The Crazy Ways Catnip Affects Your Cat, and the 1 Plant That Has the Same Effect on Dogs

If you have ever given catnip to your furry feline friend then you know the bizarre response it usually evokes. Cat fact: only 25% of felines don’t have a reaction to catnip. The other 75 percent of the cat population can’t get enough of it. But it when it comes to your dog, the results are less than entertaining — practically nonexistent. But dog owners fret not, there is a plant that will conjure up an excitable response.

These are the crazy ways catnip is affecting your cat, and the one plant that has the same effect on your dog (page 6).

7. Catnip creates a euphoric high for felines

Cat and vase of fresh catnip

Cats are in heaven. | Okssi68/iStock/Getty Images

A little sprinkle of catnip into that cardboard scratcher and your cat will be in hog heaven (or cat heaven). The plant evokes feelings of pure euphoria for felines, similar to the elation associated with humans using psychedelic drugs. It’s an impressive scene to watch unfold, and it is all thanks to one oil found in the plant — nepetalactone.

Next: The response to catnip can be a little overwhelming. 

6. It can create a sexual response

Orange cat eating catnip, a favorite treat of felines

Your feline may get a little frisky. | gvictoria/iStock/Getty Images

After giving your cat a taste of catnip, you may notice some overtly sexual conduct coming from your fur baby. Cats that have reached sexual maturity often display risque behavior. For instance, it’s not uncommon to observe a catnipped kitty rolling around in it, making strange noises, and even drooling.

Next: Can you cat become addicted to catnip?

5. Catnip is not addictive

Kitten playing with catnip mouse toy

Your cat won’t become a junky. | llvllagic/iStock/Getty Images

Don’t worry, your cat won’t be hunting for catnip in the alleyways of your neighborhood, because it is not addictive. So even though it may appear to be in a full psychedelic trip, it will soon pass and leave your cat with the same personality it has always had — only slightly more blissed out for a little while.

Next: Catnip has other interesting uses that you wouldn’t expect. 

4. The plant has a lot of other uses too

Close up of catnip, green herb growing in a container

It can be used to make tea. | dzika_mrowka/iStock/Getty Images

Not only does the plant benefit the felines of your household, catnip also has medicinal properties for humans. When made into a tea, catnip has been known to help alleviate headaches, digestive issues, and even insomnia. Additionally, it can be used as a bug repellent that has been proven to more effective than DEET.

Next: Here’s how dogs react to catnip. 

3. Dogs do not respond to catnip the same way

Little dog maltese and black and white cat eating food from a bowl in home

Dogs don’t have the same response. | Humonia/iStock/Getty Images

Catnip does not affect dogs in the same way it does cats. In fact, catnip is seemingly ineffective when given to dogs as their brains don’t process the chemical compound in the same way. Interestingly enough, the plant can be sprinkled into your dog’s food to help ward off symptoms of diarrhea and muscle spasms.

Next: Luckily, there is a plant that evokes similar responses in dogs.

2. Aniseed affects dogs the same way catnip affects cats

Green anise closeup on wooden spoon

Anise has differing effects on different dogs. | Furtseff/iStock/Getty Images

Commonly called anise, this plant brings out similar responses in dogs as catnip does in cats. Anise comes in many forms — oil, seeds, treats — and can be administered to dogs in their food. The effects can vary though. Dogs can become very active or extremely relaxed, and that reaction is typically based on your dog’s personality. Dog fact: anise has long been used in the race training of greyhounds and hunting training of foxhounds.

Next: Can too much anise be a bad thing? 

1. Administer anise with care

Star anise

Just be careful with the amount you give him or her. | GANCINO/iStock/Getty Images

Although anise is safe for your canine, excessive amounts can have some negative impacts on your dog’s overall health. Overconsumption of the plant can cause the onset of diarrhea, nervous system depression, lowered heart rate, respiration issues, unconsciousness, and in serious cases, coma or death. Make sure you administer anise with care.

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