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awatkins
08-01-2006, 12:44 AM
I've never had a cat who reacted one way or another to catnip, unless ignoring it counts. From what I understand, most cats do react to catnip. I'm looking forward to hearing what your cats do when presented with this herb. (Is it an herb? Hmmm.)

Discuss.

ETA: Thanks for the idea, newmod! I wonder if alleycat likes catnip....

JanDarby
08-01-2006, 12:51 AM
It is an herb. Part of the mint family and looks a lot like mint. Grows like a weed in my garden.

My cats do like it, and will rub against it and roll around on the floor or eat it (although it's the scent and the oils, not the taste that affects them).

I read somewhere -- don't recall where, as usual -- that an adult cat's reaction to it may be inversely affected by their exposure to it as kittens, so if they were around it very young, they won't be affected as adults.

People can drink tea made out of catnip leaves, and it generally has the opposite effect as on cats, making people sleepy and relaxed, rather than playful and energetic. I'm not wildly enthusiastic about the flavor, myself, but it's not a bad flavor.

JD

TheIT
08-01-2006, 12:57 AM
Most of my cats have been interested in catnip, but I've only had one who goes nuts over it. He'll lay on the floor licking a catnip toy with a blissful look on his face.

My sister once accidentally dropped a box of loose catnip in the extra bedroom. Years later, even after vacuuming and shampooing the carpet many times, her cat would roll around and practically make love to that one patch of carpet.

Marlys
08-01-2006, 02:18 AM
Young cats frequently don't respond to it, but will when they're older. My younger one didn't notice it as a kitten, but loves it now. Both of mine, a mother and daughter pair, will eat it, roll in it, play harder once they're high and attack random objects.

The meanest thing I ever saw was the mother cat get tanked on the 'nip, then use her "mommy call" to bring the kitten running--whereupon she decked the wee one. No wonder that kitten grew up neurotic.

alleycat
08-01-2006, 02:27 AM
Yes, I love a nip in the evening . . . oh, wait, you didn't mean . . .

Nevermind.

Re: Jan's post. There is a cat mint; I thought it was different from catnip however. But . . . I'm not an expert. I did grow some one year and my cat didn't care for her. Stupid cat, had to have store bought catnip.

oarsman
08-01-2006, 03:36 AM
Our youngest cat loves the nip almost as much as alleycat. He chews holes in catnip toys. He beheaded a mouse catnip toy we gave him (now he has a mouse head and a mouse body to play with).

I've seen catnip chew rings at pet stores claiming to clean the cat's teeth and gums. I wonder if those chew toys really clean their teeth (or maybe any chewing helps clean their teeth).

TheIT
08-01-2006, 03:47 AM
When buying cat toys, I've got two main criteria. First, it can't have any frills or gewgaws which the cat might be able to tear off and eat. Second, it won't hurt when I step on it in bare feet. With my current destructo-cats, there's a third condition stating the toy needs to be strong enough to survive more than one day. I once bought some yarn balls which they ripped apart overnight. Next morning it looked like a tribble exploded. I'm still finding bits of yarn whenever I vacuum under the bed.

For catnip toys, I usually get the ones which look like little pillows and are filled with catnip. Nice, simple, and the cats still have fun flinging them around.

Since my cats are large, I've never found an affordable scratching post for them, so I get the sisal (sp?) rope boards which are supposed to hang on a doorknob and just lay them on the floor. The cats like standing on them to scratch. Those come with little pouches of catnip to "season" the boards to get the cat interested. It seems to work, at least for my cats, though now they're trained to use the boards and I haven't seasoned the last couple.

Nancy
08-01-2006, 10:15 PM
I had cats who reacted like it truly was "herb" - as in they would get really high ad act incredibly goofy. I fought the urge to make them wear tie-dyed T-shirts.

