HomeCat BehaviorcatnipIs catnip safe for kittens?


Is catnip safe for kittens? — 6 Comments

  1. I have read that the genes (if they have them) for getting that nip buzz don’t turn on/get active until the ‘kitten’ is about 3 months old. Technically they are more adolescent at that age than kitten. It could be that stages of brain development play a part too.

    Nepetalactone affects the brain in cats in a similar, but milder way that LSD affects in humans.

    • Thanks Jane. If catnip affects the brain in a similar but milder way than LSD I’d be inclined to avoid it but that’s just me. At the moment I let Gabriel use catnip.

      • Recent piece in The Guardian showing images of human brains on LSD . Worth a read, if only for the descriptions of how it is thought the chemical works to alter perception. It is not nearly as shocking as one might expect. Certainly catnip is nowhere as dramatic in effect as LSD.

        Psychedelic experiences can be beautiful, restorative and transformative to individuals. A lot depends on the state of mind, the company and the motivation to take a trip.

        Cats seek out a buzz from a variety of plants, they tend to be self limiting in how much the consume, from my observations.

        If only humans had a similar degree of self restraint!

  2. Oh wow, I’d like to see a big cat get all goofy on “the weed”, as it were. I don’t know of other people’s experience, but mine has been that when more than one cat is getting high on it, even separately (a couple feet away), they can get riled at each other. I mean, instantly hostile. I’ve done this a number of times to be sure, and I say don’t do it. Let them partake alone without any other cats in sight. No need to ruin a good thing. We don’t know why they like it either, but for the cats that it does affect, it can make them go goofy or super Ninja, the latter being a major buzz-kill for everyone. It is a great behavior enhancer to encourage them in some way, but it can also create a nasty fight if they get enhanced together. I’m surprised I haven’t read about it somewhere.

    • Yes, you make a good point about aggression. Cat Owner’s Veterinary Handbook says: “Catnip may increase the sexual aggressiveness of males”.

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