This article was last updated by on

Can Cats Eat Fresh Catnip? [Feeding Tips]

Do you know all cats, even big felines like tigers, lions and leopards, can get high if they get to sniff or eat the fresh catnip plant?

The fresh catnip plant is entirely edible and safe to eat for cats and usually does not cause overdose issues. Cats like to eat fresh catnip plants for their cat pheromone-like effects that alleviate their mood and relieve stress and anxiety.

That said, if you let your cats eat fresh catnip plants excessively, cats will eventually become immune to catnip effects.

Thus, stick with the article until the end to learn how catnip seduces cats and how to give catnips.

Do Cats Like Fresh Catnip Plant?

Without a doubt, cats do like to eat or take a sniff off the fresh catnip plant to turn their laziness into adorable kitten frenzies.

Some cats prefer a fresh catnip plant, which is easy to chew, while others enjoy dried catnip more.

So, the likeness or fondness for a fresh catnip plant can vary from cat to cat, depending on their preference.

Nevertheless, unlike drugs with side effects, all catnip plant pose no health hazards and is completely safe and edible for cats.

cat eating fresh catnip
Young kittens do not have any catnip effects; instead, they may reject the fresh catnip altogether.

As the effects of fresh catnip kick in within 10-15 minutes, cats are very unlikely to eat a lot at once.

Nonetheless, if your cat happens to eat tons of fresh catnip plants, it may cause minor stomach upset at most.

That said, voluntarily added catnips in large amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea and can make cats sick.

So, to learn your cat’s tolerance and preference for fresh or dried catnips, start small and gauge the effects on your cats.

What Happens When Cats Eat Catnip?

A member of the Mint family, the Catnip plant is a perennial herb containing an oil, nepetalactone.

Inhalation or consumption of nepetalactone results chemical response in a cat’s brain, which is somewhat similar to the effects of cat pheromones.

The catnip effect supposedly makes both male and female cats behave as if they are in heat.

Furthermore, cats do not need to eat the catnip leaves to get high, as the effect can kick in with one strong whiff.

Thus, cats can become very affectionate, playful and relaxed after sniffing or eating the catnip leaves.

cat eating the fresh catnips
Cat grass does not induce cat pheromone-like effects after consumption in cats, but catnip does.

Meanwhile, some cats can become hyperactive and show symptoms of aggression after they eat or inhale fresh catnip plants.

Overstimulation due to catnip overdose can make cats anxious, excess growling, zooming around and biting or scratching your hands.

But do not worry! The effects of catnip are short-lived and gradually wear off within 5-15 minutes.

Also, the catnip will not affect cats for the next couple of hours.

However, cats that are young and haven’t aged over 3-6 months might not show any behavioral change by catnip.

Likewise, some cats are genetically immune to catnip effects and, in such scenarios, opt for catnip alternatives.

How to Give Cats Catnip?

Giving catnip to your cats to eat is one of the best ways to encourage their active participation in training.

If you are unaware of the reaction and it is your first time giving catnip to your cats to eat, start small.

Sprinkle a feeble amount of fresh catnip leaves on the floor and let your cats sniff or eat them.

Ensure the fresh catnip leaves are healthy and do not have white spots, as it could be a sign of pest infestation.

You can introduce your cats to a fresh catnip plant if your cats like catnips. But ensure cats can reach it only when you allow them to.

But if cats do not respond well to catnip, you can opt for alternatives like a silver vine and valerian root.

Editor’s Note

Benefits of Fresh Catnip Plant!

Not only can cats eat catnip, but they can also enjoy the benefits like lowered stress, anxiety and calming effects.

Also, you can train them and strengthen bonding with your cats with catnip treats a few times a week.

All The Best!