Will Catnip Harm Dogs

Is catnip hazardous for dogs, as many pet owners wonder? And more specifically, are there any health risks associated with dog consumption of catnip? The short answer is that your pet won’t get hurt if they sniff it, roll in it, lick it, or even eat part of it.

In reality, you may treat your dog’s health at home with catnip. For instance, giving your dog catnip before a trip to the vet can be a nice and harmless method to calm Fido down. Additionally useful for vehicle sickness and stomach disturbances, the plant.

And last, if you prepare catnip essential oil and rub it on your dog’s skin, it will help. In comparison to the ingredient used in the majority of conventional insect repellents, catnip oil is 10 times more powerful at keeping mosquitoes away while also being effective against fleas.

How does catnip affect dogs?

Cat owners frequently use the herb catnip, also known as catmint, to give their feline companions a safe euphoric sensation that is delightful for both the owner and the cat. Because it is frequently ineffectual and owners are concerned about potential negative effects, the plant is less frequently utilized for dogs. Catnip has generally less dramatic effects on dogs than it does on cats, but it can still be helpful for a dog’s digestion, mental well-being, and minor wounds as an antibacterial.

Many dogs experience anxiety when left alone at home, while traveling, or when seeing the veterinarian. In this circumstance, catnip can be used to sooth dogs and make them feel more at ease. Catnip has a soothing impact on dogs as opposed to an excitatory one on cats. The simplest approach to provide the herb to a nervous dog is to smash it into the animal’s food, but whole leaves can also be moistened in a water dish or given to the pet straight for a stronger liquid dose. Catnip can be administered regularly to dogs with chronic anxiety as a behavioral management strategy.

Dogs can benefit from catnip for occasional intestinal distress as well. The herb can soothe the muscles of the digestive tract to stop them from passing waste too quickly and is excellent at reducing digestive gasses. Because catnip’s effect on diarrhea is very minor, it shouldn’t be taken in cases of severe digestive upset, blood in the stool, or accompanying vomiting. Additionally, catnip should not be used to cure canine diarrhea for an extended period of time because the underlying cause needs to be looked into by a veterinarian.

The third benefit of catnip is that it is highly helpful for dogs that have minor wounds or infections. It has long been known that catnip has an antiseptic effect on dogs, and it is very easy to make an antiseptic treatment using catnip and a tiny amount of warm water. Until the area is clear, the ointment is applied at regular intervals to the wound or infection site throughout the day. To have the optimum results and stop the catnip from rubbing off, the area should be wrapped with gauze or bandaging.

Catnip is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. Owners should be advised that certain dog breeds don’t appear to respond at all to catnip when putting it on their dogs. This could be a result of something else, like size or constitution. The dog owner should consult a veterinarian before giving their pet a lot of catnip.

For a dog, how much catnip is too much?

If your dog eats a lot (like the entire bottle! ), their stomachs can become irritated. We advise giving them little more than 1/4 to 1 teaspoon. The worst case scenario is that it loses effectiveness if used excessively or your pet becomes somewhat too hyper or calm. The good news is that the effects disappear within a short period of time.

How long until catnip has an impact on dogs?

Everyone has heard of catnip’s use for felines. It gives cats a safe, euphoric feeling that is interesting for both the cat and the person. Although less frequently used in dogs since the effects are not as strong, the herb can nevertheless be advantageous for dogs’ digestion and mental well-being.

Catnip can be used to calm your dog down if they get anxious when you leave them home alone, when they see the vet, or when it storms. In that it induces a soothing effect, catnip has the exact opposite impact on dogs as it does on cats. A quick and simple technique to calm your dog is to sprinkle around 1/4 teaspoon of salt on their kibble.

Additionally helpful for stomach issues is catnip. In addition to calming the muscles of the digestive system to stop them from passing waste products too quickly, it can be used to relieve flatulence.

Like cats, not all dogs are affected by catnip. Depending on the size of the dog and the amount consumed, you should be able to observe effects in around 30 minutes for those that do react to catnip.

Can catnip make cats high?

When given catnip, cats behave excitably because, well, they are cats. According to research, catnip and the plant silver vine both release a substance that makes people’s opioid reward systems active.


You’ve probably seen a cat go crazy over catnip even if you don’t own one. They play on it and touch their cheeks with it. Then they will simply sit there in repose, acting generally high. And in a way, they are.


With the help of a plant endemic to China and Japan called the silver vine, Japanese researchers investigated why that occurs. According to Iwate University professor Masao Miyazaki, the silver vine plant is unrelated to catnip.

The substance, which closely matches the key ingredient in catnip, was isolated by his team from silver vine, and they discovered that it activates a cat’s opioid reward system when inhaled through the nose. You now possess a stoned cat.

