Pet parents need to know that there are certain essential oils that can be used safely around cats while some can be toxic to them. Wondering if it is safe to use catnip essential oil for your feline pet? We've done the research and we would like to share with you what we found out.
Catnip essential oil does not contain any ingredient that can be harmful to felines. It is safe to use this natural oil for your pet when diluted—whether as a spray or catnip bubbles. However, catnip oil's effects will be different depending on how your pet is exposed to the catnip plant.
Keep reading so you can learn more about the various ways that you can use catnip essential oil for your pet. We'll also tell you how catnip smells and why cats find its scent alluring. We'll also discuss other uses of catnip essential oil and what other essential oils are safe to diffuse around your feline pets.
Catnip Essential Oil and Your Cats
Those who are fond of using essential oils need to know that they should be careful about using these oils around their pets. There are some oils that can be good for them while some can cause them harm.
In the case of catnip essential oil, pet parents would be relieved to know that this natural oil, in its diluted form, is safe to use for their cats. You can use it for your pet provided that they have the sensitivity to its scent.
Take note that not all cats are influenced by catnip. Experts believe the ability to react to its scent is hereditary. For them to bask in its benefits, they should have the catnip gene in their system.
How do I use catnip essential oil for my cat?
There are different ways for you to use catnip essential oil for your furballs. Here are just some of them:
Spray catnip oil on their toys
Add only a few drops of catnip essential oil into a cup of water. Transfer the mixture into a plastic spray bottle, and voila! You already have your catnip spray.
Shake the bottle and start spraying on your furball's favorite toys so she can revel in its scent. You can also splash some on her bed, scratching posts, and other things she usually uses so that she'll enjoy them even more.
Make catnip bubbles
With your catnip spray, just add a tablespoon or two of cat-safe dish soap, and you now have your catnip bubbles! Your feline pet will surely have fun chasing the bubbles so it's a great bonding moment between the two of you. Cats also love their minty fresh scent so they'll be extra bubbly during playtime!
But be reminded that you should check the quality of the oil and make sure that the one you're using is made specifically for pets. Those meant for human use are more concentrated and might be too potent for cats.
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There are catnip bubbles that you can buy for your cats. But make sure to check that the ingredients are safe for your pets.
Also, it is not recommended to diffuse catnip essential oil around cats unless you know for sure that it is heavily diluted. Diffusing highly concentrated essential oils around cats can irritate their respiratory system and can harm their health.
The effects of catnip will also be different depending on how you use it for your pet. It acts as a stimulant when your cat inhales its scent.
Does catnip essential oil attract cats?
Catnip contains an essential oil that is made up of a chemical called nepetalactone. When it binds to the olfactory receptors of cats that have the sensitivity for catnip, this will stimulate their senses and send them to euphoria.
For cats that have the ability to react to catnip essential oil, you can usually observe drooling, rolling, flipping, and other behaviors that tell you that they're happy. These effects usually last for about 10 to 15 minutes then they will wear off eventually.
Don't worry, because even though the scent of catnip attracts them, they won't be addicted to it. In fact, their brain needs to reset for some time before they are once again influenced by its smell.
However, with constant exposure to this essential oil, they can become desensitized to its scent and they won't manifest the behaviors usually associated with catnip high anymore.
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What does catnip oil smell like?
The catnip plant is a member of the mint family. Its leaves, which contain the essential oil, have a minty and herbaceous scent.
Since catnip comes in different forms, the smell can be different from one variety to another. Dried catnip leaves smell more like dried grass while catnip sprays can have a citrusy and minty smell.
Cat experts say that different forms also vary in potency. Fresh catnip is more potent than dried ones. They also say that some catnip oils can be too strong because they are highly concentrated so they recommend avoiding using them around felines.
What can you do with catnip essential oil?
Catnip is an herbal plant that has many uses. Aside from its stimulating or relaxing effects on your furball, it also has household and personal uses.
It can be used as an insect repellant. You can diffuse its scent to keep mosquitoes away. You can also make a potpourri. Put some drops on dried flowers and leaves so that your room will smell fresh.
You might read about this herbal plant's medical benefits such as helping ease anxiety, flatulence, indigestion, and the common cold. But these haven't been proven yet so health experts cannot vouch for their effectiveness.
Does catnip oil repel mosquitoes?
Aside from the stimulating effects and benefits of catnip to our furry pals, this plant is also found to be effective in repelling those pesky mosquitoes. Studies show that catnip essential oil is 10 times more effective than other mosquito repellants.
Researchers say that the scent of this essential oil deters some insects particularly those who have TRPA1 sensors. When they get a whiff of catnip, it activates their flee response because their system detects it as an irritant.
For those who want to use catnip as an insect repellant, you can crush its leaves to release its scent and oils. Place the leaves inside your pocket, hat, or other places usually frequented by mosquitoes.
You can also apply catnip oil to your skin. There is an alcohol-based infusion of this herb plant which is meant for this. Or you can diffuse catnip essential oil in the room to keep the bugs away.
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What essential oils are safe to diffuse around cats?
There are many benefits when you diffuse essential oils in your home. Some of these are improving the clarity of mind, helping you to relax, and improving your mood. They are also said to have other health benefits such as clearing the airways to help you breathe easier and aiding in proper digestion.
It's no wonder that many people are fond of diffusing oils. When doing so, your olfactory sense is able to detect the scent in the essential oils and sends signals to your brain. It arouses certain memories and emotions that result in a more positive state of mind and well-being.
However, this is not for everybody as some highly concentrated essential oils have very strong scents that trigger allergic reactions instead. This goes for humans and pets alike.
But don't worry as there are other essential oils that you can safely diffuse around your pet. You can use lavender, frankincense, copaiba, and helichrysum.
Just make sure that felines aren't confined in the room where you're diffusing those oils. They should be free to leave the room whenever they want to in case the scent coming from the diffuser is becoming too strong for them.
We also like to remind pet parents who want to use essential oils on their cats to talk to their vet about it so that they will be guided accordingly.
Go ahead and use diluted catnip essential oil for your pets so they can revel in its benefits. You can spray it on their toys, or make catnip bubbles. Just use this catnip product in moderation so that they won't be desensitized to its effects.
If you want to know more about how catnip affects your feline pets, you can read through our previous articles: Catnip Not Working - What's Wrong? and How Fast Does Catnip Work?