Amongst its other uses, catnip can be an excellent training aid for your cat. Sprinkle a little on a new cat bed to get your cat used to relaxing there and your cat will begin to sleep there our of habit. One problem that some cat owners face is that their cat simply won’t eat the catnip. In this article, we will be going over how to get your cat to eat catnip with ease.
Before we get into the article, we just want to point out that a quarter of cats are naturally immune. A small percentage of cats can also respond aggressively to catnip and begin to scratch you or other cats. That said, the vast majority of cats are totally fine and have a positive response to the consumption of catnip.
How To Get Your Cat To Eat Catnip
The most common reason for a cat not to eat catnip comes down to the size of the herb being offers. To reduce costs, some of the cheaper brands will not refine their product into an edible product. If you read the container of your catnip, these cheaper brands always advise you to crush it between two spoons into smaller particles. Once this has been done, your cat should begin to eat the crush up catnip.
Some people choose to use catnip tablets or capsules but we do not recommend these. They can still work but require crushing up or being mixed with your cat’s food. Cats are experts at eating their food around a tablet while leaving the tablet in their food bowl. You can purchase products such as pill pocket treats that have been specifically designed for this though. They have a hole in the middle of the treats for cat owners to hide medication or tablets. The idea is you feed your cat a few to get it used to eating them then give it one with the tablet inside.
Bring On The Toys
There are also a number of different catnip toys available on the market. Some are designed to mimic prey so when your cat plays with it and catnip falls out your cat eats it. Others are designed to just be played with and your cat inhales catnip during playtime.
We always recommend Kongs catnip as it has been preground and is ready for direct consumption. It currently retails at around the $5 mark and has over 2200 positive reviews. You can also get Kongs liquid catnip that is also highly effective it also retails at around $5 and has over 1200 positive reviews. The idea is you spray it on your cat’s toys, bed or scratchers to encourage it to use them instead of other items in your house.
Can Cats Eat Dried Catnip
When trying to work out how to get your cat to eat catnip, we often see people ask if cats can eat dried catnip. This is a very common question as the evolution of cats have made them amazing predators who eat meat. As catnip is a plant-based herb, some people seem to think that it is unnatural for cats to eat it.
Although a cats diet should be predominantly meat, it can eat plant-based products at times. It is not uncommon for cat’s to consume grass if they need to make themselves vomit. Some outdoor cats will also eat grass to help them pass undigestible parts of prey such as feathers. Although not recommended, it is even possible for a cat to live on a vegan based diet.
If you have catnip growing in your garden then I would imagine outdoor cats come around to get their fix. There have been a number of wild cats observed consuming catnip too. The video below shows a number of cats eating a catnip plant.
How Long Does It Take For Catnip To Work
As we mentioned earlier, around a quarter of all cats are naturally immune to catnip. This means no matter how much you offer them, it will never have any effect on them. There are also other factors you have to consider such as your cat’s breed and the type of catnip. Some breeds of cat will take longer than others.
A good liquid spray catnip can affect your cat within seconds. Effects can last between ten and thirty minutes while taking upto three hours for your cat to return to normal. A good edible catnip will usually take around a minute to affect your cat but its effects can last longer. If your cat manages to hide some catnip and keeps eating it then it can seem as if its lasting days.
How To Use Catnip Spray
If your cat insists on scratching furniture, spray some catnip on its scratching post. The catnip will encourage your cat to interact with the scratching post and get it used to scratch it. We highly recommend you use a cheap buy high-quality scratching post to reinforce this behavior. These have been designed with an excellent scratching texture for your cat. Some low-quality ones are a total waste of time and money as your cat won’t enjoy scratching them. You can also spray it on things like a cat tower to encourage your cat to start playing with it.
How To Use Catnip Herb
Although the Kongs catnip herb is small enough for most cats to consume without crushing. We recommend you place it between two spoons and crush it up further if your cat is old or has jaw problems.
Catnip Side Effects On Cats
As we already touched on earlier in the article, a very small percentage of cats can have an aggressive reaction to catnip. Although the majority of cats will be fine, there are a few other minor side effects.
As reported by the nest, these side effects can include vomiting, mild diarrhea, foaming at the mouth and spraying. These effects are rare and should wear off within around thirty minutes. If they do persists then we recommend you seek the advice of a veterinarian.