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December 5, 2016, Washington, D.C.
The House Committee on All Things Special (CATS), Feline Subcommittee, has just announced that the long-awaited results of the Special Investigation into the issue of “Catnip: Blessing or Scourge?” has determined that catnip is indeed non-harmful and could be considered beneficial to the feline population everywhere.
CATS published a statement for humans to make sure it is understood that all felines should have access to an adequate supply of catnip daily, available through the Affordable Cat Healthcare Environment (ACHE).
The Head ACHE spokescat stated, “Below is information about catnip every human should read if they are owned by a cat. Please read and share.”
What Is Catnip?
Catnip is a plant that is categorized as an herb. It is attractive to butterflies and bees and is fairly hardy. It’s been used as an herbal treatment for various ailments by naturopathic doctors, but there is little evidence of its having any real effect on humans. Catnip is native to Europe and Asia, and was brought to North America by settlers. It is now used mostly in herb gardens and grows wild as a weed. Catnip is cultivated mostly for use in cat toys and as dried catnip sold at pet stores.
Why Do Cats React to Catnip?
Cats have their most intense reactions when they smell catnip. Nepetalactone, a volatile oil found in the plant, enters the cat’s nose and the response sends stimulation to parts of the cat’s brain that elicit the familiar behavior of rolling, playing, and generally ‘flipping out.’ This reaction is very similar to the way cats respond to feline pheromones. Cats will also frequently ingest catnip, which is completely harmless. When eaten, it tends to have a stronger sedative effect than when the oils are inhaled.
Can I Grow Catnip?
Catnip can easily be grown at home, providing a treat for your cat any time. It can be grown from seed or from mature plants. Once established in your garden, catnip requires little care and will reappear year after year. You can buy catnip seeds or plants at a variety of outlets online or at your local gardening center.
Do All Cats React to Catnip?
Around 33% of adult cats have no reaction at all to catnip. No one is sure exactly why, but it seems that the olfactory receptors in these cats don’t stimulate their brains to act in the familiar way when they smell it. The ability to react to catnip is entirely hereditary.