Is Catnip Bad For Pregnant Cats | Pregnant Cats and Catnip

Pregnancy is a delicate time for any living being, and when it comes to our furry feline friends, it’s no different. As cat owners, we’re always concerned about providing the best care for our pregnant cats.

Catnip is a common herb known to have a unique effect on cats. However, when it comes to pregnant cats, there may be concerns about the safety of catnip. 

In this blog post, I’ll explore “Is catnip bad for pregnant cats? So, if you’re curious to learn more about this intriguing subject, keep reading!

What is catnip?

Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, is a member of the mint family.  It is well-known for its ability to induce a euphoric response in cats, often resulting in playful behavior, rolling, and rubbing against the source of the catnip.

What is catnip?
What is catnip?

Catnip is generally considered safe for cats, including pregnant cats when used in moderation.

However, based on anecdotal evidence and veterinary advice, avoiding giving catnip to pregnant cats is generally recommended. 

Can a pregnant cat have catnip?

Can a pregnant cat have catnip? Is catnip bad for pregnant cats? These are common questions that cat owners often ask.

Basically, one of the main concerns about giving catnip to pregnant cats is the potential impact on their unborn kittens. 

Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone, responsible for its intoxicating effects on cats. 

It is unknown how this compound may affect the developing kittens in the womb. Therefore, it is best to avoid exposing pregnant cats to catnip to ensure the safety of the unborn kittens.

Lastly, being an informed and responsible cat owner means making choices that prioritize your cat’s health and happiness.

Does catnip work on big cats?

Have you ever wondered if catnip, that magical herb that drives your domestic feline friend into a frenzy, has the same effect on big cats?

The response to catnip is less predictable when it comes to larger felines. While most big cats, including lions, tigers, and cheetahs, possess the same receptors as domestic cats, their reactions to catnip vary. 

Some big cats respond similarly, exhibiting playful behaviour and rolling around when exposed to catnip. 

However, the intensity and duration of their reactions may differ from those of domestic cats. It’s important to note that not all big cats are attracted to catnip, and their responses can vary individually.

So, whether big or small, let’s continue to marvel at the mysterious allure of catnip and the enchanting behaviours it elicits in our feline friends.

When can cats use catnip?

Cats can use catnip as soon as they are 3-6 months old. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to when cats can use catnip. 

When can cats use catnip?
When can cats use catnip?

It is important to observe your cat to see how it reacts to it before giving it too much. 

Some cats may become very hyperactive and playful after eating catnip, while others may become more relaxed and sedated.

There are a few things to keep in mind when giving catnip to your cat:

  • Start with a small amount and see how your cat reacts.
  • Give catnip to your cat in a safe environment where they cannot injure themselves or others.
  • Do not give catnip to your cat if they are pregnant or nursing.
  • Do not give catnip to your cat if they have any underlying health conditions.

If you have any concerns about giving catnip to your cat, please consult with your veterinarian.

Why do people give cat catnip?

First, let’s dive into the science behind catnip and its effect on cats. Catnip contains nepetalactone, which acts as a natural stimulant for cats

Catnip is given to felines for several reasons, the most common being that many felines find it exciting and pleasurable. The following are some of the reasons why I give catnip to feline friends:

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) contains nepetalactone, which makes cats happy when ingested. It can benefit both the cat and the owner by causing felines to engage in comical behaviors, including rolling, rubbing, and pouncing.

It is often given to felines by their owners since it is thought to bring happiness and pleasure to many feline friends. The following are some of the reasons why catnip is given to feline friends:


Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, contains a compound called nepetalactone that can trigger a euphoric reaction in cats. 

Catnip causes cats to act out in amusing ways, such as rolling, rubbing, and pouncing, which can entertain the cat and its owner.

Stress Relief: 

Some cats may use catnip as a form of stress relief. Catnip’s relaxing qualities make it an excellent choice for easing stressed-out felines’ minds before a trip to the vet or traveling.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation: 

Cats can get exercise and mental stimulation by rolling around in catnip or playing with toys laced with the plant. 

They’ll have the inspiration they need to get moving, which is good news for their health and well-being.

Some cat owners use catnip as a calming aid during training sessions. Cat owners may use catnip to entice their feline friends away from the furniture and towards the scratching post or toy.

