How To Grow Catnip

Catnip is a common name used for Nepeta cataria which is a hardy perennial herb of the mint family. It is highly attractive and exciting for cats because of its pungent fragrance. 

Catnips usually, grow up to a height of three to four feet. It appears as light green foliage which has got small lavender flowers grown on its spikes up to five inches long. Catnip can grow almost in every soil but it grows best in moderately rich loam which is well-draining. It can grow acceptably in sun or shade.

HOW TO GROW CATNIP FROM SEEDS?

Catnip can be propagated very easily using seeds, stem cutting, or rootball division. But if you want to grow catnip by using its seeds, then it must be sown in rows late in fall or early in the spring. It must also be lightly covered.

 

When the seed is sown in fall, then the crops that are grown are usually denser. There must be a gap of about 15 to 18 inches between the two seeds. There are also other factors that we need to take care of while growing catnip. These factors are as below. 

  • Height of plant: The usual height of a catnip plant is from 3 to 4 feet.
  • Spacing between plants: Catnip seeds must be separated from each other by 15 to 18 inches.
  • Preferred pH range: Catnip can grow in a wide range of pH level which is from 6.1 (mildly acidic) to 7.8 (mildly alkaline).
  • Period of seed germination: The seed of Catnip starts germination in the soil in approximately 7 to 10 days. But if possible then it can also germinate in as few as 5 to 6 days in dedicated propagation media such as rapid rooters, oasis root cubes, or Grodan Stonewool.
  • Number of seeds per gram: Depending upon the varieties of catnip seeds, there are approximately 1000 to 1250 catnip seeds per gram.
  • Requirement of soil: Catnip grows really well in well-drained and average soils. 
  • Requirement of sunlight: Catnip grows well in full sunshine but it can tolerate some shade as well. 

HOW TO GROW CATNIP INDOORS?

There are a lot of hurdles that you can face while growing catnip indoors such as low light levels, lack of consistent watering, and cold air. However, your cat just like other cats absolutely loves catnip, so for their sake, you might be looking for ways in which how you can grow catnip indoors. Keep on reading to get some idea of how you can grow catnip inside your house.

Outdoors, it has got a lot of space to spread out easily. But if you want to grow it indoors, it can be grown successfully on a sunny windowsill, providing that you give it enough water. Also, you should always remember to pinch out the flowers in order to promote leaf growth. You can usually start pinching off leaves as soon as the plant attains a height of 6 to 8 inches. 

There are some conditions that you must take care of if you are planning to grow catnip indoors. Scroll down below to have a check on these conditions. 

 CONDITIONS FOR GROWING CATNIP INDOORS

  • Light: If you have planted catnip in your outdoor area, then you probably need not worry about the sunlight it receives. But when you plant it indoors, make sure that it gets as much as light possible, even up to 5 hours of strong sunlight is needed in a day which you can get on a bright windowsill. Too little amount of light will result in leggy growth.
  • Water: Catnip requires a very good supply of water but good drainage is also must for its growth. The plant tends to recover quickly from the wilt, so it will be best to err on the drier side rather than the wet one. This will encourage root rot.
  • Soil: Any soil can be used to grow catnip but the one that has good drainage will be helpful in growing denser catnip.
  • Fertilizer: You can also try to feed the catnip with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout its growing season for its better growth. 

TIPS FOR GROWING CATNIP INDOORS

Catnip can be a difficult plant to grow indoors. It thrives on sunny ledges, requires regular and ample of water, and also very good drainage is needed. If your plant grows some flowers, then snip off that flowers buds in order to encourage better and stronger leaf growth. However, indoor catnip will not have the same potency as outdoor catnip, but you catty can still enjoy it.

How To Use Catnip Extract

Catnip extract is a concentrated liquid form of catnip which is widely available in pet stores, health stores and online.

Usually available as a spray, the products developed especially for cats are inexpensive, non-toxic, easy to use and very versatile. If your cat responds well to catnip, it’s well worth trying one of these sprays out. They don’t usually have the same potent effects of catnip on cats that the fresh or dried plants do, but they should still give Kitty a nice little buzz and put him in a good mood!

Uses Of Catnip Plant Extract

Spray it on or around:

  • Kitty’s old toys to give them a new lease of life
  • Your cat scratching post (old or new) to encourage Kitty to use it
  • Your cat’s bed, especially if he won’t sleep on it. The smell of the catnip should encourage him to use it
  • The litter box, especially if it’s one Kitty is less keen on using

Extract of catnip can also be used for catnip tea and other medicinal catnip plant uses. The version designed for humans is available from health stores and online.