They went to the zoo as well and discovered that huge cats like jaguars, lynx, and leopards behaved just like cats when exposed to the substance.

MIYAZAKI: Our opinion is that the cat should experience more advantages from the response than only joy.

KELLY: Not only euphoria, but a real advantage. According to earlier research, these catnip chemicals can deter insects. Thus, the researchers enticed home cats to roll around and rub against leaves of a silver vine.

SHAPIRO: After that, they let go the mosquitoes and discovered that the number of the biting insects that bothered cats that had rubbed against the leaves had dramatically decreased. The journal Science Advances contains the specifics.

Dr. Mikel Delgado of the University of California, Davis, was not a part of the project, according to Kelly. She calls the discovery exciting, but with a proviso.

MIKEL DELGADO: I would never assume that cats have any kind of aim, such as knowing that they are keeping mosquitoes away like we do when we use insect repellent.

SHAPIRO: Nevertheless, she claims that any unintended side effects are still present even if cats merely sniff catnip or silver vine for pleasure.

DELGADO: Beneficial actions frequently provide pleasurable feelings, right? We do things like reproduce and consume in order to exist as a species. They also feel great. Therefore, there is undoubtedly some overlap between what is beneficial for you as a species and what feels nice.

KELLY: Does this imply that catnip can be used to keep cats away from mosquitoes? Not exactly, claims Delgado.

However, it provides a wonderful explanation for a peculiar behavior that we previously found difficult to comprehend.

There are still over a billion weird cat behaviors to be explained.

Can cats make dogs throw up?

The quick response is “no” Although some cats freak out when they smell catnip, this reaction is entirely normal. The fragrance or consumption of catnip is not enduring or addictive. Once they have subsided, the impacts are no longer there. Catnip can have a stimulating effect on cats, while it is said to have a calming or soothing effect on dogs. In fact, putting a few entire leaves in a dog’s water bowl may help calm anxiety or encourage slumber. This is not to suggest that if your pet consumes too much, they won’t vomit. A catnip overdose can cause transient vomiting, much like how dogs and cats occasionally graze on grass to improve peristalsis and digestive function.

  • antitussive: a medication that treats or prevents cough
  • To stop bleeding, an astringent-styptic action is used.
  • anti-catarrhal: rid the body of extra mucus
  • antibacterial – guards against gram-positive bacteria and fungi
  • carminative – reduces intestinal gas or flatulence
  • diaphoretic – causes sweating or perspiration
  • sedative: causes relaxation or sleep
  • stimulant: increases physiological activity levels
  • stomachic – aids with digestion and increases hunger
  • Promote a sense of vigor or wellbeing with a tonic.

Cats react to catnip differently than people and dogs do. While some cats go bonkers, others could seem unconcerned. Due to heredity or the lack of an autosomal dominant gene, about 25% of felines do not react to the terpenes in nepeta cataria.

For whatever reason you might be thinking about giving your dog catnip, consult your vet first. Before recommending a herbal medicine for you, your veterinarian will take into account many of the same factors that your doctor would, including the prescriptions you are currently taking and the conditions you are treating. Furthermore, giving your dog too much catnip over time may cause a number of undesirable medical concerns. However, unless disturbing symptoms are noticed, your best friend’s chewing on your cat’s favorite catnip toy during the holidays won’t require a trip to the animal emergency room. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with PrimeVET’s compassionate vets if you have any worries about the health of your dog or cat.

Can I offer catnip to my dog every day?

First off, keep in mind that while catnip isn’t harmful to your dog, it’s also not intended to be a daily “supplement.” Sprinkle up to 1/2 teaspoon of dried catnip on your dog’s food to help him relax during the Fourth of July fireworks or before to a vet visit. Another option is to add a few fresh leaves to his water. This method works especially well for dogs that may be dehydrated or experiencing some stomach discomfort.

How much catnip should a tiny dog be given?

Keep in mind that catnip should not be given to dogs as a supplement if you want to take advantage of its therapeutic properties. Catnip should only be used on your dog if they are experiencing immediate problems.

If you believe that catnip might be beneficial for your dog, you might choose to sprinkle half a teaspoon of it on the dog’s meal. Alternately, you may simply add a couple fresh catnip leaves to his or her water.

Watch how your dog reacts to catnip because each animal reacts to it slightly differently. You can then determine whether your dog can take use of catnip’s special qualities!

It’s crucial to be responsible and provide your pet with the greatest possible health care, just like with any other creature. Pet care experts are on hand to address any worries you may have. Make an appointment to speak with one of our veterinarian health experts.

What is the equivalent of catnip in humans?

Does your cat enjoy catnip? Do you need to worry about Princess Fuzzbottom using drugs?

