When I was introduced to cats as a young girl, I assumed they needed food, water and cuddles. Oh to be so innocent again!! I learned about how to care for a cat. There is grooming, scratching behind the ears, scratching the chin, allowing them places your Mom would never let the dogs go( like on the counter) , playing hide and seek( guess what? they don’t want to find you) and providing them with numerous toys of which they have no interest, just leave the box to play in. I was at my wits end trying to find something that they really did love and only I could provide. After many years with many cats and a closet full of toys, I found just the thing!! What is this magic cat magnet, you ask? It’s catnip. That’s right, a simple weed you can grow in your yard that provides hours of entertaining for your lovely furball.
Now, as a pet sitter, I know the power of this wonderful treat and like to reward my furry clients with what I call, “Catnip parties”! Now, I can hear some of you gasping in horror, ” A Catnip party! Who will chaperone?” Hysterical, right? But if you knew the whole truth about catnip, you would be doing the same thing. You see, the reason cats like catnip so much is because it’s a hallucinogen. True, that. Your cat enjoys a mellow experience and can get away from it all with just a pinch of this wonderful herb. Truth be told, not all cats like catnip and catnip should not be introduced to a cat less than a year old. Some kitties just don’t care for catnip and they say that young cats can’t appreciate the effects of catnip and ,therefore, shouldn’t be exposed to it. Who knows why these things are true, but as a responsible cat owner you need to know why they love it and how to handle it responsibly.
First, catnip is an excellent addition to any cat’s diet because besides being a recreational herb, it is also a digestive. Some kitties respond to the chemical makeup of catnip as a boost to the diet. It can encourage better eating in addition to keeping your kitty calm. When I have a “catnip party” with kitties, I give each one a good sized pinch. There is no need to scrimp on portions because it won’t hurt them and I have found many kitties just love laying in it, rolling around in it and finally eating some. Then they will be laid out for an hour or so, enjoying the buzz. It does help them pass the time while Mom and Dad are out of town.
Now, I have one kitty that I may have to recommend a 12-Step program to. I won’t divulge his name in order to assure anonymity. When I visit him, he has a particular meow that tells me he wants catnip. I go to the pantry and he immediately runs over and points out the bag of catnip to me. When I pick up the bag and shake it, he meows louder and races to the carpet in the living room because that is where he gets his treat. A big pinch for him and a smaller one for his housemate. They start rolling and I start laughing. When they are finished indulging, there is a calm in the air you couldn’t believe. When I contacted Cat Mom about this silly behavior she said, “That’s my little stoner kitty”
I LOVE my job!!!