For your cat, I think it’s best to stick to products specifically designed for cats – that way you know that the extract hasn’t been mixed with anything that could be toxic to them.

It is possible to make concentrated liquid catnip yourself. I’ve never tried to do this, but I believe it takes a bit of time and requires some special equipment. As the spray can be bought so inexpensively I’d question the need to make it from scratch. 

Effects Of Catnip On Cats

We do often wonder about the fact that the owners of cats recreationally dose their pets with some psychoactive drug and of course by this we are talking about the catnip. It has been the only recreational drug that we do feed to our animals which makes them freak out. If you wonder how does catnip works on cats, then keep on reading. 

WHAT DOES CATNIP DO TO CATS OR HOW CATNIP AFFECTS CATS? 

When the smell of the catnip reaches the cats, they exhibit several sorts of behaviors. They may rub their whole body including their head on the herb, may jump and roll around it, salivate and vocalize. This behavior of the cats last for about 10 minutes and after that, the cats become immune to the effects of catnip for about 30 minutes. 

The responses that the cats show due to catnip are hereditary. There are only about 70 to 80 percent of the cats who show such type of behavior in the presence of the herb. Also, in addition, the catnip does not have an effect on kittens that are younger than six months.

IS CATNIP ADDICTIVE?

Many people do wonder if Nepeta cataria, which is known as the catnip, is addictive or dangerous for their cats. Well, luckily there is nothing to worry about it. Catnip is not addictive and has been proved harmless for most of the cats. But again one question arises in our minds that if catnip isn’t addictive then why do cats love catnip? Let’s find it out.

WHY DO CATS LOVE CATNIP?

Catnips contain a chemical known as nepetalactone, which attracts cats towards the catnip. Nepetalactone is similar to pheromone than a drug, which is why cats really can’t get addicted to it. Pheromone releases a chemical in the brain which isn’t habit forming but is more for enjoyment than anything else. 

While we don’t know the exact reason why cats are attracted towards catnip, but studies have shown that they are programmed to respond to catnip. Catnip serves as a great way to help cats in many ways such as to make them relax, unwind and to have some fun.

HOW DOES CATNIP WORK?

Nepetalactone, which is a chemical released from catnip, is one of the catnip’s volatile oil which generally enters the cat’s nasal tissues. From there it is believed to get bind to protein receptors which stimulate the sensory neurons.

 After that, these cells send its message to the responsive neurons in the olfactory bulb, which tends to project to several regions of the brain including the amygdala, responsible for controlling decision making and emotions and hypothalamus, known as the brain’s master gland, responsible for controlling the body. This is how catnip works on the cats when they have a smell of it. 

IS CATNIP GOOD FOR CATS?

For most of the cats, catnip is fun and enjoyment. Catnip isn’t dangerous and is also not addictive. Most of the cats are programmed to enjoy this catnip. But do you wonder what if your cat is consuming way too much of catnip? Scroll down below to check what if your cat consumes catnip in excess. 

IS CATNIP BAD FOR CATS?

Catnip is not bad for cats, but what if your cat is more likely to ingest catnip? If your cat is ingesting the catnip, then please do have a watch on how much she actually consumes it. Some cats do have a sensitive system which may result in their vomiting or diarrhea. 

In case, your cat likes to eat catnip, then cut it into very small pieces which become easier to digest but also always keep an eye on her when she snacks on it.

Where to Buy Catnip Seeds

Catnip is an easy to grow perennial herb. The plant is highly ornamental and who won’t love the heart-shaped grey-green foliage which is sheer fragrant? The showy clusters are held on the brunch, which is generally o0f white or lavender in color. And what about the usage?
The leaves of this plant are used to make teas for an upset stomach. Be it fresh or dried, the leaves are always helpful for nervous headaches and cold too.

But where to buy catnip seeds, if you want to grow them at your courtyard and all by yourself? Before you buy them, you must know how to grow them instead.

LIST OF BEST CATNIP SEEDS TO BUY

SEEDNEED CATNIP SEEDS

These Non-GMO catnip seeds come in colorful labeling and with all the instructions you need to know while planting them. All the seeds are produced from open-pollinated plants. The best time to grow these seeds is at the end of winter or in early spring.