Moreover, some catnip products are too strong, so it’s essential to read labels carefully and talk to your doctor if you have any doubts about giving it to your cat.

How do we induce labor in cats?

Inducing labor in cats is typically recommended when there are concerns about the mother cat’s or her kittens’ health. 

How do we induce labor in cats?
How do we induce labor in cats?

Some common reasons include prolonged pregnancy, uterine infection, fetal distress, or when the mother cat is experiencing difficulty delivering the kittens naturally.

Methods for Inducing Labor in Cats:

It is crucial to note that a professional veterinarian should only decide to induce labor. They will assess the specific circumstances and determine the most suitable method for inducing labor. 

Here are a few standard methods:

1. Oxytocin Injections: 

Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a vital role in triggering contractions during labor. In cases where the cat’s labor fails to progress naturally, the veterinarian may administer oxytocin injections to stimulate uterine contractions and initiate labor.

2. Prostaglandin Injections: 

Prostaglandin is another hormone that can induce labor in cats. It helps to soften and dilate the cervix, promoting efficient delivery.

3. Manual Assistance: 

In some instances, the veterinarian may manually assist the delivery by manipulating the position of the kittens or gently extracting them to ensure a safe and successful birth.

Let’s talk about how catnip affects pregnant cats, as this is a topic we get a lot.

Is Catnip Bad for Pregnant Cats?

Although catnip is generally considered safe, nothing is known about how it can impact a pregnant cat or her kittens.

Is Catnip Bad for Pregnant Cats?
Is Catnip Bad for Pregnant Cats?

As a precaution, expectant mothers should avoid catnip and any items containing catnip.

Inducing labor in cats is a complex decision that should always be made under the guidance of a veterinarian. 

Whether it is a prolonged pregnancy or concerns for the mother cat’s or kittens’ well-being, the primary goal is to ensure a safe and successful delivery.

If you suspect your cat may require labor induction or have concerns about her pregnancy, consult your veterinarian immediately. They will provide guidance and support to ensure a positive outcome for your feline companion and her precious offspring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can catnip be given to pregnant cats? 

Veterinary also recommend to avoid giving catnip to pregnant cats. Catnip can sometimes stimulate a cat and make them more active, which may not be ideal for a pregnant cat. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving catnip to pregnant cats.

What should pregnant cats avoid? 

Pregnant cats should avoid certain things to ensure the health of the mother and her kittens:

  • Medications: Unless prescribed by a veterinarian, avoid administering medications to pregnant cats.
  • Stress: Minimize stressors like excessive noise, handling, or changes in their environment.
  • Raw meat: Raw meat may contain harmful bacteria, so it’s best to feed pregnant cats commercially prepared cat food.
  • Toxic plants: Keep toxic plants (like lilies) out of reach.
  • Litter box maintenance: Keep the litter box clean to prevent infections.

Does catnip affect female cats? 

Catnip primarily affects a cat’s sensory receptors and can induce behaviors like rolling, purring, and playful activity. However, as mentioned earlier, avoiding giving it to pregnant cats is generally advised due to the potential for increased activity and stimulation.

How can I relax my pregnant cat? 

To help relax a pregnant cat, you can:

  • Provide a quiet and safe environment with a comfortable place to rest.
  • Offer nutritious and high-quality cat food designed for pregnant or nursing cats.
  • Give her attention and gentle affection if she desires it, but avoid excessive handling.
  • Ensure she has access to clean water at all times.

Your pregnant cat may have special needs, so see your vet for tailored care and advice.

Final Verdict

It’s essential to exercise caution while dealing with pregnant cats with catnip.

There isn’t strong evidence that low-dose, infrequent exposure to catnip is intrinsically dangerous during pregnancy. 

However, you should still consider and discuss the risks with your vet. It is unknown how chemicals like catnip affect pregnant cats, but too much could potentially induce uterine contractions and put the growing fetuses at risk. 

So, a pregnant cat’s health concerns are best addressed by consulting a veterinarian who can provide specific treatment.

Pregnant cats and their kittens can both benefit from the specialized care that vets can provide.

About The Author

Jeremy D. Bissell

I've been researching and writing about cat food for over ten years, and I've learned a lot about the different types of food available and the nutritional needs of cats. I want to use this blog to help cat owners make informed decisions about their cats' diets

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