Is Catnip Healthy For Cats?

catnip healthy for cats

There has been an excellent upsurge in catnip sales recently. Everyone wants to know is catnip healthy for cats? Is it addictive? Can it help keep your cat from being overweight? This article will explore some of the benefits and risks associated with catnip.

Catnip Effects on Cats

A cat lying on a bed

Catnip, also known as catnip tea, is the dried blossoms of a catnip plant. There are no artificial preservatives, colors or flavorings added, so it’s perfectly safe for cats. But, if they consume too much of the dried or fresh catnip leaves, they may develop an upset stomach or vomiting or diarrhea. A cat’s reaction to catnip usually is mediated via the olfactory sense, or sense of scent. Felines especially sensitive to catnip are particularly sensitive to the scent of catnip.

There are some things that cats can eat that are poisonous but are safe for them to consume. Some researchers suspect that cats, because of their pre-domesticated state, may have eaten the very first wild apple they ever encountered. The flesh of an apple is actually safe for a cat to eat, although it would be downright awful tasting for a cat to eat a raw apple! The same is true for strawberries. Berries, grapes and melons may also be safe for cats to eat, but again, it would probably be awful tasting.

Moth balls are also said by some researchers to be beneficial to your cat’s health. Cats love to eat these moth balls when they are out in the wild. The smell is very pungent and it is said that cats do not seem to be able to smell the moth balls. If you place one around the house when you are away, it should keep your cat from vomiting. One caution: you will need to make sure that the catnip or moth balls do not get into your cat’s water dishes.

Another herb believed by many cat owners to be helpful in keeping a cat away from vomiting is peppermint oil. This is said to be especially effective for cats that seem to be sensitive to citrus odors. The smell of peppermint oil is said to relax the gall bladder which is why some researchers suspect that it is useful for cats that tend to vomiting a lot after eating. If you notice that your cat is eating a large quantity of food fairly quickly after eating a lemon, then this could be an indication that he has eaten his last dose of lemon. Lemon is also supposed to help prevent nausea.

The common question about cats that seem to vomit a lot more than normal is, “Is it poisoning them?” Although most plants are not toxic, there are some plants, such as the plantain, that can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. To avoid side effects, any time you treat your cat with ingredients from a natural remedy for vomiting, you should contact your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian can provide a prescription for medication to stop the vomiting. Your veterinarian may also refer you to someone who can properly diagnose and treat your cat’s problem.

Although catnip does not pose any threat to humans, there have been reports of cats going blind after ingesting the herb. In rare instances, the plant has also been reported to cause death. On the bright side, researchers suspect that this is only a rare incident. Even so, you should be aware of this risk when treating your cat.

End Note

A close up of a cat

Catnip can be purchased from pet stores and from online stores. If you decide to buy it from a store, you should ask the pharmacist or manager if it is a recommended ingredient. If you do purchase it online, you should be aware that catnip could cause mild tummy upset in cats, and you should ask your vet if it could be harmful. Regardless, catnip certainly is a wonderful, safe, relaxing, soothing herb.

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