CATNIP PLUS

Catnip plus is a fun and irresistible thing for your cat. This pack contains premium catnip seeds for your cat. The flavor ensures that your cat loves and go nuts for it. The ingredients are pine bark, hardwood charcoal, planta gel, etc. Planta gel is a water absorbing agent, which keeps the seeds moist. You can grow these seeds straight from the container.

This is from Miracle Care and is the best buy for beginners who want to try their hands-on growing catnip. You can even store some seeds for future use.

CATNIP SEEDS BY POWER GROW

This is another catnip brand you can give a try to. This product is also Non-GMO and nontoxic and is completely easy to grow at your house.

Benefits of the catnip seeds you buy from power grow:

  • They are Non-GMO and are organic
  • This is a hardy herb that can be used for your cat and for your tea
  • There is a large number of catnip seeds come along with the pack
  • Some Information you need to know to germinate the Catnip seeds effectively:

CATWEED CATNIP

This product is a premium quality of catnip seeds. This is freshly grown in Canada and promises the best quality being free from any additives or preservatives. These seeds are collected from the harvested plants and at the highest peak of the season. These seeds are entirely safe for your kitten. This product is appropriate for storing for a more extended period, it stays fresher even after years.

Though you can expect every seed, you buy to turn out to be a plant. There are some tips and tricks to help your seeds to get germinated and grow out as a plant.

  • Damage the seeds slightly before planting. The way helps the seeds to get germinated quickly. For best result, place the seeds in the freezer and then put the seeds in a bowl full of water for 24 hours. The coat of the seeds will get damaged that way, and it will help the seeds to get sprouted quickly.
  • Drain the soil well, before you plant the catnip seeds. Don’t use any additional fertilizer to take care of your plants, to decrease the potency of aroma and flavor of the plant.
  • Remove the flowers from the plant, by cutting the plant into half before they start to seed. Catnip plants grow invasively.

TAKEAWAY: Growing the catnip plants can be rewarding. Now when you know how to germinate the catnip seeds and grow the catnip plants at home by self-care, you can enjoy the excellent herb. The seeds come in different packages depending upon the number of seeds inside the bag. You can buy as per your requirement and availability of soil space you have.

What is Catnip

Are you wondering about that plant like stuff that drives your cat crazy? Well, then you are on the right platform. We are here to talk about that plant like stuff only. Your cat generally knows that stuff by the name of CATNIP or CATMINT.

Catnip has derived its name from the Latin name or scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, which is a member of the mint family or Lamiaceae. It has been originated from Asia, Europe, and Africa and now it has been spread all over the world and basically grows like a weed. In many gardens, catnip is used also used as an ornamental plant because it is deer resistant, drought tolerant and also repels many insects.

Nepetalactone has been found in the stems and leaves of catnip. When these catnips come close to the cats, it gets binds to the receptors on the sensory neurons those lines in the nasal cavity. These neurons project the message to the neurons that are located in the olfactory bulb. This, in turn, activates the different areas that control emotions and behavior in the different areas of the brain.

When we bring catnip near the cat, it smells it and usually begins to lick, chew, rub against and also begins to rolls around the plant. Some cats show different behavior from others, like some cat’s meow or run wildly around the plant whereas some drool or become docile and sedate. However, the type of exact behavior of a cat depends upon the amount of catnip inhaled or consumed.

What is Catnip

More the cat inhales the catnip or consumes it, stronger is its effect. In fact, some cats become too anxious and even get a bit of aggressiveness. Fortunately, the effect of this inhaled smell lasts for about 5 to 15 minutes only. After that, the cat loses its interest and takes a rest of about 2 hrs in order to get repeated with the same response.

However, it is amazing to know that fact that not all the cats show their response towards these catnips. This response is usually hereditary. According to some research, about 70 to 80 percent of the cats show response to the catnips. Out of this ration the cats that are younger than six months and the cats that are very old, are not likely to respond to these catnips.

Are you wondering that why do catnips hold the power over the cats? Well, we have already discussed the fact, that the plant contains nepetalactone, which gets into the brain of the cat through its sensory nerves. Once these responses get to the brain, it is difficult to tell what goes in there because we don’t have complete neurological knowledge about the behavior of the cat.

Besides giving the craziest response to the cats, these catnips are usually not harmful to the cats. Although sometimes cats go mad over these catnips, these are not at all addictive for the cats. So if your cat enjoys catnip a lot, then you don’t need to worry about it. Sit back and let your cat have a great time enjoying the catnips.

Besides giving Kitty pleasure, catnip has a number of other uses, some of which may surprise you. Please click on the text links below for further information on anything that interests you.

