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Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

Catnip is a plant that’s part of the mint family. If you find your furry feline rolling around, drooling profusely, and acting weird in a trance like state, it's likely that she has found the catnip. No one fully understands why cats love catnip so much but the most widely accepted theory is that the active compound (nepetalactone) mimics pheromones for pleasure and possibly sex. Whether this is true or not we can be certain that nepetalactone can invoke some interesting behaviours in cats.

A ginger and white cat smelling a fresh plant of catnip
A ginger and white cat smelling a fresh plant of catnip

When cats sniff catnip the nepetalactone goes into their nose and causes a reaction that can alter the cat’s behaviour. Some cats will roll around in it, some will eat it, some will sniff it and some won’t pay it any interest.

White ragdoll cat holding a catnip toy
Cat toys containing catnip can have different impact on cats

Why Isn’t My Cat Interested In Catnip?

The love of catnip is an inherited trait. Around 70% of cats will show some reaction to catnip, but if it’s your cat that doesn’t then simply don’t worry. Cats love other things, so maybe spend more time introducing a feathery toy or a scratching post.

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