Questions & Answers
Do you have questions about KittyWeed and catnip? We have answers!
KittyWeed is USDA-certified 100% organic and kosher, naturally gown and pesticide-free. Our catnip is potent and our products eco-friendly. KittyWeed catnip products are handmade in Santa Cruz, California, a pioneering community in alternatives.
KittyWeed catnip cat toys are made with natural flaxseed lLinen, cotton canvas, and hemp twine, and imprinted with non-toxic ink.
We provide you only the best aromatic experience for your cats and ours!
What is catnip?
Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family. It often makes cats go crazy and seem drugged, but it is not a drug. When the leaves of the catnip herb are broken or bruised, they release a chemical cats often respond to.
Native to Europe and Asia, catnip became naturalized in North America and Canada after being introduced by the colonists in the 1600s. The name nepeta is believed to have come from the town of Nepete in Italy, and cataria is thought to have come from the Latin word for cat.
Nepeta cataria is also known by the following names: cataria, catmint, catnep, catrup, cat’s healall, cat’s-play, true catnip, cat’s wort, catswort, catwort, chi hsueh tsao, field balm, Garden Nep, Herba Cataria, Herba Catti, Nebada, Nep.
Why does my cat act so strange around catnip?
The effect catnip has on a cat varies greatly. Most cats, with the exception of some kittens and older cats, show some form of interest in catnip. The cats that do react to catnip may lick, sniff, rub, and roll in it, while others prefer to eat it. Some owners report their cat will race around the house, while others seem to be in a euphoric state, preferring love and affection. When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative. About 50 percent of cats seem to be affected by catnip, and the behavior that results varies widely between individuals. Cats may rub against and chew on catnip to bruise the leaves and stems, which then releases nepetalactone.
My cat sniffed catnip and is going crazy! Is she alright?
Don’t panic! Your cat is absolutely fine. It might look a bit odd to see your cat drooling or over-excited, but it’s just a chemical reaction to the harmless drug, called nepetalactone, in the leaves and it wears off in roughly 15 minutes.
Is my cat high?
Yes, your cat is in essence high from this drug, but there is no chance of overdosing, as cats know when they have had enough. After initial exposure a cat’s body will not accept the effects for another few hours.
Despite its drug-like effect, catnip is neither addictive nor harmful for kitties. In fact, some 35 to 40% of cats may not react to catnip at all! Sensitivity to nepetalactone is an inherited trait, and it’s not just house cats that react. Even big, wild felines such as tigers can be susceptible to it!
Are there other benefits to giving my cat catnip?
Catnip can be a fun and rewarding treat for both pet and owner — and a great bonding opportunity, too. Catnip can be used as a training tool to encourage your pet to use that new scratching post or cozy cat bed you just purchased! Just sprinkle a bit of catnip on the post and in the bed.
Catnip builds the confidence of some shy cats and can help take the cat’s mind off of the scary car ride — or at least induce a catnip snooze so he/she doesn’t care anymore.
Catnip can also offer a happy distraction during cat-to-cat introductions and help the kitties associate positive experiences with meeting new cats, especially a new addition to the family!
What other uses are there for catnip?
Catnip has a variety of other uses beyond entertaining your kitty and is easy to grow at home! Until the 13th century, catnip was a very common herb in kitchen gardens in England and there was a time when the leaves of this herb were used to rub meats prior to cooking them.
Is catnip okay for humans, too?
For humans, both fresh and dried leaves of catnip may be used to prepare a stimulating and calming herbal tea, which can help treat insomnia and migraines. It is a natural antacid and can also help with diarrhea, muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, and flatulence! Catnip tea contains vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and sodium.
You can prepare an herbal catnip tea by adding three teaspoons of the leaves to one cup of boiling water and allowing them to infuse for some time. Otherwise, you may combine dried out catnip leaves with dried lemon balm or dried mint and add them to your preferred black tea. Flavor with honey or lemon if you like also!
Due to its gentle, soothing, and calming properties, catnip tea is often recommended
for infants and children (always consult your pediatrician first).
Modify the strength of the tea depending on the child’s age:
- For children less than 1 year old, use 5 percent of an adult dose.
- Children 1-3 years old, use 10 percent.
- Children 4-6 years old, use 20 percent.
Is catnip used for cooking?
Yes! Catnip leaves can be sliced finely and showered on green salads. Try cutting a few catnip leaves and adding them to your salads and experience the delightful flavor. You may also add freshly chopped or even dried out leaves of this herb to stews and soups, as well as nourishing sauces.
Can I use catnip for anything else?
Yes! Catnip is a natural pest repellent! Some studies even show catnip might be more effective at repelling insects than DEET (the powerful ingredient commonly found in insect repellents). You can take a few leaves of catnip, roll them around, and press them onto the skin, and voila! Bugs won’t want to be anywhere near you!