I have also had cats who got a bit psychotic on it, as if it was frying the neurons - not pretty. It's hard to predict the reaction. The above is w/ the real thing, not the old, dried out stuff in commercial cat toys.

veinglory
08-01-2006, 10:43 PM
I have seen a range of reactions from indifference to utterly destroying the plant and acting totally psycho for hours. I believe there's a genetic aspect to the reaction but don;t quote me on that (vague memory from an undergraduate class).

alleycat
08-01-2006, 10:57 PM
I did a little research yesterday. There's a pretty good explanation on Wiki about the effects on cats and the variety of plants called catnip.

laurel29
08-04-2006, 11:45 PM
Yes, I love a nip in the evening . . . oh, wait, you didn't mean . . .

Nevermind.

Re: Jan's post. There is a cat mint; I thought it was different from catnip however. But . . . I'm not an expert. I did grow some one year and my cat didn't care for her. Stupid cat, had to have store bought catnip.
I have a ton of Nepeta faassenii - cat mint - it self sows quite a bit in the garden but is easy to remove if it pops up somewhere it is not wanted. There is a taller version doesn't self sow called nepeta Six Hills Giant. A beautiful plant and popular with hummingbirds. (mine died this past winter and I couldn't find a replacement) There is a pink species, and a few more that are grown as ornamentals. The problem is the common name for all of them is cat mint. Catnip is usually not grown as an ornamental because the flowers aren't as showy and it tends to get leggy ans unattractive. People usually grow it in an herb garden. It is related it to cat mint and its latin name is Nepeta cataria (I think that is correct but I'm bad with my lating names so you might want to double check) The problem with common names is that they can be refering to different plants depending on who you are asking. But anyway my cat likes the catmint in the garden but usually will only bother it if he smells the crushed leaves. It isn't anywhere near as potent as catnip. :)

newmod
08-09-2006, 07:10 AM
My 2 little fellas (boy and girl - damn, anthropomorphising AGAIN!) are still only about 10 months old and seem to be totally immune to it. I hope that they do get a taste for it later. My 2 previous cats loved it and seemed to have a great time.

Now if only cats had money there could be a lucrative second income there. "IŽll give you the first one free, and when you want some more you just come back to me". :)

DeborahM
08-09-2006, 07:25 AM
Mr. Lucky stands in the threshold of my bedroom while I'm writing on my laptop and demands, in his throaty call, his catnip...or to be let out...or tuna water.

I'll know which, when I get up and follow him. If he stops by the fireplace, it catnip. He'll proceed to rub the bottle then sits, eats it, then comes running, sounding like a herd of stampeading horses and jump up on the bed and want his ears scratched. Thank God, he's not spoiled!

If we walk into the kitchen and he stops by the door, that one is obvisous or he stops in the middle of the kitchen and keeps on talking, I know it's the tuna water he wants. (I open a tuna can and add it to water which lasts about 5 days)

newmod
08-09-2006, 07:29 AM
DeborahM, what I want to know is who gets the tuna?

laurel29
08-09-2006, 07:31 AM
My 2 little fellas (boy and girl - damn, anthropomorphising AGAIN!) are still only about 10 months old and seem to be totally immune to it. I hope that they do get a taste for it later. My 2 previous cats loved it and seemed to have a great time.

Now if only cats had money there could be a lucrative second income there. "IŽll give you the first one free, and when you want some more you just come back to me". :) They could pay you with dead (or mostly dead :( ) rodents :).

newmod
08-09-2006, 08:25 AM
Once, with one of my previous cats, I had the pleasure of opening the door for him at some ungodly hour of the morning to find him with a mutant rabbit in his mouth. The thing was huge, 100% dead and from next door. We didnŽt say anything ... :Ssh:

I would also like to stress no illegal substances were involved and catnip was in no way a motivation for the act of destruction aforementioned :)

DeborahM
08-09-2006, 12:40 PM
DeborahM, what I want to know is who gets the tuna?

Lucky, of course, unless I'm making tuna salad. I buy him Walmart's 2/$1. Each can lasts a week - can't beat that price with other canned cat food or treats! All protein for them and with his dryfood, he's got a balanced diet..

jdkiggins
08-13-2006, 06:27 AM
I've never had a cat who reacted one way or another to catnip, unless ignoring it counts. From what I understand, most cats do react to catnip. I'm looking forward to hearing what your cats do when presented with this herb. (Is it an herb? Hmmm.)

