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Can I Put Catnip in My Cat’s Food? What You Need to Know!

People are always looking for ways to improve their cat’s life and diet, and one thing that often gets paired with cats is catnip. But whether you’re looking at putting catnip in their food for health purposes or just want to get them interested in it, is it a good idea?

We break it all down for you here, but most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with putting a normal dosage of catnip into your cat’s food.

divider-catclaw1Can I Put Catnip in My Cat’s Food?

Absolutely! Not only can you put catnip in your cat’s food, but it’s also relatively good for them. That said, it’s not ideal for all cats. Check out the following potential perks and drawbacks.

cat with green eyes in catnip
Image Credit: Georgia Evans, Shutterstock

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3 Perks of Catnip

There’s a reason that you can find catnip so prominently in pet sections; for the most part, it’s good for cats! Here are the perks of giving your cat catnip, with two of the benefits making it a great choice to put into their food!

1. Catnip Calms Your Cat

This is one of the most well-known benefits of catnip. While the primary effects of catnip typically only last about 10 minutes, you can see the tertiary benefits for an hour or two. Expect your cat to be a little calmer after consuming catnip.

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Hepper Catnip Stick Toy

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2. It Aids Digestion

While most people know that catnip helps calm down cats, many people don’t realize that it can help with their digestion. This perk makes it a great choice to add to their dinner. Not only will they get a great meal, but they’ll also get something that helps them process all that food!

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3. Helps Prevent Diarrhea

This isn’t a well-known effect of catnip, but in small amounts, catnip can act as an anti-diarrhetic. This makes it great to mix into your cat’s food if they have a sensitive stomach. Just ensure that you’re adding the right amount for your cat; if you add too much, it can actually cause diarrhea.

cat paw divider3 Potential Drawbacks of Catnip

While it’s usually perfectly safe and effective to give your cat catnip, there are a few potential drawbacks. These are usually rare, though, unless you give your cat way too much catnip.

Catnip or catmint green herb background
Image Credit: wasilisa, Shutterstock

1. Can Make Cats Aggressive

While most cats mellow out after consuming catnip, that’s not the case for every cat. Some cats, especially males, can become hostile and aggressive.

Some people attribute this to a potential mating reaction, but it really depends on the specific cat. If your cat gets aggressive after you give them catnip, it’s best to cut it out of their diet entirely.

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2. Potential Vomiting or Diarrhea

While a bit of catnip can help with digestion and help prevent diarrhea, too much can have the opposite effect. That’s why it’s important to portion out catnip when giving it to your cat and not give them too much.

Moreover, while most cats are fine with catnip, it is possible for your cat to have a reaction in that they simply don’t process it well.

Catnip Stick
Image Credit: Lermont51, Shutterstock
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3. Excessive Dizziness

Dizziness is a well-known side effect of catnip, and while a bit of dizziness isn’t a problem, some cats get far too dizzy. If that’s the case for your cat, we recommend cutting back the amount of catnip that you give them.

divider-catclaw1Final Thoughts

When you’re thinking about adding catnip to your cat’s food, start slow and small. Don’t put a large amount in there; just add enough to see if it can help out with their diet. If you’re noticing positive benefits and no adverse side effects, you can increase the quantity to the normal cat dosage, but don’t overdo it because problems can then start!

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Featured Image Credit: Doug McLean, Shutterstock