Catnip Madness! Why Cats are Crazy About Catnip

catnipAlthough we may not find our cats next to a lava lamp listening to Deep Purple, jokes about cats and catnip usually hint at the kind of psychedelic effect this plant has on them. From purring to “making biscuits,” our cats are full of all sorts of peculiar behaviors, so it’s no surprise to add one more baffling quirk to the list.

However, there’s much confusion about what catnip is and how it affects our feline friends. The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are here to help unravel the mystery of catnip madness.

What is Catnip?

Nepeta cataria, or catnip, is a member of the mint family. This leafy, green plant contains a substance called nepetalactone, which is the oily compound your cat goes wild for. Catnip and its mint family members have been used medicinally for centuries by Native Americans and early European settlers.

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