We can confidently say that Catnip is a plant that is covered with legends. Some Pets owners welcome its use, others, on the contrary, against.
So, Catnip for what it is? Is there a benefit to human health? Why do cats give this grass? What are the features of its application? Is it really useful for your Pets or is a real drug? To these questions you can find answers in this article.
Description of Catnip
Catnip is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Labiatae. Is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and endurance. Resistant to low temperature extremes. In height can reach 40-100 cm. Alternative names – lemon Catnip, cat drinks, field balm, Catnip cat, and Shandra fragrant. A distinctive feature of this plant – the effect on behavior of cats. In the wild to meet this grass along roads, in forests, meadows and fields, hillsides and backyards.
- long stem;
- oblong leaves are gray-green in the shape of a heart;
- small flowers collected in the brush (from white to purple tint);
- aroma with hints of lemon.
The main difference from the usual Catnip is in essential oils, which are part of grass.
In the essential oil of Catnip included nepetalactone, while in pepper mint is menthol. That is why plants have a different smell. In addition, this herb contains vitamins a, C, group b vitamins and microelements, tannins and terpenes.
Why this plant attracts cats
As you know, cats are endowed with a keen sense of smell with particular sensitivity to essential oils. And so it is no secret why they are attracted to this grass. Namely, nepetalactone contained in it, which affects the neurons in the brain of the animal. To anticipate the reaction of cats is difficult. Active animal may behave calmly, and passive start behaving violently. Subsequently, may change the behavior of the pet to experience hallucinations.
Usually signs of the influence last from five to ten minutes. An interesting fact is that if the cat sniffs the grass, then the effect will be stimulating. But the eating action will have a sedative nature.
Sensitivity to the smell of Catnip appears only to twelfth week of life of a kitten. You need to remember that some individuals may refer to Catnip with complete indifference. According to statistics, 20-30% of cats this herb does not cause any reaction. This is due to the lack of receptors that are at a genetic level.
Purpose and application of
The most common use of Catnip is to adjust the behavior of the animal. Aggressive pet may become docile and phlegmatic, sluggish – playful and active. Catnip is a great anti-stress product. It is recommended to give them to animal when change of scenery, trips to the doctor etc. Thus, its behavior is calm. As well as a few leaves can be added to food. It will be a good prevention of parasites and will help to normalize the digestion and appetite.
Use of the drug is preferably not more than once a week for 20 minutes. It can be in the form of dried grass, spray, fresh leaves or drops. If desired, you can grow Catnip yourself at home. Catnip seeds can be purchased at any gardening store.
If you need to train your pet to scratching posts, here you will also come Catnip. This device will prevent damage to furniture and Wallpaper. Positioning should be near the bed, because after waking up cats the first thing to stretch out and begin to sharpen its claws. In order to attract the pet’s attention and he was not distracted in the process the point of the mouth for foreign objects, you need to RUB Catnip scratching post or put the bag with the grass under the upholstery.
The positive features of the use of Catnip in animals include:
- anti-stress effect;
- harmlessness to the stomach;
- a beneficial effect on the body;
- more accommodating behavior.
The drawbacks include the ban on frequent use, as this plant is a mild drug, and the cat may appear addictive to it. And as a consequence there is a development of the protective reaction, that is, the pet will stop for him to pay attention. Do not give the herb to pregnant cats, as it can badly affect the nurturing of the kittens due to irritation of the nervous system.
Use Catnip to human health
Catnip is a great natural remedy for the normalization of SNand, due to its soothing properties. Remove the worry and headache caused by a stressful condition, will help strong infusion from this herb. Due to the presence of tannins it is possible to treat diseases of the digestive system (food poisoning, stomach pain, tension and cramps). For colds, flu, sore throat, runny nose excellent antiseptic effects that is a hot infusion of Catnip.
And also, the broth can be used in massage for joint pain, arthritis.
This plant also possesses disinfectant properties. Therefore well suited for insect bites, of tissue healing and treatment of skin infections.
How to grow Catnip at home
So, in order to grow Catnip at home you will need:
- seedlings or seeds;
- place with good illumination is inaccessible to the animal;
- the ground;
- capacity for planting medium size.
For planting it is recommended to use a well-drained soil. The seeds of Catnip for good germination and the seedlings survive the landing. The seeds are very small, so at first they can sow in one container. After the seedlings sprout, and it should happen in about two weeks, they will have one sheet. This means that they can be seated. Plants are very compact, so the soil will need a bit of and pots – small volume.
Recommended to plant the plant in early June to the end of may. When sowing seeds directly into the soil, the plant will bloom only about a year. If you plant seedlings in the soil, which will have at least three or four leaves, then flowering can be achieved already this year. The second method is more laborious, as the seeds for seedlings should be sown in mid-March.
Catnip does not require a particularly complex care. The plant is drought-resistant and is resistant to low temperatures. For the normal cultivation needs regular watering and soil loosening. Catnip blooms in July. For more intense flowering should be cut off faded blossoms. After cutting, so that the bushes grew more compact, green and lush, they need timely feeding. Acceptable for use as mineral fertilizers and organic (manure, humus), which is recommended to alternate between them.