What Is Catnip?

Returning home, you put the groceries on the floor and pull out a bright red mouse toy. Little does your cat know it contains catnip. After you let your cat take a whiff, it rips it out of your hand and races around the house like a wild beast. What is catnip and why do some cats go crazy for it?

Catnip (Nepetacataria) is a plant in the mint family. It is native to Europe, Africa and Asia. It was imported to the U.S.A. originally, but now you can easily find it all over North America. You can even grow it in your garden!

It contains nepetalactone. This oil mimics feline pheromones and triggers their receptors. Not all cats react to it. Nepetalactone affects 50-75% of cats. Kittens and senior cats don’t seem to respond to it as much. Catnip is safe, fun, and not addictive. Other plants that have a similar effect are Valerian Root and Silver Vine.

There are two types of effects that can happen to cats. If inhaled, catnip produces a stimulant effect which can make cats more playful and excitable. If ingested, catnip produces a sedative effect that can make cats feel calm and relaxed. The effects of catnip last about 10-15 minutes. It takes a few hours for their brains to reset and enjoy it again.

From house cats to tigers, catnip can work. In fact, any animal in the Felidae family can feel the effects. Catnip can also be made into a tea for owners to enjoy. It shares the same calming properties as chamomile tea.

Written by: Adora Wesson, Veterinary Assistant




Kirsty's Farewell to CPVH

The past 5 years at Clayton Park Veterinary Hospital have been incredible. Exciting, fun, challenging, heartbreaking, eye-opening, stressful, and at times, difficult; but amazing. Every day that passes, I have fallen more and more in love with animal medicine.

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Last updated: September 13, 2021

Dear Clients,

The province of Nova Scotia will enter Stage 5 of the COVID re-opening plan on September 15. Here is what Stage 5 will look like at Clayton Park Veterinary Hospital:

  • Masks are required for all clients entering our hospital, as well as for all our staff
  • Telemedicine appointments are available to anyone who cannot wear a mask inside our hospital
  • 1 client per exam room allowed (exceptions will be made for end of life procedures)
  • Credit cards are the preferred method of payment
  • Curbside pickup of food and medication is still available. Please call ahead of time so that we can have your order ready upon your arrival. A reminder that we require 48 hours notice for food and prescription orders. To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".

    Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Clayton Park Veterinary Hospital