Catnip is the herb that makes cats go a little bit wild! They love to roll around in it, eat it, and hate when it gets taken from them! Cat owners all over the world love to buy it for them as a little treat that can be enjoyed sparingly.
However, cat owners should be aware of catnip basics before they can think about giving it to their cat to ensure their cat’s safety and well-being. This includes understanding what it is when to use it, and if it expires.
So, in this article, we will discuss whether or not catnip expires and more. If you’re a first-time cat owner or have a general interest in cats and catnip, then read on!
What Is Catnip?
Catnip, sometimes called catmint, comes from a plant that looks similar to mint known as Nepeta cataria. Nepeta cataria is native to Asia and Europe, but can also be found growing in North America along the highways and roads.
Catnip is a gray-green colored plant that has slightly jagged leaves shaped like hearts. It has thick stems that are covered in hairs.
Does Catnip Expire?
No, catnip does not expire! Catnip will not go bad and is suitable for your cats to eat no matter when you bought it. However, catnip does gradually become less potent and therefore has less of an effect on cats.
So, it is best to use it sooner, rather than later. This is because catnip is a herb, so it is best enjoyed when it is new, dry, and fresh. While it will never expire, the longer it sits in your cupboard, the less your cat will enjoy it.
A great way to extend the shelf life of the catnip you purchase is by keeping it in a tightly-sealed bag (typically plastic) or container.
can catnip spray go bad?
Yes, catnip spray can go bad or lose its potency over time. Catnip spray contains the essential oils extracted from the catnip plant (Nepeta cataria), which is what attracts and affects cats. As with many natural oils and extracts, its potency and freshness can diminish with time and under certain conditions. Here are some factors to consider:
What is the shelflife of dried catnip?
Dried catnip can retain its potency for varying lengths of time depending on how it's stored, but typically, its effective shelf life is between 6 months to 2 years. Here are a few factors that affect the shelf life of dried catnip:
can I grow my own Frest catnip?
Yes, you can absolutely grow your own catnip! Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family and is relatively easy to grow. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to grow catnip:
1. Choose a Location:
Growing your own catnip is not only a fun gardening project, but it also ensures that you have a fresh and organic supply for your feline friend. Whether you use it for toys, teas, or just enjoy its fragrant blooms, catnip can be a delightful addition to your garden.
Why Does Catnip Have An Effect On Cats?
Inside catnip, you will find a psychoactive chemical compound known as nepetalactone. Nepetalactone will bind to a cat’s nose receptors which causes a neurological response in cats, very similar to the neurological response a cat has after pheromone exposure.
Cats will behave in a different way when they are exposed to catnip because the area of the brain that will respond to catnip is responsible for controlling emotions and behavior.
Sadly, scientists do not yet know why nepetalactone inspires such a strong reaction from cats.
How Long Does A Catnip High Last?
A catnip high can last anywhere between ten minutes to a whole hour, and it depends entirely on your cat. Catnip will not affect every cat, and this seems to be an inherited trait.
So, if the parents of your cat did not feel the impact of catnip, then there’s a high chance your cat will not, either.
Around 70% of all felines like catnip, and it can even affect wild cat species, such as tigers!
An important fact to note about catnip is that it does not affect kittens before they are three months old. Sometimes, it will not affect kittens until after they are six months old!
After this time, something changes with their development (although, it is not known exactly what!) and this permits their brain to react to and enjoy catnip!
How Long Does Catnip Last In A Toy?
The potency of catnip in a toy largely depends on various factors, including the quality of the catnip, the toy's material, how often the toy is played with, and the storage conditions. Here's a general overview of how long catnip might last in a toy:
What Are The Best Ways To Use Catnip?
Let’s check out some of the best ways you can use catnip!
Catnip is most commonly used when trying to encourage cats to explore their surroundings or play.
Catnip can be very useful when it comes to training your cat. For example, If you place a little catnip on your cat’s scratching post, it can encourage them to scratch it. And, placing some catnip inside their carrier will help your cat go inside it.
Catnip can actually help your cat to relax, and reduce their levels of stress or anxiety. Catnip can even help relieve any mild pain your cat may be experiencing!
What Are Types Of Catnip?
All catnip is the same, but you can get it in different forms, such as:
If you find that your cat gets an upset tummy from ingesting the herb, then investing in a catnip spray may be a good option for them to still enjoy it!
With a catnip spray, you will be able to spray their scratching post, cat tree, or favorite toy, and this will allow your cat to enjoy the effects of catnip without the upset tummy afterward.
Is Catnip Harmful To Cats?
No, catnip is nontoxic, and therefore not harmful to cats. However, there is a chance that your cat could overindulge in catnip, and this can make them quite sick, causing diarrhea and vomiting. This can result in dehydration for your cat.
So, if you notice that your cat seems a bit too interested in catnip, then it may be a good idea to limit their exposure to it.
Additionally, it is important to note that if your cat has asthma, then it is important to check with the vet before allowing them exposure to catnip.
This is because dried catnip in particular has been known to result in breathing problems for cats who are asthmatic.
How Often Can You Give a Cat Catnip?
Catnip, when given in moderation, is generally safe for cats and can provide them with a lot of enjoyment. Here's a general guideline for offering catnip to your feline friend:
In conclusion, while catnip is safe for cats, moderation is key. Providing catnip as an occasional treat can keep the experience fresh and enjoyable for your feline companion.
Catnip is a herb that comes from the Nepeta cataria plant. It comes in many forms, including dried, fresh, sprays, or inside toys.
Cats love to eat, roll around in, and play with catnip, and it has an effect on them that causes them to go a bit wild. Or, in some cases, calm down their stress and anxiety.
One of the best things about catnip is the fact that it does not expire! So, you can keep it for long periods of time and won’t have to worry about it going off.
However, it is best used fresh because it can lose its potency over time, which means it is less effective for cats. It is a good idea to keep your catnip in a tightly sealed container to prolong its shelf life.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.