Catnip or Cat-nope
Obsessive compulsive disorder commonly affects humans, but did you know that your cat can also have OCD? When cats repeat behaviors in an exaggerated way on a near constant cycle, it is possible that they are suffering from the anxiety associated with obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is not the only anxiety your cat may face.
Cats become stressed for many reasons and often find themselves hiding under beds or behind couches. Pet parents will naturally look for solutions to help their shaking, anxious kitty, and many have turned to catnip to try to reduce their cat’s anxiety and stress. Before you consider catnip, it’s important to understand what catnip is, if it can help your cat, and if there are any drawbacks.
Catnip is a perennial herb that comes from the mint family, and the essential oil, nepetalactone, can affect your can in a couple of ways. There are usually two ways for your cat to experience catnip. First, they can use their sense of smell, and second, they can eat the plant itself.
When using their noses, cats actually become wild! They can bolt throughout the house and jump around. This may seem like the opposite of what you anxious cat should do, but once their initial energy settles, cats can zone out and become very calm, which would give them a nice break from anxiety.
If a cat eats catnip, they will skip the zooms and mellow out.
Catnip seems helpful for your stressed cat—and entertaining for you—but are there any negative effects to catnip? The short answer is “not really.” It is very unlikely that your cat would overdose on catnip. If your cat eats too much of the plant, however, it can get an upset stomach for a couple of hours.
Because cats can have varying types of anxiety when they go to the vet or when their human leaves for the day, catnip can be a useful tool to help mellow your cat out when they need a break from their stressful habits. As it’s completely safe, don’t be afraid to try it with your kitty!