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Catnip?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was just wondering if catnip might help a cat with chronic kidney disease who has nausea and poor appetite?  Her appetite has been a lot better since starting on Pepcid, but today she has no interest in food for some reason, so I'm worried.  Was thinking maybe the minty nature of catnip might help...Anyone have any luck with that?  Any other ideas?  Thanks.  

post #2 of 15

It wouldn't hurt to try.

Catnips effect on cats is somewhat similar to marijuana in humans as they are from a similar family of herb. Marijuana generally has a bad rep but it is extremely useful in treating nausea, loss of appetite, pain, and a bunch of other things in humans, and is often prescribed to cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy as well as people with AIDS to help them keep their down food, reduce nausea, and increase their appetite.... so catnip should provide some similar benefits for your cat.

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peachesxo View Post

It wouldn't hurt to try.

Catnips effect on cats is somewhat similar to marijuana in humans as they are from a similar family of herb. Marijuana generally has a bad rep but it is extremely useful in treating nausea, loss of appetite, pain, and and a bunch of other things in humans, and is often prescribed to cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy as well as people with AIDS to help them keep their down food, reduce nausea, and increase their appetite.... so catnip should provide some similar benefits for your cat.

Medical Marijuana is in fact legal in my state of Colorado for several conditions, including severe pain.  It appears Colorado may be the first state to legalize marijuana next Tuesday.  But that's another post....

 

My cats go crazy over catnip;

700

As you can see from Mr. Clancy in this photo.....

 

I keep it growning outside in the garden, it comes back every year, and I also keep a pot in the house. 

 

My Toby suffered from CKD (and he also loooooooooooooved catnip).  He crossed the rainbow bridge last May, not from CKD. Catnip was one of his last 'meals'.  One of the things that made a huge difference in Toby living comfortably for years after his CKD diagnosis was getting him on sub-q fluids at home.  There are many threads on this site for ideas on diet as well to treat CKD.

 

I say by all means, the catnip can't hurt and it will probably make your cat happy!

post #4 of 15

Here is an excerpt from an article that I recently read.  I'm not real familiar with the site or it's validity but I have no reason to doubt this information.  I guess take it with a grain of salt ;)

 

Excerpt: "Catnip effects in cats can be compared to the usage of marijuana. In fact, catnip is actually a relative of the marijuana family; though related in a far off manner. The general purpose of catnip is to give your cat a natural high that he will enjoy during playtime. And according to recent findings, it appears to have no detrimental effects on your cat; only funny and incidental effects."

 

http://www.vetinfo.com/catnip-effects-cats.html
 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks, all, for the good info.  I've sort of heard about the similarity to marijuana before, so makes sense.  In fact, I think I have some catnip tea in my cupboard somewhere - supposed to be good for insomnia or something like that?  Or maybe it works differently in humans?  Anyway, got a little 9 lives Chicken and Tuna Dinner down her tonight.  Should I try mixing a little catnip in her food, do you think?  She won't eat it by herself the way she is now.  She's never been wild about it... But if you think it'll help her tummy, will put a little in her food. 

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elssa View Post

Thanks, all, for the good info.  I've sort of heard about the similarity to marijuana before, so makes sense.  In fact, I think I have some catnip tea in my cupboard somewhere - supposed to be good for insomnia or something like that?  Or maybe it works differently in humans?  Anyway, got a little 9 lives Chicken and Tuna Dinner down her tonight.  Should I try mixing a little catnip in her food, do you think?  She won't eat it by herself the way she is now.  She's never been wild about it... But if you think it'll help her tummy, will put a little in her food. 

Have you ever tried fresh catnip?  You can usually find it at Petsmart or similar places My cats eat their catnip fresh.  The dried might be stale.  Some cats like it fresh, some dry. I've heard the Kong is good for dry. Mine are spoiled and only like it fresh, they won't touch the dry other than their toys. 

 

She might also like wheat grass to help with digestion.  You can grow both these items at home.

 

I wouldn't mix it in her food, IMO.  She probably will just not eat her food, which is the last thing you need.  There is lots of good infomation on TCS for managing CKD with diet, you may want to look into that as well.

 

Meanwhile, I believe catnip has a different effect on humans.  It's more of a calming effect so the tea would be good for insomnia.

post #7 of 15
Cat nip can definitely help with your kitty's appetite, if she likes cat nip, and I have actually discovered recently that it can help with indigestion too. The other day when Mazy was showing signs of some tummy upset (licking her lips and swallowing a lot) I gave her a bud of fresh dried cat nip (I grow my own) instead of the pepcid I would normally give her when I see that, and it really seemed to help.

Note: I am not advising you to give cat nip in place of pepcid for your kitty. My CKD kitty angel.gif took pepcid every day too, and at the time, my vet did advise me to give her cat nip for her appetite too.

Other ideas: warm up the food, and feed very small portions more often, don't leave the food sitting out. Whatever she leaves, take it up, wait a half hour, warm it up and offer it again.

