Can Cats Eat Catnip? Is Catnip Safe For Cats?

Photo taken in Neu-Ulm, Germany

(Picture Credit: Thorsten Nilson / EyeEm/Getty Images)

Can cats eat catnip? Considering the name of the plant alone, it might seem a question with an obvious answer. But maybe your cat has never actually eaten the plant, and that may leave you wondering. Is catnip safe for cats?

The short answer is yes, cats can eat catnip. Letting your cat snack on catnip is a safe option, and some cats can really benefit from the effects. Although, it’s important to monitor the amount you let your cat consume so that you avoid bringing on some of the unwanted side effects that can come with eating too much catnip.

Here’s what you need to know about catnip and cats.

How Is Catnip Good For Cats?

Catnip has a reputation for making cats either act very hyper or very calm. A lot of the difference comes from the way cats interact with catnip.

If a cat sniffs catnip, they might become amped up. But if a cat eats catnip, it can act as a natural sedative and put them in a more relaxed and laid back state.

Being that cats are obligate carnivores, they don’t receive much at all in the way of nutritional benefits from consuming catnip. But if it helps relax your cat or makes them less anxious, it can be a safe and useful addition to their diet.

As always, consult with your veterinarian before adding a new food to your cat’s diet in an effort to try to cure a behavioral issue.

How Can I Safely Give Catnip To My Cat?

Grey cat relaxing after sniffing dried catnip, catwort or catmint. Herbs for cats. High quality photo

(Picture Credit: Daria Kulkova/Getty Images)

When it comes to serving catnip to your cat, there are a number of options. Most pet stores will sell a range of products, including dried catnip, fresh catnip plants, and various gels that can you can use to administer catnip to your cat.

In the case of dried catnip, feel free to sprinkle some on a favorite sleeping spot or cardboard toy. In some cases, rubbing the dried catnip between your fingers can help make it smell more appealing to your cat.

If your cat prefers fresh catnip, you can leave a catnip plant out for them to snack on at their will.

While catnip is generally safe for cats, it is important to note that too much can result in a few unwanted side effects. Some of the most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea and experiencing an upset stomach.

So you can go ahead and let your cat snack on catnip, but make sure you keep an eye on how much your cat is eating.

Does your cat go wild for catnip? Do they feel calmer when they eat it? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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