HA! No way would I give my mom's cat catnip. He's crazy enough already!

Besides his screaming at night, he takes baths and catnaps in the bird bath. Wish I would have seen the photo contest before it ended. The picture of Tig in the bird bath was the cat's meow. LOL

Branwyn
08-14-2006, 07:13 PM
I had been to the local farmstand and rubbed my hand against some catnip. I didn't think anything of it until I got home and my cats went after my hand. They nipped it and rubbed their faces on it. It took awhile to figure out it was the catnip and not their adoration for me.
I bought some for my garden and they will sit by the front door and meow until I rub their toys against it.

BardSkye
08-14-2006, 11:10 PM
Honeysuckle affects cats in much the same way as catnip. My old girl wouldn't sniff twice at a catnip toy, but give her a cutting of honeysuckle and she would roll around with it for hours.

jdkiggins
08-15-2006, 09:44 PM
Honeysuckle affects cats in much the same way as catnip. My old girl wouldn't sniff twice at a catnip toy, but give her a cutting of honeysuckle and she would roll around with it for hours.

That's good to know. It also might explain why our cats are so wierd. There's honeysuckle everywhere around here.

TheIT
08-15-2006, 09:50 PM
Does anyone else's cat get weirded out on Bengay? I used some on my back once and rubbed the excess lotion on my hands. My cat kept licking the back of my hands with this blissed out smile on her face. The way she reacted creeped me out. My guess is that the wintergreen scent attracted her.

DeborahM
08-15-2006, 09:58 PM
Does anyone else's cat get weirded out on Bengay? I used some on my back once and rubbed the excess lotion on my hands. My cat kept licking the back of my hands with this blissed out smile on her face. The way she reacted creeped me out. My guess is that the wintergreen scent attracted her.

It's the wintergreen scent!

There's no accounting for taste. Lucky loves vaseline and will lick it off my finger when I give him a small scoop to clear out furballs. Gagging, here.

awatkins
08-15-2006, 10:42 PM
My sister-in-law's cat reacts to leafy green celerytops the same way most cats react to catnip. You have to be careful opening the refridgerator when the cat knows there's celery; she'll climb right inside to get to it!

TheIT
08-15-2006, 10:45 PM
My cat Milli always checks out the fridge whenever I open the door, but he goes for the bread bag. For some reason he likes nibbling on plastic bags. My other cat, Sparky, likes chewing on paper bags.

Whenever I go to the grocery store and they ask, "Paper or plastic?", I tell them it really doesn't matter.... ;)

Lady Cat
08-17-2006, 06:06 AM
My female cat and her three sons also love plastic. They'll lick it or chew on it. And it doesn't have to be bags either, they'll pull plastic wrappers right out of the recycling.

I don't give my cats much plain cat nip because it tends to make the father cat very aggressive. The terrible trio (my avatars) just get silly and then fall asleep.

The best catnip toy I ever got them was a mouse made out of mink. I know this woman who makes teddy bears out of old fur coats and she makes cat nip mice out of the scraps of fur. The cats go crazy for them! They take turns ripping at it and usually have the stuffing, which they eat, out of it within minutes. Then they'll play with the "corpse" forever.

MyFirstMystery
08-17-2006, 12:55 PM
My cats can only enjoy catnip under supervision. If they both get a whiff they begin fighting with each other (not over the catnip, just for the fighting).

I allow my cats to use recreational drugs on the conditions that they are unemployed and don't operate heavy machinery. And it's just frickin-heelarious.

MFM

Nancy
08-17-2006, 06:34 PM
And... your cats aren't subject to random drug screening......

awatkins
08-17-2006, 10:53 PM
I allow my cats to use recreational drugs on the conditions that they are unemployed and don't operate heavy machinery.
MFM

It sounds like you are a responsible cat parent. :D

CATastrophe
08-18-2006, 06:31 AM
I've read if you expose them to it continually, it loses its effectiveness. That said, mine like it, all of them. They get mellow, although if I don't make sure there are enough coated toys around meaning several for each, they can get snipey. Kinda like bogarting joints, I think.

