Do cats like catnip? This is a common question that many cat owners ask themselves. Catnip is a type of herb that belongs to the mint family and contains a chemical compound called nepetalactone. When cats come into contact with catnip, they often exhibit playful and sometimes bizarre behavior such as rolling, licking, and even aggression. However, not all cats have a positive reaction to catnip. In fact, it is possible for some cats to have a negative reaction.
Cats have a gene called the “catnip response gene” which determines whether or not they will be affected by catnip. Approximately 50-75% of cats have this gene and are therefore susceptible to the effects of catnip. However, even among cats with this gene, there can be variations in the strength of their reaction to catnip. Some cats may only exhibit mild behaviors such as rubbing against the catnip while others may become hyperactive and even aggressive.
But what about cats that do not have the catnip response gene? These cats will not have a reaction to catnip at all. However, it is important to note that just because a cat has the gene does not mean they will always have a positive reaction. Some cats may not like the smell or taste of catnip and may even have a negative reaction to it.
Negative reactions to catnip can include anxiety, fear, and even aggression. If your cat exhibits any of these behaviors when exposed to catnip, it is best to avoid giving it to them in the future. Additionally, some cats may have an allergic reaction to catnip, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that your cat is allergic to catnip, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
In conclusion, while most cats with the catnip response gene enjoy the effects of catnip, it is possible for some cats to have a negative reaction. This can be due to a dislike of the smell or taste of catnip or a more severe allergic reaction. It is important to observe your cat’s behavior when exposed to catnip and to avoid giving it to them if they exhibit any negative behaviors or symptoms.
Read more:Do All Cats Like Catnip?