Do bengal cats like catnip

Do Bengal Cats Like Catnip?

  • January 31, 2023

Catnip can be a blast for a cat affected by it and its owner or other watchers. A crazy cat, especially when it’s an already high-energy Bengal, can bring tons of fun to the cat(s) and those around it as they watch the cat have fun. But when taking the differences between a Bengal and another domestic cat into account, can these genetic differences effect whether Bengals will enjoy catnip the same as a Ragdoll, Manx, or Bombay? Let’s take a look into this concept with these topics:

  • Does catnip affect Bengals?
  • How does catnip work?
  • Ways for a Bengal to enjoy catnip.

Does catnip affect Bengals?

Worry not, Bengals are affected by catnip the same as any other breed of domestic(ated) cat. They have the same types of reactions to catnip as other breeds and enjoy it in the same sort of ways.

But when it comes to catnip, owners and prospective owners need to remember how often catnip doesn’t affect cats. According to Drs. Foster and Smith, up to a third of adult cats, in which the gene is not present, are totally unaffected by catnip. These cats will show no interest in catnip at all.

Kittens under 3 months of age do not usually react to catnip, either. But they may start reacting to catnip as early as 2 months old but likely will not have a reaction to it until they reach 6 months old. However, if they don’t start reacting to it at or after 6 months of age likely are not genetically predisposed to the catnip reaction gene(s) and never will react to it.

Bengals and other breeds of cats who don’t react to catnip at or beyond the age of 6 months are those who are not genetically predisposed to reacting to catnip. These Bengals, for instance, will simply never show interest in catnip.

How does catnip work?

Catnip, or nepeta cataria as it’s known in the botanical world, is a treasured toy/treat by many cat owners because of its reaction in cats. The nepetalactone in catnip is a naturally occurring chemical that also acts as a natural insect repellent, repelling aphids, flies, mosquitoes, and termites.

When sniffed, nepetalactone bonds with chemical receptors in the nose that stimulates neurons in the brain, causing a reaction. When reacting, a cat will typically roll, rub, paw, lick, chew, or eat the catnip. Eating it may cause a cat to drool and become tired, even falling asleep in the leftover nip. Other reactions to catnip include a cat running and jumping on or attacking invisible prey with or without becoming move vocal. Some cats might growl, bite, or hiss when reacting to catnip.

Reactions usually last between 5 and 15 minutes when the smell doesn’t come off as strongly to the cat, the reactive properties of catnip then losing their potency over the cat until it’s nose takes a break from catnip and will react again.

The effects of catnip on a cat are not fully known but it is theorized to do to a cat what LSD or marijuana does to a human.

Remember, there is no scientific evidence that catnip is habit forming, so it is safe to give to cats, even daily.

Ways for a Bengal to enjoy catnip.

The first and most obvious way for a cat to enjoy catnip is plain. Just laying out some catnip in a safe location, such as on the floor, the middle of a large surface, or somewhere close to the ground.

Preventing the cat from falling while having fun, like putting catnip on the top of a cat tree or other high surface is important. Always keep the cat’s safety in mind for it because it will be too distracted by the catnip to watch out for itself.

Laying the catnip out in a large and open space can also make it easier for multiple Bengals or multiple cats to enjoy the catnip together.

Want to see a Snow Bengal playing in some plain catnip? Check out the video below for some catnip involved fun!

There are toys made that dispense catnip as the cat plays with it. Giving one of these a try can help to prolong their fun while playing, getting it some exercise (something that is very important when living with a Bengal), and focusing the cat’s attention on a specific thing. Toys like these can be a lot of fun, especially for an already high strung Bengal.

Another way to help a Bengal, or any cat, enjoy catnip is to bake it into homemade treats. There are recipes across the internet the combine catnip with cat treat favorites such as salmon, tuna, and chicken.

Enjoying catnip with other cat breeds can be as much fun as with a Bengal, maybe even more fun with this high-energy breed. And with varied methods in which to enjoy that time together, the fun can continue for year to come.

So, what do you think about a Bengal taste in catnip?  Do you agree with what was said here?  Comment below to let us know!

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