Effects of Catnip on Cats

Catnip Plant Uses

Catnip Extract Uses

How to Grow Catnip

When to Harvest Catnip

Where to Buy Catnip Seeds

Catnip Plant Uses: What is Catnip used for

You have probably seen the cats getting crazy about the catnips. They chew, lick and roll around these catnip herbs very often. Most of you might think that these catnips are just for the cat. Besides from attracting cats towards them, it has got several other benefits that you must not be aware of.

Catnips can be simply applied via their leaves or the essential oil, whereas the catnip tea which is brewed from it leaves is also very popular. Catnip essential oils and extracts are very popular for their uses. They can be generally used in tea, juices, salves, tinctures and even as an herb to be smoked or smoking catnip.

However, if you want to know some detailed knowledge about what is catnip used for, then go through the below points. Catnip has got some really good uses that will surprise you a lot. Scroll down and get to know some interesting benefits of catnip.

Benefits of Catnip

DIFFERENT USES OF CATNIP FOR CATS

  • Provides relief from stress: Researchers have suggested that when catnip can provide relief from stress as well as can reduce chronic anxiety in both cats as well as humans when it is consumed either in the form of tea and juices or smoked just like an herb. Catnips can also help in improving the immune system and can reduce the secondary symptoms of chronic stress.
  • Helps in the treatment of skin problems or act as a skin soother: Catnip is considered as a good repellant for bugs but the organic compound that is present in it helps in soothing the bug bits and even helps in relieving irritation on the skin. If you apply extracts or salves to the irritated skin or broken skin, then it can speed up the healing process and will also reduce inflammation quickly.

So, if you little furry is scratching too much her skin, then according to the researchers it is good to provide her a catnip tea bath. This will calm her skin. This treatment also does works for human beings as well.

  • A very good training tool for your cat: Many experts around the world recommend using catnip to train the cats because they have a very strong reaction towards the catnip herb. If your little furry friend is getting too lazy in the bed and not warming up at all, then sprinkle a tiny bit of catnip and see how active your catty becomes after that.

Sometimes cats are used to ruin the beautiful furniture of the house by their claws. To prevent that put some catnip on the scratching post so that your cat puts its claws on the post and not on the furniture.

  • It may help you to deal with digestive problems: Researches has shown the catnip is responsible to get you relief from upset stomach, spasms, colic, and stomach acidity. Catnip is mixed in the sleep tea which is then used to address digestive issues that are likely to put the impact on your sleep.

When you catty overeat sometimes, after consuming herbs, she is likely to vomit out the overeaten stuff because cat’s digestive systems are not designed to take herbs. Therefore, eating catnip will help your cat to get the excess out of her and feel relaxed. Catnip also helps in the digestive problems of humans.

USES OF CATNIP FOR HUMANS

Catnip Medical Uses
  • It can help you with conditioning your hair: Catnip is also believed to condition, strengthen as well as promote hair growth. The reason behind this can be the presence of high levels of antioxidants in it.

Also, in order to make your own conditioner with catnip, take two teaspoons of dried catnip and boil them in about 16 ounces of water. Keep it as long as you want it or until it cools down. Wash your hair and rinse your hair with this tea. You will find your hair will become softer, shinier and healthier.

  • Provides relief from menstrual cramps: For those women who suffer a lot during their menstrual period, catnip tea is often recommended as an alternative treatment for their menstrual cramps. Besides giving relief from menstrual cramps, its sedative and calming effects help in soothing many symptoms of menstruation such as depression and mood swings.
  • You can even bath with it: Using tea bags to make a catnip tea bath will help you get relief from the aches and the pains that are caused by the flu. Also, the antibacterial properties of the catnip make it suitable even for avoiding infections on the cut.
  • Headache reliever: According to the researchers, catnip has been proved to be an effective treatment for headache or even chronic migraine. Drinking catnip tea, rubbing its essential oil on the affected area or rubbing the leaf of catnip on the temples will provide you quick relief from headache.
  • It speeds up the healing process: When someone is suffering from cold or flu, one of the fastest ways to recover is to induce sweating and get the toxins flushed out of your system. Same way catnip helps in inducing sweating, which speeds up the healing process. That is why it is often recommended as an alternative for the treatment of the common cold.

