Can Cats Eat Fresh Catnip?

Cats and catnip have a long and storied relationship. Cat owners have been giving their feline friends catnip for centuries as they’re drawn to its unique smell and effects. But what is it exactly, and can cats eat it? In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about catnip and how to use it safely and effectively.

Can Cats Eat Fresh Catnip?

The answer is yes, cats can eat fresh catnip, although it is not recommended. Catnip is a plant belonging to the mint family, and it contains an essential oil called nepetalactone that cats find irresistible. In small doses, fresh catnip can be a safe and natural treat for cats. However, cats can easily overeat fresh catnip, and it can cause digestive upset. Additionally, fresh catnip can quickly become moldy, which can be dangerous for cats. For these reasons, it’s best to stick to the dried variety.

The Benefits of Catnip for Cats

Catnip is a great way to provide your cat with mental stimulation and extra enrichment. It can also be used to alleviate stress and anxiety in cats. Additionally, it has been found to have a calming effect, which can be beneficial for cats who are prone to scratching furniture or other destructive behaviors.

How to Prepare Fresh Catnip for Your Cat

If you do decide to give your cat fresh catnip, the best way to prepare it is to chop it up into small pieces and sprinkle it over their food. This will ensure that your cat is not overeating the catnip. You can also mix it into wet food, but be sure to keep an eye on your cat to make sure they don’t eat too much.

The Different Ways Cats Can Enjoy Catnip

Cats can enjoy catnip in a variety of ways. It can be sprinkled onto their scratching post or bedding, or it can be placed into a toy or ball. You can also purchase catnip-scented toys and treats. Additionally, cats can enjoy catnip in its dried form, which is available in many pet stores.

How to Grow Your Own Catnip

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can grow your own catnip at home. Catnip is a perennial plant, which means it will come back year after year. You can purchase catnip seeds online or from your local garden center. Once you have the seeds, you can plant them in a sunny spot in your garden. Be sure to water the plants regularly and keep them well-fed with compost.


Catnip can be a great way to give your cat some extra enrichment and enrichment. Whether you choose to give your cat fresh or dried catnip, make sure to monitor them closely to ensure they don’t overeat. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try growing your own catnip. No matter how you choose to give your cat catnip, they’re sure to love it!