If you give your cat too much catnip, they may become overexcited and start to act out. This can include excessive meowing, jumping, and even biting. If you notice your cat is behaving this way, it is best to remove the catnip from their environment and try to calm them down. If this does not work, you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian.
Cats are a species that easily becomes stressed, which can lead to physical discomfort and sore patches caused by overgrooming.
That's why it's important to help your cat relax, and catnip is one of many options.
Although catnip is safe for cats, too much of it can cause pain or discomfort. While this is usually not a cause for concern, catnip overdose can be overwhelming, and your cat may need to be seen by a vet depending on the symptoms.
So, what happens if your cat consumes too much catnip, and how can you tell?
Catnip is non-toxic to cats and, in most cases, they will not overdose on it because they will stop ingesting it once they've had enough.If they consume too much you, they may require medical attention.Getty Images Getty Images
What is Catnip?
Catnip is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to Eurasia but widely naturalized throughout temperate regions of the world, and relatively easy to find. The active ingredient that attracts felines to catnip is called nepetalactone, and it's fortunately non-toxic to our feline friends.
The most intense catnip experience, according to the Humane Society of the United States, begins with the nose, which takes "one whiff of the stuff and your cat promptly goes nuts," as it targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain.
On the other hand, according to the website, catnip has the opposite effect and your cat mellows out, which means your cat is more likely to lay down and chill rather than running and jumping around.
"Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out, at which point they may meow or growl."Other cats become hyperactive or even aggressive when approached," according to the Humane Society.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Has Consumed Too Much Catnip?
Catnip is safe for cats to eat and sniff, according to Dr. Carly Fox, senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in New York City, but if they consume too much, they may experience gastrointestinal upset, which is uncommon.
"If you believe your cat has consumed too much catnip, simply give your cat some time; the effects of catnip are typically brief, lasting up to 30 minutes.""However, if your cat develops persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea, you should have them checked out by a veterinarian," she told Newsweek.
How to Tell If Your Cat Has Consumed Too Much Catnip
As previously stated, a cat's reaction to catnip can vary depending on the method of ingestion, but common side effects include vomiting and diarrhea.
According to Fox, catnip can cause hyperactivity in some cats, while others have the opposite reaction, becoming aggressive or aloof after ingestion.
"They can get 'the zoomies,' which can put them in danger at home, and they can also get vomiting and/or diarrhea if they eat too much."
She did, however, point out that cats are generally good at self-regulation and will stop ingesting catnip once they've had enough of it.
How Much Catnip Should You Give Your Cat?
Although catnip is not toxic and poses no risk to your cat's health in general, it should be given in moderation.
Fox recommends giving catnip to your cat no more than once or twice per week, using it when your cat is stressed, for entertainment, or even to encourage it to exercise, because sniffing it has the potential to make it more active.
She mentioned that the effects of catnip can fade over time if used too frequently, so if you want it to stay effective, only give it to your cat on occasion.
Can Catnip Make Cats Addictive?
Catnip is not addictive and is completely safe for most cats; in fact, some cats do not even notice the herb's effects.Catnip sensitivity is hereditary, according to the Humane Society, and an estimated 50% of cats have no reaction to it at all.
Although catnip is not addictive, cats can develop a mild tolerance to it over time, which means they are less likely to experience any of its effects.
Is Excess Catnip Use Harmful to Cats?
Excessive catnip use is unlikely to be harmful to cats because they rarely consume an excessive amount, though your cat's reactions to catnip may be.
"If your cat has a hyperactive reaction to catnip, they risk injuring themselves as they run around/zoom post ingestion," Fox explained, adding that to avoid injury, make sure your cat is not on a high surface counter/bed when you give him catnip.
"A visit to the vet is recommended if your cat has a sensitive stomach and develops vomiting/diarrhea from catnip ingestion that does not improve with time."
What should I do if my cat consumes an excessive amount of catnip?
"If you believe your cat has consumed too much catnip, simply give your cat some time; the effects of catnip are typically brief, lasting up to 30 minutes.""However, if your cat develops persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea, you should have them checked out by a veterinarian," she told Newsweek.give your cat some time. Effects of catnip are typically short lived, up to 30 minutes. But if your cat develops vomiting and/or diarrhea that is persistent, you should have them checked out by a veterinarian," she told Newsweek.
How much catnip is safe for a cat to consume?
Give in Small Doses Remember that a little bit goes a long way; they will enjoy it for up to 15 minutes before their senses tire and they won't be able to catch that buzz again for a few hours.If you have multiple cats, make sure there is enough for everyone to avoid catnip competition.
Is catnip poisonous to cats?
While catnip is not generally toxic to cats, too much of the fresh plant can overstimulate the central nervous system and cause a cat to injure himself. If your pet chews on a plant, remove it from its mouth immediately and gently rinse the mouth with water.catnip generally isn't toxic to cats, too much of the fresh plant can overstimulate the central nervous system and cause a cat to injure himself. If your pet does chew on a plant, immediately remove the plant from its mouth and rinse the mouth gently with water.