ProsperitySue
09-19-2006, 08:59 PM
Great catnip stories! I was gifted with a 12-year-old male cat several years ago. He walked out of his carrier and into my heart :heart: .

I had about 50 plants at the time and had gone through them and given away any that wouldn't be safe for him. I also had a big bag of cat stuff from Petsmart, including a tube of catnip, on the dining room table.

I came home from work and he was laying flat on the carpet...just raised his head a little when I said hello. I thought, oh no, he's eaten one of the plants and it's made him sick! When I got closer I noticed there were tiny flakes of something on the carpet around him.

The catnip was in a hard plastic closed tube, fastened to cardboard, in a bag and he had gotten it out, off the cardboard, opened it, rolled in it, and was laying in a dreamy daze on the carpet. It was so funny...and of course I was so relieved!

I got him catnip in a little pillow from then on and he loved playing with them.

DeborahM
09-19-2006, 09:19 PM
What do you mean presented?

Lucky will stand at the threshold of whatever room I'm in DEMANDING me to get up off my BIC and GIVE him his catnip!

He will stand there talking to me, looking away as if thinking, can't she understand what I'm saying, then stand there waiting!

If I don't move fast enough, he'll start all over again, "Oouuoh, noooww!" Which sends me into a fit of laughter and he walks off disgusted, then I'll get up and give him the catnip and I get a head-butt on the leg as in saying, "Thanks, mom!"

TheIT
09-19-2006, 09:30 PM
Funny, my cat does the imperious meow ordering me into the kitchen every time I come home. I think he keeps hoping I'll pull lobster or filet mignon out of the fridge, but it's always the same old cat food. Of course, this is the same cat who hounds me for my cereal milk, usually while I'm still eating the cereal. I've taken to eating cereal from coffee cups so I can protect my meal.

Sounds like a lot of people give their cats loose catnip. I've only ever let my cats play with catnip toys. When giving a cat loose catnip, what do you do? Take a pinch and let the cat lick it off your fingers?

MidnightMuse
09-19-2006, 10:01 PM
I've always had cats that were total stoners. Legend and her sister Fable loved loose catnip - but would be affected differently. Legend would roll around in a pile of it on the carpet, then sit there dreamily, staring off in the distance. Fable would roll around, flick her little bobbed tail, then dash around the house like a mad cat until she came to a stop on the couch with a huff and a sigh, then fall to sleep.

Their younger siblings, Figment and Muse, reacted differently, too. Figment didn't care too much for it, but she'd roll around a bit then go off and have a nap. Muse would play with things that weren't there (but one Thanksgiving morning we awoke to find Muse had gotten into the drawer where the bag of "weed" was, tore it open, and spread it around the counter and floor where his sister Fable was found sleeping in the pile).

The boys I have now enjoy it best in toys, and can play with 'nip filled mice for weeks at a time, carry them around the house and bring them to bed with me. Rumor also likes it fresh, and can chew and rub a plant for a good ten minutes, then he turns into Mr. Looney Pants, goes upside down and gets all goofy. His brother, Secret, just races around making all manner of strange noises, and puffs up to look important, then passes out and dreams for an hour.

Usually with loose 'nip, we just take out a few pinches and put it on the floor, and let the crazies go nuts. :D

newmod
09-20-2006, 12:01 AM
Yeah I use to just put some on the kitchen floor and let Žem at it.

As for the lengths cats will go to get at catnip, I once bought some, put in the cupboard under the sink, came home to find one cat going ballistic and the other conked out on the floor. I didnŽt realise what had happened until I went into the kitchen and saw the green stuff on the floor and the cupboard door open!

Little monkeys :)

Anthony Ravenscroft
09-20-2006, 12:48 PM
Oh, heck, I'm going to give away a trade secret.

My cats tend to adore catnip, though results vary.

When the current pair are being rambunctious, though, I give thyem a gram of valerian root. They love it. It mellows them out, & they sit there for an hour with hugely dilated pupils.

One hardcore site I found differentiates between catnip, catmint, & cat thyme. Well, everyone needs a hobby.