The Positive Effect of Catnip on Cats
If you’ve ever watched a cartoon with a kitten and some catnip, you know it’s one of the more endearing, silly sights to see. A funny, playful cat is always a joy to watch, but what makes it even better is that catnip actually has a lot of health benefits and can help with a whole array of issues. Different cats will respond to it in a different way, but overall, vets claim that it’s completely safe to use. For the sake of keeping your snuggle buddy happy and fit, here’s an overview of the way catnip can be used.
It eases anxiety
Humans aren’t the only ones who are affected by stress, and the negative impact of living with anxiety can easily turn into a much bigger problem. Pets are usually very much used to having a certain routine. They always eat, sleep, and play at the same time, and anything that upsets the schedule they’re used to can make them nervous. From smaller things like mixing up the feeding time, to bigger issues such as moving to a different home, or bringing a new cat in, your pet can become very anxious and act out. Catnip is a mild sedative that relaxes and yet creates no addiction. You can use it to help your kitty calm down in all manner of situations and it won’t have any negative side-effects.
It soothes an upset stomach
Flatulence, bloating, and stomach aches are not that uncommon with pets, but catnip comes to the rescue again because it can promote good digestion, soothe tense abdominal muscles, and help your cat get rid of pains.
It can help with physical activity
Cats can be really lazy. They’ll lie around all day unless they are encouraged to do something, and when you pair it with bad food and too many treats, they’ll grow chubby. Not that they won’t look really cute, but obesity in cats is a serious issue which can affect their health if not resolved quickly. Luckily, catnip can help stimulate them and have them run around and play eagerly. Of course, you will need to couple this with some other things to create an effective weight loss strategy. Try giving them a well-balanced diet of natural cat food, and then spend more time with them after giving them catnip. It’s a good moment to bond, and the cat will be more eager to be active when you’re around.
It gets your cat used to new toys
Does your cat love boxes more than any single scratching post or toy you ever got them? Catnip can help them get used to the new thing and figure out how to use it. Put some of it on top of the scratching post and they’ll become very curious.
It helps with training
If you want to teach your cat some basic commands, pairing treats and catnip can help establish good behaviour. Bear in mind, however, that only adult cats are affected by the plant and kittens might not benefit from it as much.
It helps with skin problems
Shedding, redness, and itchy skin usually mean there’s something wrong. You should always schedule an appointment with the vet as soon as possible, but if you want to give your pet some relief in the meantime, you can draw them a bath with catnip. Put some loose catnip in lukewarm water and let them soak for about ten minutes to relieve inflamed skin. This is also a good way to get your cat to stop protesting their bath time so much.
How to grow your own catnip
Catnip is easy to grow, but you need to find a way to keep it out of your cat’s reach. Be especially careful if you plan to grow it on your balcony, because your cat might jump for the plant and end up injuring themselves. Hanging baskets are a great solution, and high shelves that your cat won’t be able to reach with ease. If you’re growing it in your garden, find a faraway corner. Here are some tips on how to help it grow, but just try not to give your pet catnip more than once a week, otherwise it will lose its effect.
While some people are a little anxious to give their cat something that has mild sedative and hallucinogenic properties, you can feel at ease. It’s entirely safe, but if you’re worried, you can always consult your vet and see what they have to say.
Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at Highstylife.com and a full-time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members. Follow Zara on Facebook and Twitter.