Can Cats Overdose on Catnip? What You Ought to Know!

Can Cats Overdose on Catnip? What You Ought to Know!

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Reviewed & Reality-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Vet, MVZ

The data is present and up-to-date in accordance with the newest veterinarian analysis.

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Many cats love the feeling of catnip. They get euphoric and begin performing foolish. Some folks get pleasure from giving their cats catnip frequently with a view to evoke this joyful response. Cats could love catnip, however how a lot catnip is an excessive amount of catnip? Can cats overdose on catnip?

The response that cats need to catnip makes folks take into consideration unlawful medicine. It’s a humorous picture and the closest comparability that most individuals could make to the results of catnip. Catnip will not be a drug. It doesn’t operate the identical approach as folks think about medicine working in people. That signifies that cats can not overdose on catnip. However catnip could make them sick in the event that they ingest an excessive amount of. Proceed studying to study extra.

Consuming Catnip vs. Smelling Catnip

Catnip can work two methods on a cat. The primary approach is {that a} cat smells catnip. Catnip comprises an natural chemical referred to as nepetalactone. This chemical is the primary perpetrator for the way cats react once they work together with catnip. Nepetalactone can begin performing instantly on cats once they scent it. This distinctive chemical mimics a pheromone response in cats which causes a response within the pleasure facilities of the cat’s mind. Cats can get a really sturdy response by merely smelling the catnip.

Cats may also get a response from catnip by consuming it. Some cats like to eat catnip, and that’s the reason that some pet homeowners wish to put their catnip into paper baggage or socks to forestall cats from instantly consuming the catnip. When cats eat catnip, it has a really totally different impact from once they scent catnip. Consuming catnip leads to a chilled impact. It causes cats to relax out and get sleepy. Smelling catnip makes cats go bonkers, so the 2 reactions are very distinct and noticeable.

catnip dried leaves
Picture Credit score: Gaston Cerliani, Shutterstock

Why Can’t Cats Overdose on Catnip?

A cat can not react too strongly from merely smelling the catnip. After ten minutes, a cat will obtain a most dose of nepetalactone by way of the vomeronasal organ after which begin to lose curiosity. It takes two hours for the results to put on off absolutely. Within the meantime, no extra scent goes so as to add to the feeling or trigger an overdose.

A cat can get sick in the event that they eat an excessive amount of catnip. The quantity of catnip it takes for a cat to get sick varies, however it’s often a really great amount. Most cat homeowners don’t present their cats with sufficient of the plant to sicken their cat. Nonetheless, if a cat eats approach an excessive amount of catnip in a brief time frame it may well trigger them to have vomiting and diarrhea. This isn’t an overdose. This response isn’t any totally different than if a cat eats an excessive amount of grass or eats an excessive amount of meals in a brief time frame. A considerable amount of catnip will merely give a cat a stomachache, not an overdose.

Indicators a Cat Is on Catnip

There are some very noticeable indicators {that a} cat is on catnip. They begin performing extraordinarily humorous. They roll round, drool, meow, or growl. They get playful or chatty once they often are quiet and reticent. Listed here are among the commonest indicators that your cat is responding to catnip:

  • Head shaking

  • Rubbing chin and cheeks

  • Rolling

  • Vocalization

  • Euphoria

  • Pleasure

  • Melancholy

  • Aggression

Some cats get moody and depressive on catnip. Some aggressive cats that play tough and are liable to scratching generally get extra aggressive on catnip. You need to all the time monitor your cat on catnip to study its behaviors and its quirks.

Gray Cat Enjoying Fresh Catnip
Picture Credit score: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

How Lengthy Does Catnip Final?

Catnip doesn’t final very lengthy. Usually, catnip wears off in 10 to fifteen minutes after being smelled or ingested. After roughly quarter-hour, a cat will begin to lose curiosity within the catnip as the results slowly put on off. Some cats will react to catnip for as much as half-hour, however that’s often the longest a cat will stay fascinated about catnip. This comparatively quick interval of depth, coupled with the time it takes to reset after interacting with catnip (2-3 hours), makes it very troublesome for cats to get any adversarial results from the plant.


Cats can not overdose on catnip for a lot of causes. First, many of the drug-like signs of catnip use come from an olfactory chemical that enters by way of the nostril. It’s not possible to overdose like that for a cat. Second, catnip wears off shortly, leaving cats disinterested after simply minutes. If a cat eats an excessive amount of catnip, it may well get a abdomen ache, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea, however that’s the extent of the destructive results. Cats additionally need to eat a ton of catnip to get to that time, so even these unwanted side effects are exceedingly uncommon.

Featured Picture Credit score: Doug McLean, Shutterstock

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