put on off after about 10 minutes. Then, it often takes round half-hour with none contact in between for cats to react to it once more.

Can My Kitten Overdose on Catnip?

Yeowww! Catnip banana cat toy_chewy
Picture Credit score: Yeowww, Chewy

Kittens can’t overdose on catnip because it has no psychoactive properties. They’ll even eat a little bit little bit of catnip and will expertise digestive well being advantages.

Nonetheless, consuming an excessive amount of catnip may cause an upset abdomen. So, in case your kitten develops a behavior of licking and consuming a whole lot of catnip, you’ll need simply to put out a little bit bit at a time to stop gastrointestinal upset.


There’s no age restriction in the case of giving a kitten catnip. Nonetheless, most kittens will begin to react to catnip after they’re between 6-12 months previous. So, chances are you’ll need to save the catnip toys for afterward in a kitten’s growth. In case your kitten doesn’t find yourself having fun with catnip, you possibly can all the time attempt utilizing silvervine to see if it reacts to it as a substitute.

Featured Picture Credit score: tamara321, Shutterstock



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