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How Much Catnip Can I Give My Cat? Types, Dosage & FAQ

While most pet owners have given their feline pal catnip before, it’s hard to know how much you should give your cat or even what a safe amount is. There’s no evidence to support catnip being harmful to cats; even if there is no specific amount of catnip to give to your cat, you should feed the catnip to your cat in moderate amounts.

However, as with anything else you give your cat, catnip can have side effects. It can lead to upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting in severe cases. It is thought that feeding your cat catnip in moderation won’t harm them, but you want to avoid feeding them excessively.

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divider-catclaw1 What Is the Correct Amount of Catnip to Give to Your Cat?

There is no specific amount of catnip that you should give a cat. This is because catnip isn’t dangerous in large quantities, though it can cause side effects. You can consult your vet if you’re unsure how much catnip to give your cat. They should be able to tell you how much to use based on your cat’s weight, size, and health issues.

cat playing with catnip toy
Image Credit: Ellie Burnett, Shutterstock

Can a Cat Overdose on Catnip?

While cats can’t overdose on catnip, too much of it causes difficulty walking, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. Fresh catnip is much more potent than dry catnip, so you won’t need to give your cat as much as you usually do. It’s also recommended to avoid catnip oils that are highly concentrated because of their high potency.

What Types of Catnip Are There?

You can get catnip in a few different forms. Some, of course, are better than others.

Some ideas on how to give catnip to your cat are:

If you don’t want to deprive your cat of catnip, but it gets an upset stomach every time you give it some, the catnip spray might be a good choice. You can spray it onto the cat’s toys, scratching post, or tower, so the cat isn’t ingesting it but still gets the effects.

Cat scratching post sisal rope
Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

Does Catnip Work for All Felines?

Studies have suggested that over 60% of cats have a behavioral reaction to catnip, so it doesn’t work for all felines. So, if you give the catnip to your cat and it doesn’t seem to work for them, don’t worry; they aren’t susceptible to its effects like some other cats are.

The effects you can expect from most cats when given catnip include:
  • Napping
  • Jumping
  • Playing with toys
  • Running through the house

This shows that catnip affects cats in different ways. Some cats will become relaxed and affectionate, piling up on you to take a nap. Other cats will become hyper, running through the house and wanting to play with all the toys in sight. It’s thought that how a cat reacts to catnip is passed down through genetics, but that hasn’t been proven.

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Hepper Catnip Stick Toy

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How Long Does Catnip Stay in a Feline’s System?

Depending on the cat, the effects of the catnip usually last for about 10 to 15 minutes. The catnip will lose its potency over time, so keep it in an airtight container when not in use.

cat eating catnip
Image Credit : Piqsels

Is Catnip Safe for Cats?

Catnip is safe for cats and may even help their digestive system. However, this doesn’t mean you should give your cat large quantities of the substance, as it could lead to digestive upset.

divider-catclaw1 Wrap Up

If you’re considering giving your cat a bit of catnip, there’s no specific amount you can give them. Instead, use your judgment, but make sure not to give the cat massive amounts of the substance. While cats can’t overdose on catnip, large amounts can give them digestive issues.

Remember, not every cat reacts to catnip, and not every cat reacts similarly. Your cat may be different, and you’ll have to wait and see. Like everything else you give your cat, it’s best to provide it with catnip in moderation for the best results.

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Featured Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock