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Catnip - not for all kitties?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi - Simba has always loved catnip, but Murray has shown no interest in it when I have tried to give him catnip toys. Is catnip something that not all cats are into? Are there some, like Murray perhaps, whom it just doesn't do anything for? Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrrplej View Post
Hi - Simba has always loved catnip, but Murray has shown no interest in it when I have tried to give him catnip toys. Is catnip something that not all cats are into? Are there some, like Murray perhaps, whom it just doesn't do anything for? Thanks!
not all of them like it. you might try honeysuckle or valerian - my Cable likes honeysuckle.
look here: Plain Brown Tabby
post #3 of 16
My experience is that some cats really get into catnip, others enjoy it sometimes, and others don't pay any particular attention to it, one way or another.

My Zyelena used to really, really get into her catnip. Any catnip toys immediately became hers, and she'd hide them from the other cats in the most creative ways then pull them out when she wanted them(she's been gone for 3 years now, we still find her toys occasionally.) She would roll the toys by pressing down on them with both front paws and rolling them back and forth like a rolling pin, then stick her face into them and inhale deeply for a while, then walk around the house, high as a kite, saying the cat equivalent of "Oh wow!" "Oh wow!"

Menelaus was who she was usually hiding the toys from. He loves playing with catnip toys, it gets him really wild. There are a couple of times a day when he gets especially playful, and he likes the catnip toys the best, and he gets especially ferocious with a catnip toy versus one without catnip.

Yuri and Phillip only played with catnip toys because the other cats thought they were special. They liked to get the toys away from the others as a dominance game, but the catnip had no special effect on either of them. Yuri obviously noticed the smell of it, but his favorite toys were a puffball on a string and a ball in a wheel. Phillip would sniff as strongly at a non-catnip toy as a catnip one, he wanted to know whose smell was on what all the time.

So yeah, I think there's a lot of variability between cats on how they respond to catnip.

-Mark
http://catyarns.blogspot.com/
post #4 of 16
I know that younger kittens are not interested at all. And some cats never become interested.
post #5 of 16
Apparently there is a gene that determines whether a cat reacts to catnip or not. If the cat doesn't have the catnip gene, they won't react. I also heard that cats born in Asia don't have this gene at all. Not sure if that is true or not, but I think I did read that here on this forum.
post #6 of 16
Gus goes crazy for catnip. Lucky has no interest
post #7 of 16
Catnip does not effect cats that have not reached sexual maturity. Beyond that, there is about 20% of the cat population that simply doesn't react to it. One of my cats is a kind of rare siamese cat and he LOVES to eat catnip but it doesn't really make him "frisky" the way it does other cats...
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Apparently there is a gene that determines whether a cat reacts to catnip or not. If the cat doesn't have the catnip gene, they won't react. I also heard that cats born in Asia don't have this gene at all. Not sure if that is true or not, but I think I did read that here on this forum.
Well, I don't think that either of my cats come from Asia, but neither of them have ever had any interest in catnip. That gene thing sounds right to me.
post #9 of 16
Salem loves his catnip boy does he get high!
Sabrina just sniffs it and walks away uninterested
post #10 of 16
Yep, it's a gene. In one source I ran across years ago, the article concluded with the comment "No gene, no joy". Most of the cats who have graced our lives have been catnip responders, but Nibs was not. It was really quite amusing when 'nip was offered in those days, because Shasta would tuck in and enjoy, Gryphon would go totally bonkers, and poor Nibs would look at the two of them in total befuddlement (he was good at that anyway!), like "What are you guys on about? I don't get it!" and then he'd sit down with his back to Gryph, with his very active tail a-swishin', and get it "killed" by his loopy brother.

These days everybody responds, but they also like honeysuckle.
post #11 of 16
My Zane is completely indifferent to catnip.

Does anyone know, are other felines affected by catnip? I'd like to see--from a safe distance!--a tiger or a leopard on a catnip jag. (Or, perhaps, a jag on a jag.)
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Apparently there is a gene that determines whether a cat reacts to catnip or not. If the cat doesn't have the catnip gene, they won't react. I also heard that cats born in Asia don't have this gene at all. Not sure if that is true or not, but I think I did read that here on this forum.


I've heard the same. And I guess the reasoning behind cats in Asia not being interested in catnip is that catnip does not grow native to Asia, so no need for that gene to be present.
post #13 of 16
The majority of mine love catnip but then again, most of them came from the same feral colony so they might be genetically related. The motto in my house is: Catnip, it's not just for breakfast anymore.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
I've heard the same. And I guess the reasoning behind cats in Asia not being interested in catnip is that catnip does not grow native to Asia, so no need for that gene to be present.
Hmmm, Murray is a Siamese, so maybe that explains his lack of interest in catnip.
post #15 of 16
Zane looks just like a common grey tabby, but I've always suspected that he has some Siamese blood in him, as he is very, very vocal. He's also unaffected by catnip, so that may be another bit of evidence.
post #16 of 16
Interesting. The non-responder I mentioned, Nibs -- Siamese. I wonder if there IS a connection?
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