PS I notice it's been a few hours since you wrote this. Has she eaten anything yet? If she doesn't eat by tomorrow, I advise you to call the vet. Is she getting hydration fluids?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, as sometimes happens, her appetite picked up late in the day.  She ate almost a whole can of 9 lives, which I don't usually give her because it's not supposed to be top quality, but it's gluten free, so being desperate I tried it and she had most of the can.  She refused regular food like Tiki-Cat chicken & salmon and Fancy Feast chicken, but just glad she had something.  She refused the plain tuna for lunch that she always gulps down, so I started to panic then, but now later in the day she's got most of her appetite back.  Well, like I said, she was never a huge catnip fan, but I gave her a new catnip toy and she rested her head on it, and maybe I'll try a small sprinkle of it in her food.  Just ordered organic catnip..  She also had some fresh cooked chicken tenderloin that I cut up from my dinner. 

 

I always try to chop up some Pepcid and give her that mixed in the food, but sometimes like now she won't swallow it.  Must taste pretty bitter and maybe even smell so.  Other times, it goes down in the mix of food, but not today or other times.  Even if I chop it up, her nose knows it's in there and it must taste terrible.  Well, I'm relieved she ate a decent amount today, and I gave her a full bowl of water as well, so it might be okay.  If her appetite stays good, will try a bit of catnip mixed in.  If she doesn't like it, willl stop that right away. 

 

BTW, I tried that catnip tea for insomnia a while ago and I think it made me more hyper than sleepy.. go figure. lol. 

post #9 of 15

I have never tried using catnip to stimulate my cats' appetites, but I haven noticed that when I give Alafair catnip she starts to eat it after awhile.  She is an old girl who has had some scares with eating/her kidney problems, so I have wondered if catnip would help stimulate her appetite if she were to ever stop eating again.  She wasn't living with me last year when she began having big problems and stopped eating, but with the help of fluids and an appetite stimulant pill that the vet prescribed her she completely bounced back.  If (or when) she experiences the same symptoms I would not think twice about mixing catnip into her food to see if that encourages her to eat.  Whether or not it would help is another matter, but I think that in such situations it is worth a try.
 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, Gwen is about 18 years old now..  The Pepcid worked well for quite a while, but I know it tastes bitter (tried it myself), and sometimes she just refuses to eat food with even the smallest chunk of famotidine in it.  I would think that catnip would be less distasteful to her though, especially a little mixed in food.  I know that when I have a little spearmint, gum form or otherwise, my tummy troubles usually settle down.  Thanks again.  :)

post #11 of 15
Some cats really don't tolerate their food messed with. I'm so happy to hear that she ate, but I recommend finding another way to give her the pepcid, just pop it down her throat before she eats, and I would give her the cat nip before the food too. You can try it in her food, but...it doesn't sound like she appreciates having her food messed with. Let us know if it helps!
post #12 of 15
I want to add to this thread that I have once again experienced cat nip at work helping with an upset tummy. That's the third time in a month that Mazy has shown signs of tummy upset/indigestion/imminent vomiting, that I gave her a catnip bud instead of a pepcid and she was better immediately.

Incredible!

I'm using the buds, I don't know if leaves have the same effect.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post

I want to add to this thread that I have once again experienced cat nip at work helping with an upset tummy. That's the third time in a month that Mazy has shown signs of tummy upset/indigestion/imminent vomiting, that I gave her a catnip bud instead of a pepcid and she was better immediately.
Incredible!
I'm using the buds, I don't know if leaves have the same effect.

 

The active ingredient in catnip is Nepelalactone and is found in the leaves and stems.  I would imagine the active ingredient would be more concentrated in the bud.  Unfortunately, my cats mow it down before any buds form.  I give them free access to fresh.  I will try to grow some more and keep it out of reach and see if I can get it to flower.  Probably will be difficult at this time of year as I'm on the shady side.

 

A helpful catnip link...

http://www.cat-world.com.au/all-about-catnip

post #14 of 15
I grow it in my yard. They make forts of it in the summer time, and chew on the stalks. It's a hardy weed, so it survives and thrives in spite of the activity it receives from the cats. (I take them out in a fenced yard, in harness)
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post

I grow it in my yard. They make forts of it in the summer time, and chew on the stalks. It's a hardy weed, so it survives and thrives in spite of the activity it receives from the cats. (I take them out in a fenced yard, in harness)

 Sorry to be a thread hijackerhijack.gif but I am fascinated in the subject and almost started a Catnip thread myself.  thanks.giffor starting this thread Elssa!

 

Catnip is very hardy once you get it started.  I live at almost 9'000 altitude and it keeps coming back stronger each summer.  Unfortunately, up here it never buds because the summers aren't long enough.  So mine gladly settle for the leaves. I live out in the sticks and my oldest cat Cricket goes outside with me.  Sometimes he will  just roll around in the catnip and get covered in dirt in the process.  It's hilarious wink.gif

 

A few summers ago, I had a share in fresh produce down in Denver.  I would go every week to pick up veggies and herbs, and they had catnip.  I had never seen such a huge plant!  It was a bush, about 6' tall, full of light lavender flowers. Very fragrant too.  I took as much as I could.  Toby was still alive then and he and Cricket went absolulely wild.   They both got so uncontrollably silly I though they overdosed, lol.  The morning my Tobyrbheart.gif passed, the only thing he would eat was a small catnip leaf.  He passed just a little hour after his final meal.

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