Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the mint family. It is native to Europe and Asia, but is now widely grown in many parts of the world.
Catnip has a special compound called nepetalactone. When cats smell it, they may start to roll around, drool, rub on things or play. This is because the nepetalactone affects their brain and makes them feel happy and relaxed. Not all cats react the same way to catnip though; some might not show any reaction at all.
Catnip usually makes cats happy for a few minutes. It is okay for cats to have some catnip but not too much or it can make their stomachs hurt. Do not give catnip to pregnant cats or kittens younger than six months old.
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