Can Cats Overdose on Catnip? What You Ought to Know!

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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Many cats love the feeling of catnip. They get euphoric and begin performing foolish. Some folks get pleasure from giving their cats catnip frequently as a way to evoke this joyful response. Cats might love catnip, however how a lot catnip is an excessive amount of catnip? Can cats overdose on catnip?

The response that cats must catnip makes folks take into consideration unlawful medicine. It’s a humorous picture and the closest comparability that most individuals could make to the consequences of catnip. Catnip just isn’t a drug. It doesn’t operate the identical method as folks think about medicine working in people. That implies that cats can’t overdose on catnip. However catnip could make them sick in the event that they ingest an excessive amount of. Proceed studying to be taught extra.

Consuming Catnip vs. Smelling Catnip

Catnip can work two methods on a cat. The primary method is {that a} cat smells catnip. Catnip incorporates an natural chemical known as nepetalactone. This chemical is the principle perpetrator for a way cats react after they work together with catnip. Nepetalactone can begin performing instantly on cats after they odor it. This distinctive chemical mimics a pheromone response in cats which causes a response within the pleasure facilities of the cat’s mind. Cats can get a really sturdy response by merely smelling the catnip.

Cats may get a response from catnip by consuming it. Some cats like to eat catnip, and that’s the reason that some pet homeowners prefer to put their catnip into paper luggage or socks to stop cats from instantly consuming the catnip. When cats eat catnip, it has a really completely different impact from after they odor catnip. Consuming catnip ends in a relaxing impact. It causes cats to sit back out and get sleepy. Smelling catnip makes cats go bonkers, so the 2 reactions are very distinct and noticeable.

catnip dried leaves
Picture Credit score: Gaston Cerliani, Shutterstock

Why Can’t Cats Overdose on Catnip?

A cat can’t react too strongly from merely smelling the catnip. After ten minutes, a cat will obtain a most dose of nepetalactone through the vomeronasal organ after which begin to lose curiosity. It takes two hours for the consequences to put on off totally. Within the meantime, no extra scent goes so as to add to the feeling or trigger an overdose.

A cat can get sick in the event that they eat an excessive amount of catnip. The quantity of catnip it takes for a cat to get sick varies, however it’s often a really great amount. Most cat homeowners don’t present their cats with sufficient of the plant to sicken their cat. Nevertheless, if a cat eats method an excessive amount of catnip in a brief time frame it could actually trigger them to have vomiting and diarrhea. This isn’t an overdose. This response is not any completely different than if a cat eats an excessive amount of grass or eats an excessive amount of meals in a brief time frame. A considerable amount of catnip will merely give a cat a stomachache, not an overdose.

Indicators a Cat Is on Catnip

There are some very noticeable indicators {that a} cat is on catnip. They begin performing extraordinarily humorous. They roll round, drool, meow, or growl. They get playful or chatty after they often are quiet and reticent. Listed here are a few of the commonest indicators that your cat is responding to catnip:

  • Head shaking

  • Rubbing chin and cheeks

  • Rolling

  • Vocalization

  • Euphoria

  • Pleasure

  • Despair

  • Aggression

Some cats get moody and depressive on catnip. Some aggressive cats that play tough and are liable to scratching generally get extra aggressive on catnip. It’s best to at all times monitor your cat on catnip to be taught its behaviors and its quirks.

Gray Cat Enjoying Fresh Catnip
Picture Credit score: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

How Lengthy Does Catnip Final?

Catnip doesn’t final very lengthy. Typically, catnip wears off in 10 to fifteen minutes after being smelled or ingested. After roughly quarter-hour, a cat will begin to lose curiosity within the catnip as the consequences slowly put on off. Some cats will react to catnip for as much as half-hour, however that’s often the longest a cat will stay concerned with catnip. This comparatively brief interval of depth, coupled with the time it takes to reset after interacting with catnip (2-3 hours), makes it very tough for cats to get any adversarial results from the plant.


Cats can’t overdose on catnip for quite a lot of causes. First, many of the drug-like signs of catnip use come from an olfactory chemical that enters through the nostril. It’s not possible to overdose like that for a cat. Second, catnip wears off rapidly, leaving cats disinterested after simply minutes. If a cat eats an excessive amount of catnip, it could actually get a abdomen ache, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea, however that’s the extent of the adverse results. Cats additionally must eat a ton of catnip to get to that time, so even these negative effects are exceedingly uncommon.

Featured Picture Credit score: Doug McLean, Shutterstock

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