Extra Benefits of Catnip for your Cat

Extra Benefits of Catnip for your Cat

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The benefits of catnip, we often assume as pet owners, are a lovely euphoric feeling for our feline friends. When I spray toys with a catnip spray or add dried catnip to puzzles and other items for our cats, they stop whatever they’re doing and come running. They’ll lovingly lick their toys and roll around with them, rubbing their faces with the catnip-laced Yeeeoooow banana for at least half an hour. It’s all just a fun thing for them right?

Wrong! According to a new study described in this NYTimes article your cat isn’t just enjoying a high, it’s protecting itself against mosquitos!

benefits of catnip cat enrichment

Researchers tested the theory by first giving some cats access to an iridoid-laced piece of cloth or paper. This compound is from the Silver Vine and is similar to what’s in catnip. The cats immediately rubbed their faces all over the cloth, making sure to coat themselves with the compound. The scientists then exposed these cats to mosquitos, who didn’t want anything to do with them. Other cats, not given the opportunity to rub themselves with the compound, were attractive to the mosquitos. I know, I felt bad for those cats too!

The larger point though about these new benefits of catnip, is that our feline friends once again are holding on to those instinctual “wild” behaviors. Just like tossing their toys in the air helps them practice their fishing skills, and pretending to cover their food protects it from “predators” rubbing themselves with catnip toys serves another purpose!

If you need to pick up some catnip spray, organic dried catnip or just some catnip-laced toys, we’ve got quite a selection! We know that these toys and sprays help your cat to stay safe and have fun. They’re a great way for your cat to get some much needed stimulation while also (maybe) protecting it from heartworm-carrying mosquitoes when it goes outside.