OTHER GENERAL USES OF CATNIP

  • It helps in repelling cockroaches and mosquitoes: Planting catnip in your garden can be of your great use as it a very good insect repellant. Some researchers have proved that nepetalactone, the essential oil that is found in catnip, is about 10 times more effective in repelling mosquitoes than the DEET, the compound which is used in commercial insect repellants.
  • Catnip attracts butterflies, bees and birds: If you want to attract butterflies, bees, and bird to your beautiful garden, then there is no better idea than to plant catnips in your garden. Do plant the catnips where you need pollination and they will come. Also, the hardy plant looks very decorative in the garden.
  • Catnip can be used in cooking too: Catnip is an herb that belongs to the mint family. Many creative cooks add catnip to almost everything they make from salads to soups to marinade.

CATNIP SIDE EFFECTS

Are you wondering whether these catnips can hurt your cat? Well, there is nothing to worry about as such because researchers have suggested that cats are unlikely to take an overdose of catnip because they inherently get to know that they’ve had enough of it.

But in case, your little furry friend does overdose on these catnips, and then she might be likely to face problems like upset digestion, diarrhea, and vomiting. If your cat gets sicker, then it’s better to take her to her vet for the better treatment.

Some cautions to use catnips: For the people who are suffering from liver and kidney disorder, consuming catnip tea can be risky. Furthermore, pregnant women should also stay away from this because it can induce premature labor in pregnant women. Other than these specific concerns, catnip is usually non-allergic and harmless.

These all were the surprising catnip’s medicinal uses. This proves the fact that catnip is not just for the cats but human also does have some amazing benefits if they use catnip as catnip tea, juices or even if they consume it as it is.

How And When To Harvest Catnip

Do you want to make your cat happy? Well, if that’s the case then growing catnips can be a great option for you. Catnip is one of the most favorite plants of the cats and it gives drug-like sensation to the cat. Catnip is a type of herb which is famous for its euphoric effect of the various cats. Also, these catnips have got sedative effects on humans.

Catnips are extracted as essential oils and can be used in the making of tea also. Catnips, when added to medicines, are used in treating various health issues such as headaches, helping with anxiety, nausea or sleep disorders. The fragrance of its flower also attracts bees and other pollinators, which are proven great for the environment.

Are you looking for ways of harvesting these catnips? Well, that’s super easy to grow, since it belongs to a mint family. Below are given some of the methods on how you can easily plant these catnips.

GROWING CATNIPS BY USING SEEDS

  • First of all purchase seeds: You can buy seeds of catnip or small catnip plants which are ready for planting. Also, you can get the catnip seeds from the pet store. In case, you want to save your money, then you can also ask for these seeds from your friend or someone you know who has already grown catnip.
  • Directly plant the seeds in the garden in spring: If you are wondering that when you can grow plant these catnips, then spring is the best suitable season to grow it. In case, you are going to plant seeds directly into your outdoor area, then sow them as soon as the threat of frost has passed away.

You should bury the seeds at least 3.5 mm beneath the soil and the required spacing between the seeds must be at least 15 inches apart. You must water these seeds well during their germination period which lasts about 10 days. After that, you will begin to see sprouts coming out.

  • Sowing seeds indoors in fall or spring: In case, you want to sow the seeds indoors, then both spring and fall can be the suitable season to grow them. Make use of the small pots or seeds troughs to plant them in. Make sure that wherever you place them, they must get enough sunlight.

If you are not able to provide enough sunlight, then you can use the fluorescent lamp in that case. Water them regularly while they are germinating. In case, you are sowing seeds in spring, then wait for the plant to grow at least 4-5 inches tall and then transplant it outdoors when the threat of frost has passed away.

If you have chosen the falls to grow up your seeds, then it is required that the seeds get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. After that, you can transplant them outdoors in spring or with no danger of any frost when they are grown enough. The catnips that are grown in falls are denser and bushier than the ones grown in spring.

Catnip Plant Care – How to dry Catnip

PLANTING YOUR SEEDLINGS

  • Plant in full sun if you are not living in very a hot and dry location: As I told you earlier that the catnip plants require 6 hours of sunlight daily, but if you are living in an extremely hot and dry place, then plant them in a place where they can get shade after the afternoon sunshine. Extreme sunshine for a long period of time can damage the plant.
  • Space plants at least 18 to 20 inches apart: The soil you are using to grow catnip should allow draining; it shouldn’t be too rich or compacted. Young seedlings require ample room to grow in, leaving at least about 18 to 20 inches of space between them. At first, they will appear thin, but after they get a room or space to grow, they soon fill out space.

