Is Catnip Bad for Cats? No! And It'll Soon Have You 'Feline' Groovy! - Cat Crack Catnip

Is Catnip Bad for Cats? No! And It'll Soon Have You 'Feline' Groovy!

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So you're a woman cat of a certain age. You have a nice life and your own place, and you live somewhere cozy and cosmopolitan - like the Uptown area of Whisker City. Maybe the kittens have flown the nest? Or purr-haps you simply realize, you're ready for some 'me(ow) time'? Ready to indulge in your hobbies, like ping-pong-ball golf, or enjoy quality time with like-minded friends over long, lazy lunches. To travel, to broaden your horizons, and to do all those things you just couldn't get round to when you were younger, popping out kittens, prioritizing the Tom in your life, or climbing that career curtain. And now, you're ready. You have everything in place: a nice home you can call your own; more wisdom and life experience than ever before – you know what you want; and most importantly, you have all the time in the world to go out and get it.

Why We Should Feel Healthy – But We Don't

This is the rosy pussycat picture for so many comfortably-off (whisper it) "middle-aged" lady cats whose dream is to enjoy their early or 'phased' retirement. Yet new research on behalf of Opurra Winfrey – famous for her inspirational moggy mantra "Whisker a dream, and the cat will follow: it's the purr-suit of purr-fection!" - has revealed that the majority of cat middle-lifers feel that minor health niggles are preventing them from living out their dreams. This, despite the fact that, according to our rising living standards and improving veterinary care, we should be feeling better than ever. 

But don't worry – help is at paw! We've taken the top ten most-mentioned medical complaints amongst all you Opurra fans out there and asked: what's the simplest way to alleviate them? 

Catnip: Nature's Wonder Drug

There's a not-so-new wonder drug on the streets that anyone can get their paws on with a free hit. No, we're not talking about Catins, Ozempurr, or HRT (Hairball Removal Therapy) – instead, you can eat it, play with it, or roll around all day in it; we're talking about Mother Nature's wonder drug: catnip. But…

Is catnip bad for cats?

Far from it! By now, most of us have probably seen cats on catnip. A natural herb from the cat mint family, cat nip contains an active ingredient called nepetalactone. The higher the % your catnip contains, the better the catnip. When cats smell nepetalactone, it binds to receptors in their noses, triggering a response in their brain that can cause behaviors such as rolling, rubbing, purring, and overall excitement. To find out how it can help turn your olden years into golden years, read on. Trust me, it's no old wives' tail, as we reveal…

The Top 10 Health Complaints For Cats of a Certain Age – And How Catnip Can Help

1: Stress – many women cats don't expect stress to affect them at this stage of life - that itself is stressful.  Enter catnip. Here's the science bit from well-known TV medic Dr Phil McClaw: "Catnip stimulates sensory neurons that lead to the brain's olfactory bulb, triggering a cascade of neural activity, a temporary euphoric state – known as 'feline groovy' - and a subsequent return to calm."

2: Weight gain – many women cats complain of difficulties in maintaining a healthy weight. This can be due to changes in metabolism and lifestyle. Catnip makes cats more active, having a direct, positive effect on their physical fitness.

But Dr Phil, can cats overdose on catnip? "Cats cannot overdose on catnip in a toxic or life-threatening sense, but they can experience some mild and temporary adverse effects if they consume too much, such as an upset stomach. Everything should be in moderation. Try a free hit, and go from there."

3: Obsessing over excess facial fur - a common complaint with middle-aged cat women is excess fur. Cat nip reduces stress, which in turn prevents "overgrooming." The message from Dr Phil is: "Relax. Look around you. These days, you're weird if you don't have a beard." (Editor: Errr, that's not helpful, Phil).

4: Urinary issues – a common concern amongst many middle-aged lady cats is Accidentally Letting a Little Wee Escape Syndrome (ALLWEES). If you suffer from ALLWEES or UTI's etc, consult a veterinarian – but relaxing with a bit of catnip and taking a good drink of water afterwards, will certainly do no harm.

5: Dental problems – catnip can help maintain dental health in cats by encouraging play and chewing behaviors - add special dental toys designed to clean teeth, and hey purr-esto, you can help remove plaque and tartar.

6: Hormone horrors - although, of course, unlike 'humans' – the weird, tall, strangely motiveless things who deliver your food, and suffer from something called 'menopause' and get 'hot flushes' – cats still go into heat throughout their lives. Weight fluctuation and hyperactivity caused by hormonal issues are common in this catty age group. Catnip offers great potential symptom relief for both.

7: Hypertension - here's Dr Phil again: "High blood pressure is a significant problem amongst cats and can lead to other complications like heart disease and kidney damage. Catnip triggers exercise, and controlled exercise is great for heart health." So, Dr Phil, does catnip get cats high? "Yes, catnip (Nepeta cataria) can cause a temporary, euphoric reaction in many cats - due to a compound called nepetalactone found in the leaves and stems of the catnip plant - that is often described as getting high."

8: Aches and pains - degenerative joint diseases like arthritis are common amongst pussycats past their peak, causing pain and reduced mobility. Some users report that catnip offers mild pain-relieving benefits.

9: Indigestion - gastrointestinal issues, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are frequent amongst 'lady cats who lunch and long for a life of arts and crafts.' Catnip can have a mild sedative effect and may help cats relax, which in turn can aid digestion.

10: Inappropriate scratching: no one likes to see a grown woman cat scratching away at things she shouldn't – carpets, furniture, etc. Sprinkling cat nip on a scratch post or pad can make it a more appealing distraction.

Catnip: 8 out of ten cats purr-fer it

Finally, for all you woolly worriers out there, I can hear you ask your final question: is catnip a drug? One final word from Dr Phil McClaw: "Catnip is not classified as a drug in the traditional, pharmaceutical sense, but it does have a psychoactive effect  - it's Mother Nature's Drug. Try it, use it sensibly, enjoy it, and enjoy better health and happiness in your best years as a result. Also, if you're ever in Whisker City and fancy a Tomcat Collins or a Meowjito, call me."

Never had catnip? Try a free hit.

Enjoy this article? Tell us  HERE how catnip has helped with your health and lust for life.

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