We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Safe Is Catnip for Kittens?

Nicole Madison
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Catnip is a perennial herb, which means it grows through more than one growing season, and it contains an ingredient called nepetalactone. It is this naturally occurring chemical that kittens and cats react to by becoming more active, purring, and rolling, or even licking and drooling — some may eat the catnip as well. This is generally safe, as catnip isn't toxic. It is generally considered safe to use catnip for kittens, but it is important to note that some cats may not prove very interested in the herb, especially kittens that are younger than two to three months old and some elderly cats.

Often, people question whether it is safe to use catnip for kittens for a couple of reasons. First, they may question whether a kitten's system will prove more vulnerable to something harmful that could be in the catnip. Second, they may wonder whether any ingredients in the catnip could be generally harmful. The good news is, catnip is non-toxic to cats of any age, including kittens.

One thing that is important to note about using catnip for kittens is that some may attempt to eat it in addition to just sniffing it or playing with it inside of a pet toy. Eating a small amount of catnip is unlikely to cause a cat any harm. If the cat eats it in extremely large amounts, however, he may vomit or develop diarrhea. Still, it is unlikely to cause any serious or lasting effects when it is ingested.

Scientists believe that the chemical nepetalactone is responsible for the cats' favorable responses to catnip, as it produces the same sort of reactions as sex pheromones in cats and kittens. The reactions, however, may vary from kitten to kitten. Some may seemed lulled by it while others become very excited and frisky. Many cats like to rub or roll over catnip or an item containing it, and paw or claw at it. Additionally, some become very jumpy and playful in its presence, and many lick, sniff, and nibble on it as well.

Despite the fact that using catnip for kittens is considered safe, it is important to note that some cats may not seem as interested in it as others. For example, kittens who are younger than about two to three months old are often disinterested in it. Likewise, elderly cats may not seem as interested as younger cats.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a All Things Nature writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By stoneMason — On Nov 22, 2013

Every cat is a little different. Some kittens don't like catnip until they're older, others start playing with it when they're around 3 months.

I know that catnip is safe for kittens but I don't give it to my kitten because I don't want to expose him to it just yet. I only use catnip to help my cats relax when they're home alone, when we have to travel, or see the vet.

Also, catnip doesn't make all cats relax. Some cats become aggressive and overactive with catnip. Kittens are already very active so I don't think they need additional stimulation.

By donasmrs — On Nov 21, 2013

@SarahGen-- Can you call your vet and ask? And can you call the manufacturer to ask about the catnip?

Usually the catnip in toys is just dry catnip leaves. It's not a problem if cats eat a little bit of it.

I'm actually surprised that your kitten reacted to the catnip because most kittens don't. How many months is she? My cat was well over a year when he started reacting to loose catnip and catnip toys. He didn't care at all until then.

By SarahGen — On Nov 20, 2013

My kitten was playing with a catnip toy a few hours ago. The toy tore and some catnip came out. By the time I took the toy and cleaned up the catnip, she ate a little bit of it. Should I be worried?

She is fine right now, she doesn't appear sick. But I'm worried about the type of catnip in the toy.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a All Things Nature writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.