Catnip can grow in almost every sort of soil, but sandier soil tends to yield plants that are more aromatic. Water the plant regularly until they are grown. But after they have grown enough, water them only when the soil is dry and also only to few inches below the surface.

  • You can also, consider planting in pots: Once the catnips start growing, they are unstoppable and occupy the whole space of your garden. In case, you want to avoid this, you can create a controlled space in your garden by using permanent divider stones. But if you don’t have that option, then you can use some containers or pots as well.

Placing the pots containing the plants beneath the soil will help in controlling their roots and will prevent them from wandering all over in the garden. Pull the extra shots and the spouts as soon as they grow near the pot or inside the pot as well.

HARVESTING AND MAINTAINING THE CATNIP

  • Deadhead and shear the plants in order to promote the new growth: Shearing plants will result in bushier plants that will produce flowers more consistently. In order to promote new growth, shear back the plant by about one-third and remove the dead and the dry leaves too.
  • Allow the soil to get dry between your watering periods: Catnip plant likes dry soil whereas its roots require a lot of moist soil. When you water the plant, the soil soaks all the water and sends them to roots. It is better to let the soil dry completely before you again start watering the plant.

Catnips are quite drought resistant and fairly hardy, so one must have to be more concerned about over-watering than to not watering them enough.

  • Keep your catty away from the growing catnips: We already know that cats are attracted towards catnips. But they can damage your growing plants. So to avoid this, you can use garden fencing, bracing and bamboo sticks in order to keep your cat away from the growing catnips.
  • Air drying leaves and harvesting: In order to harvest the plant, you can cut off the plant from its base or you can trim down the stalk to its base. Cutting just above a point where the leaf or leaves comes out from the stalk, will promote new growth. Air drying is considered as the best method in order to preserve the catnips.

How to Dry Catnip

In order to dry them, take the leaves of the plant and put them on a paper towel. Place this under the sunlight for about two to three days. Once they have dried, you can preserve or store them in an airtight container or Polybag.

Harvesting catnips is as easy as growing them. Make sure to keep your little growing catnips away from your cat. Once they have grown fully, you can dry and store them for your little furry friend and let her enjoy these catnips. Also read about what is catnip used for.

Feline Sneezing: What Causes Cat Sneezing?

Are you worried about your cat sneezing? Are you thinking about when to take your cat to a vet? Are you eager to know about the causes, symptoms, remedy, test, and medication for feline sneezing? Bang on! You are at the right place. In this article, we have listed various reasons why cats sneeze. We have also listed about what to be done if your dear cat has started sneezing a lot. Continue reading to learn everything about feline sneezing in detail.

Why is my cat sneezing?

Cats do sneeze like humans and if it is occasional then it is completely normal. But if the sneezing is more than usual, continuous and frequent then do not delay – take your cat for a checkup.

Feline’s sneeze for various reasons –

  • Sneezing can be a sign of health problems, but most of the time it is nothing to worry about.

Why do cats sneeze occasionally?

Like we humans, cats sneezing is an explosive release of air through the mouth and nose.

  • If there is any irritation inside the nasal passage, then sneezing is the way in which the body responds to the irritants.
  • Cats also sneeze when they are in excitement.
  • Some cats like Persian breed cats naturally sneeze more when compared to others; because this cat breed has a flat face and their nasal passage is small.
  • Cats also sneeze when there is inflammation in cats nose.

If sneezing is continuous and if you observe blood and watery eye while sneezing, and several other symptoms then check with your vet if treatment is required.

Common causes for sneezing in cats / stuffy nose:

There are various reasons that cause sneezing in cats. Some of the common causes includes:

  • Allergies
  • Tumors inside nasal passage
  • Fungal infection
  • Parasites
  • Dental abscess
  • Bacterial infection and
  • Viral infection

Viral infections are caused by the feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus.

Feline herpes virus: Herpes is contagious. (Please note: it is not contagious to humans)

Feline calicivirus: This is also contagious. This virus affects the respiratory tract. It can cause mouth ulcer and pneumonia.

Other types of infection which may lead to sneezing are listed below:

  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Chlamydia: this infection often produces an eye infection (conjunctivitis)
  • Bordetella
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): FIV is developed slowly, but it severely affects cat’s immune system and hence cats are more vulnerable to other infections
  • Feline leukemia: this infection is serious and fatal.
  • Mycoplasma

Things to observe/note when a feline is sneezing:

When you observe that your cat is sneezing, consider below mentioned points before you rush to a vet; because there are various other reasons for a cat to sneeze.

