Catnip

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by HappyRocinante, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. HappyRocinante

    HappyRocinante Well-Known Member

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    Can cats eat catnip? I know they go crazy for the toys with catnip in them, but is it healthy for them to eat it? I only ask because while trying to transition my cats over to a homemade raw food one of the tips I read talked about bribing them with a little catnip on their food. I had never heard of them eating it just playing with it. Anyone know about whether it is harmful?
     
    HappyRocinante, Jul 5, 2012
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  2. HappyRocinante

    Jessi Well-Known Member

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    Yep, they sure can. It's perfectly fine to sprinkle a little bit so long as it's kept in moderation. It's an herb, so it'd be similar to them eating other plants....if they eat too much, it would make them throw up.

    Beyond that, just make sure you remove any extra hard stems if your variety isn't ground up very well.
     
    Jessi, Jul 6, 2012
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  3. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, even WE eat it ;) Some type of catnip is in those pills you use to calm down or to sleep better. Ive got ones and my cats are crazy when they smell it on my hands.. Craziness..
     
    violino, Jul 6, 2012
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  4. HappyRocinante

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    I have heard a lot about this catnip but I don't think I have ever seen it in real life. Is this a plant that only grows in certain climates? The cats around here are motivated by the smell of dried salted fish. Grill a bit and every cat within sniffing distance would come to check it out.
     
    Victor Leigh, Jul 7, 2012
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  5. HappyRocinante

    Jessi Well-Known Member

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    It grows mostly in Asia and Europe. The actual plant looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    In the rest of the world, though, it's usually sold in a dried/ground form like this:

    [​IMG]

    Or with stems:

    [​IMG]

    That's why it gets tucked into little toys or sprinkled on the ground for them to enjoy.
     
    Jessi, Jul 7, 2012
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  6. HappyRocinante

    QuatreHiead Well-Known Member

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    I never realized that catnip was edible, not to mention that humans eat it as well! Wao, always learning something more every day! Hm, but that makes sense I suppose, it is just a plant. Anyone know what in it that makes it such a "treat" for cats? Just the smell of it is intoxicating it seems.
     
    QuatreHiead, Jul 8, 2012
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  7. HappyRocinante

    Anna T Active Member

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    Oh my goodness, you know that had never occurred to me before! I've given my cats catnip plenty of times, but I never realized that too much might make them throw up :(

    My cats usually don't eat it much though. Like the above poster said, just sniffing it seems to do enough for them.
     
    Anna T, Jul 8, 2012
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  8. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    Cats are not dogs which eat everything you give them. If they ate it, it means, it was okay for them. It's like cats eat grass in order to.. throw up. So don't feel guilty, they are smarter than you ;)
     
    violino, Jul 8, 2012
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  9. HappyRocinante

    Anna T Active Member

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    Thanks, Violino :) That makes me feel a bit better. I like to think my cats are sensible enough to know what will and won't hurt them, but, as you said, dogs will eat most anything with no concern for that whatsoever so it's hard to be sure. For what it's worth, I have never seen any ill effects from giving my cats catnip, so hopefully they'll know when to stop if they do decide to eat it.
     
    Anna T, Jul 9, 2012
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  10. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    I think dogs wont' eat bad herbs as well. I think they still have instinct that let them omit inedible plants. But cats are more careful to other stuff as well.
    Maybe your cats ate it just because they wanted to get rid of those balls of fur out of their stomach? Like most of the cats eat grass or plants similar to grass (vide my mom's plant....) to help them vomit.
     
    violino, Jul 9, 2012
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  11. HappyRocinante

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    From the picture of the catnip which was posted, it does look like a plant I have seen around. Is catnip kind of minty? If so, then I probably have seen catnip. Only thing is the cats here are not interested.
     
    Victor Leigh, Jul 9, 2012
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  12. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    There are many types of a catnip. Not all of them taste and smell the same.
    But it looks familiar to me too. I presume it's just very alike something else.
     
    violino, Jul 9, 2012
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  13. HappyRocinante

    Jessi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Victor, it's a kind of mint. :)

    And the answer to a previous question:

     
    Jessi, Jul 9, 2012
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  14. HappyRocinante

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    I think if the plant that I have seen around here is really catnip, then a lot more research has to be made about its effect on cats because the cats around here are definitely not affected by this plant. Perhaps it's a conditioned reflex.

    btw the plant here that looks like catnip is used to enhance the taste of a local delicacy called Penang Laksa:
    [​IMG]
     
    Victor Leigh, Jul 10, 2012
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  15. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it a BASIL? :cool:
     
    violino, Jul 10, 2012
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  16. HappyRocinante

    Victor Leigh Well-Known Member

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    Really? Are basil leaves minty, too? To my uninformed eyes, basil leaves and catnip leaves look a bit different:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The leaves used in Penang Laksa are minty.
     
    Victor Leigh, Jul 10, 2012
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  17. HappyRocinante

    Jessi Well-Known Member

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    Right, the leaves look very different there. What you linked in the food picture looks like the basil leaf instead, though... not a mint or catnip.
     
    Jessi, Jul 10, 2012
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  18. HappyRocinante

    violino Well-Known Member

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    Basil has very intense and characteristic smell, I don't know if it's minty.. maybe you can call it this way, but it's pretty intensive. Judging by leaves it's basil definitely, my mom loves it and I even had it growing at home. I don't think we use catnip in any food of ours. I've never heard of it anyway.
     
    violino, Jul 11, 2012
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  19. HappyRocinante

    HappyRocinante Well-Known Member

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    When you look up the recipe for Penang Laksa it lists Mint leaves but none of the sites I found specified a kind of mint so I guess it's possible. The edges of the leaves are different from Basil so it's not Basil. After doing some more research on it I found this site that talks about Catnip Tea which I now remember hearing about. I have never tried it but it did sound familiar.

    Anyway, I am going to pick up some more catnip to try on the new raw food and see if I can get their interest. I just hope they don't decide to roll in it instead. :D
     
    HappyRocinante, Jul 11, 2012
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