Q & A: Catnip overdose

Q: My cat goes completely crazy over catnip, which is really funny to watch, but is it dangerous?

A: Cats are unique in their reaction to catnip, and the response can be very dramatic in some cats – rolling, licking, rubbing, drooling, jumping, running and growling.

Other cats appear to become very sedate after exposure. And then there are the few (up to 30% of the cat population) who don’t respond at all to catnip. In any case, for all of the (sometimes entertaining) behaviours seen, catnip is completely non-toxic to cats.

If a large quantity of fresh catnip is consumed, you may see some vomiting or diarrhoea, but this is rare and self-limiting. If your cat experiences this, limit or withhold the catnip.

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