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Is Catnip Good or Ethical for Your Cat?

Is Catnip Good or Ethical for Your Cat?
January 04
22:24 2019

Over the years, I’ve owned 122 geckos, 5 snakes, dozens of mice, dozens of fish, 2 parakeets, 2 turtles, 1 desert tortoise, 6 pigeons, 8 rabbits, 4 hamsters, 1 cat and 9 dogs, (possibly others that I don’t recall at the moment). Is it any wonder that I ended up with a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife & fisheries management?

Someone asked me what my favorite pets have been and I answered dogs first and snakes second. I had one snake that was a natural cross between an albino cornsnake and an albino kingsnake. I named her Genae since she was a cross of 2 different genus of snakes. She was an albino with the cornsnake pattern and head shape but the size and eyesight of a kingsnake. Genae was nearly 6 feet long with she died.

Many people in America have owned a pet at one time or another. Virtually every sizeable city in the country has a pet store and a veterinarian.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (these figures a few years old):

  • 877,000 households own 1,146,000 hamsters
  • 1,320,000 households own 2,297,000 turtles
  • 1,408.000 households own 3,210,000 rabbits
  • 7,738.000 households own 57,750,000 fish
  • 1,780,000 households own 4,856,000 horses
  • 3,671,000 households own 8,300,000 birds
  • 36,117,000 households own 74,059,000 cats
  • 43,346,000 households own 69,926,000 dogs

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $69.51 BILLION on their animals. They estimate that in 2018, the figure increased to $72.13 BILLION on their animals.

For many people, their pets, especially dogs and cats, are treated and considered as a member of the family. As such, no one wants to do anything that could be bad or harmful for their pet family member, would they?

For instances, never give a dog bones from any bird or pig. The bones break too easily and can perforate the esophagus, stomach and intestines as well get lodged in the throat. You shouldn’t give your dogs table scraps or food left over from dinner. The salts and seasons could result in health problems, especially with the kidney, liver and heart. It also does the same thing to them as it does to us – it makes them fat, which in turn shortens their lifespans.

What about cats? A number of cat owners give their cats catnip. Is that really a good idea?

According to one report:

“Catnip is sold in small packets and toys as well as in highly concentrated forms such as oils and sprays. The concentrated forms are different from its availability in nature. If a cat were to encounter catnip in the wild, it would be in the form of leafy greens growing on plants, not concentrated.”

“Not all cats are affected by the drug, but for some it can have a five- to 15-minute marijuana-kind of effect.”

“About 30 percent do not respond at all – which means 70 percent do – and it doesn’t have an impact on kittens until they are about 6 months old, the time they attain sexual maturity.”

“When under the influence, some cats roll around, salivate, and at times, fight with other cats. It is not clear if there are any medicinal benefits. Cat owners often laugh at this behavior of their feline friends as being ‘high.’…”

“So, if is unethical to drug a child and to laugh at how he or she responds, should we unthinkingly do the same with our cats?”

If you really care about your cat and consider it one of the family, then think about whether you would do the same thing with your own child. If the answer is no, then don’t do it to your cat. If the answer is yes, I personally say you have some serious family issues and values that need addressing.


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