Describe catnip. It is the common name for a plant in the mint family known as Nepeta cataria, which grows wild across several countries, including Canada. Dried catnip is typically introduced to domestic cats as filler in cat toys or as an attractant added to scratching posts. To further enhance the aroma, it can occasionally be blended with other scents like lavender.

Cats’ responses to fresh or dried catnip often fall into one of three categories: playfulness, hunting, feeding, and aggression, or rubbing and rolling. Cats may drool, kick their hind legs, or specifically react by sniffing, licking, or rubbing their cheeks and chins on the catnip.

My mother enjoys recounting the incident when my brother enquired as to whether catnip was similar to LSD for cats. She wasn’t aware of the solution. They went to the police station and asked a constable because this was before Google. According to the tale, the policeman remarked that it was like LSD for cats to my brother.

I consulted some professionals because I’ve always questioned the accuracy of this. Currently residing in British Columbia, Zazie Todd is the author of Fellow Creatures for Psychology Today as well as the Science Borealis Network blog Companion Animal Psychology. With more than ten years of experience working in veterinary clinics, Laura McNally is a veterinary technician at the Martin Veterinary Hospital in Toronto.

Is there a human drug analog to catnip?

Zazie: Catnip appears to cause euphoria in felines. Nepetalactone, the active ingredient, binds to receptors in the cat’s nose, causing the olfactory bulb, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus to react. Even though the vomeronasal organ—which detects pheromones—is not engaged, it appears as though the cat is reacting to a pheromone (a chemical signal that has significance to cats). Since people don’t use pheromones, it’s challenging to imagine a precise human analog. Although we are still learning about the catnip reaction, it appears that nepetalactone has an impact on some opioid receptors in the cat’s brain.

Laura: No, the olfactory sensors of the cat directly underlie the mechanism of action. In contrast to human street narcotics, catnip does not in any way enter the cat’s bloodstream. LSD or marijuana would be analogous human analogs that have similar effects [as catnip on cats], as in a comparable high. but without the duration or potential for harmful side effects.

Gus was biting at the catnip-infused mouse. Leanne Ayer, New Brunswick; used with permission.

Would cats react or experience catnip differently depending on the route of administration? For example, smelling the dried herb versus eating a food or drinking a liquid infused with the oil.

Z: The amount of volatile compounds in dried catnip might vary depending on its intensity and freshness. Scientists have tried giving cats oral catnip, but it has no effect; the catnip response is solely olfactory.

L: When cats chew on catnip, they aren’t actually consuming the “drug,” but rather excreting the nepetalactone into the air, which is subsequently taken in by their olfactory epithelium and binds to the receptors.

Can catnip be harmful to cats? Does it have addictive qualities or does it cause a post-intoxication “hangover?

Z: Catnip is not dangerous to cats and it is not addictive. After reacting to catnip, there is a brief window of time—roughly 30 minutes—during which the cat is not responsive.

L: Catnip isn’t regarded as dangerous and doesn’t have a real chance of having an overdose effect. Cats cannot experience this “high” for at least another hour after the initial 5 to 15 minute period. It is conceivable to be toxic in the sense of being ill. Vomiting and diarrhea are common adverse effects. Due to its transient effects, there is little worry about long-lasting central nervous system (CNS) disorders. There is no need for treatment because most cats are intelligent enough to stop when they’ve had enough.

After destroying all the catnip toys, Eos and Selene take a well-earned nap. Laura McNally’s photo was used with permission.

Do we know why individual cats react differently to catnip? Some cats react with indifference while others become frantic or violent. Is this influenced by sex, breed, or other factors?

Z: Catnip response is an autosomal dominant characteristic that affects about two thirds of cats. When kittens are young, they don’t react to catnip; if they do, it won’t be until they are about six months old, when they reach sexual maturity.

L: Catnip [reaction] is a genetic characteristic that 15% of the cat population lacks. Catnip’s effects are not felt by certain older cats and kittens under the age of eight weeks (olfactory systems do not fully develop until three months of age).

While manning the front desk at Martin Veterinary Hospital, Chanel enjoys playing actively. Laura McNally’s photo was used with permission.

Given that cats react to the volatile chemicals in catnip as if they were pheromones, would it interfere with mating behaviours or instincts in feral or non-neutered cats?

Z: The way cats react to catnip (such as by rolling around, etc.) resembles how female cats act during the heat cycle. Catnip, however, elicits reactions in both male and female cats, as well as in intact and neutered/spayed cats. Thus, despite the fact that it appears to be a mating behavior to human eyes, it is not. Actually, the reason cats react to catnip is a mystery (and not just domestic cats, but some other members of the cat family too, like bobcats).

Are there catnip alternatives if your cat reacts extremely (or not at all) to catnip, which could be used to encourage enriched play?

Z: Although cats don’t react to catnip, they might do so to other plants including the silver vine (matatabi), valerian, honeysuckle, and the roots of Kiwi vines.