  1. Observe if your cat is sneezing more often.
  2. If your cats’ sneeze is more frequent and continuously when compared to other days, then he/she must be in trouble. Visit a vet as soon as possible before things get worst.
  3. Some cats like Persian breed cats naturally sneeze more when compared to other breeds; because this cat breed has a flat face and their nasal passage is small.

When is your cat sneezing?

Cats generally sneeze if there is any irritation inside the nasal passage which may be caused while sniffing around. This occasional sneezing accompanied by excessive shaking of the head and pawing at the nose with no other symptoms is the way in which the body responds to the irritants present inside the nasal passage.

When you observe that your cat is sneezing and if you feel that something (environmental irritants) is bothering him / her, then remove it and see if there is any improvement.

Foreign bodies which cause irritation in their nasal passages are:

  • Cat litter deodorizer
  • Dust
  • Powdery fine cat litter
  • Air freshener
  • Cleaning products which you may be used in household
  • Smoke from cigarette
  • Perfumes or deo
  • Pieces of pollens
  • Pebbles
  • Seeds
  • Grass
  • See if he/she have any other symptoms apart from sneezing?

If your cat is sneezing because of irritation inside the nasal cavity caused by sniffing, then you need not worry. But if you observe any other symptoms, then rush to the nearby vet before things get worst.

Why DO Cats Sneeze

Other then environmental irritants, your cat may be sneezing because of the reasons mentioned below.

  • Allergy: Cats can develop an allergy to certain things in the environment. It’s better to figure out the reason behind it so that you can eliminate it.

If your cat is sneezing because of allergy, then sneezing will be accompanied by other skin problems and your cat can be seen scratching; frequent rubbing and scratching will lead to hair loss.

  • Upper respiratory tract infection (URI) or cat flu:
    If your cat is down with flu and is suffering from upper respiratory tract infection (URI) then you can see your cat sneezing.

    Fever will be accompanied by thick nasal discharge, stuffy nose, discharge from eyes, loss of appetite and sores in the mouth. Stuffy nose is caused by calicivirus and herpes virus.

    Don’t wait; consult a vet because secondary infections need antibiotics to cure.
  • Dental problem:
    Feline sneezes if there is an infection inside the nose which is caused by dental issues like mouth infection etc.
    Examine if your cat’s mouth is reddish in color or if you can see ulcer inside his / her mouth.
    In such a condition, your cat will reduce eating and drinking.
  • Intranasal vaccination:
    Intranasal shots which are given to prevent or fight against respiratory infections can cause sneezing in cats. It lasts for a few days and goes away on its own. This type of sneezing does not require any treatment.
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and cat leukemia:
    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and cat leukemia can weaken the immune system of your cat and as a result, your cat can catch infections easily.

Cats suffering from feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and leukemia are prone to sinus and respiratory tract infection.

Symptoms of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV):

Some of the symptoms of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are enumerated below:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Poor appetite
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Discharge from eyes and nose

Symptoms of leukemia

Some of the symptoms / signs of leukemia (FeLV) are enumerated below:

  • Upper respiratory infection (URI)
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Mouth will be yellowish

To prevent your cat from serious infections, do not forget to give leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccination and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) vaccination.

What are the remedies to be taken if a cat is sneezing (if the cat is suffering from cold)?

Cat sneezing can lead to a stuffy nose. Mucus filled nose can be very irritating. Identify the main cause for your cat’s stuffy nose, so that you can treat it with medication or vaccination.

If your cat is suffering from a stuffy nose, then make sure to follow below mentioned points to ease their suffering.

  • Use a soft towel or a tissue to wipe the stuffy nose and eyes of your cat in order to keep it clean. Be gentle while you are cleaning.
  • Ensure your cat is drinking plenty of water.
  • Offer warm food and make sure your cat is eating.
  • If required give steam therapy to your cat. It helps to drain out the mucus from nostrils and makes it easier for them to breathe when their nose is stuffy. ( For steam therapy you can use vaporizer that produces warm moist air or you can place your cat in a steamy bathroom ).
  • Do not give any medicine without consulting your vet.

When to consult a vet if a cat is sneezing?

If you feel that your cat is suffering from any of these symptoms mentioned below, then take him/her to vet immediately.

  • Infection
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • If he/she is sneezing blood
  • If the discharge coming from nostrils is yellow or green in color.
  • If pus-like discharge comes out of the nasal passage.
  • Drooling
  • Wheezing
  • Squinting of eyes
  • Bloody discharge from nostrils
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling around the nose
  • Noisy breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Ulcer inside the mouth
  • Dehydration

Sneezing with stuffy nose along with above mentioned symptoms has to be treated with antibiotics and antifungal medication.

Treatment for sneezing (cold in cats):

Treatment for sneezing depends upon the root cause of it.

  • If the reason for sneezing is not serious then keeping your cat indoors and using humidifier will help.
  • If the reason is serious, then he/she should be treated with antibiotics, nasal decongestants, steroids, and fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • If your cat doesn’t respond to medical therapy then surgery may be required. (This scenario is very rare.)

How to prevent infections in a cat?

Consult your vet when you get a new cat/ kitten home and make sure your dear cat gets an initial series of injections.

Why Do Cats Knead?

Have you ever asked yourself “Why does my cat knead me?” or “why do cats make biscuits?” Well, if you have, you are not the only one. In fact, most cat owners have such questions especially when they see their cat kneading.

Though we will get into the answers in a while, tell me don’t you just love when your cat sits on your back, or tummy purrs and kneads your skin?! I personally love it. I kind of feel that my cat is expressing its love.

But that was a while ago. I mean before I checked up why do cats make bread of course. So if you are trying to seek answers to the question, well here are all you need to know about cat kneading and a cat making biscuits.

Why Do Cats Knead Muffin- Reasons

Every time I see the cat kneading I used to ask myself “ why do cats knead muffins?” No matter what the reason they look extremely cute and lovable while at it. But there are reasons behind this activity of theirs.

Kneading can be understood as a repetitive action that a cat conducts, a rhythmic motion where they push their paws in some sort of a soft surface alternatively, that is one paw after the other.

While doing this, sometimes the cat extends its claws before they decide to push on the surface and then they react while pulling back. So while you may be asking “why do cats knead blankets?”, your cat is having a gala with its rhythmic motion!

Yes, as mentioned above, cat making biscuits is very adorable to watch, but it can be very uncomfortable at times.

While you may be wondering “why do cats knead their paws?”, you might just get pierced by the claws of your darling kneading your lap, and it will hurt.

Why do Adult Cats knead?

It is important to note that while kneading, some cats utilize just their forepaws, whereas other cats use all of their four paws.  They do this because it helps them to relax. Sometimes, with the kneading, they get themselves so relaxed that they start to drool. While doing this kneading ritual, a cat may knead a soft surface, a person or some pillows. Just anything soft works for them.

This relaxing exercise often makes their owners question “why do cats make bread?

What Do While When Your Cat Is Kneading:

Instead of asking around “what does it mean when cats knead” just get your cat in a comfortable position by making it lie on its side. This is the ideal position in which your cat can relax and finally go to sleep.

However, if that is not working, you can distract your cat if it starts to hurt you too much with its claws. Generally, cats are distracted easily. Thus with a toy around, they will forget all about kneading and start playing with the toy.

Now coming to the important question, why do cats make bread?

To begin with, it’s important to know that kneading is an instinctive activity among cats. This practice is first seen in kittens moments after they are born.  Here are a few reasons why cats knead:

They get relaxed while kneading.

They can stimulate the lactating process. In other words signal production of milk from the mammary glands.

Kneading is also done by cats to relax when they go through a stressful situation.

Kneading is a means that cats use to mark their human owners. They are very territorial and like their possession marked.

P.S thy use the sweat from their paw glands to mark their human owners.

There are multiple theories which try to answer questions like “why do adult cats knead?” or “ why do cats make muffins?” Diverse theories have come up with answers of their own.

As per one such particular theory, this kneading habits in cats have come from wild cats who built their nests using grass and leaves.

Like every other home, these wild cats to use their nests to give birth, care for their young ones and to rest after a long tiring day of hunting.

The same behavior can be seen in domestic cats who knead just before they call it a night. Additionally, female cats knead more when they go into heat.

Now that the main reasons for cat kneading have been understood, it’s time to answer the next most important question, what does it mean when a cat kneads you? Or why do cats knead on humans?

It is crucial to remember that your cat’s favorite place is on your lap. So you are most likely to feel all that love and kneading up close and personal.

Though all cats are territorial, there might be some cats who are more territorial than others. If you have one such cat, you might be kneaded upon even more if you are wearing a sweatshirt, a woolen shawl or other such comfy fabrics.

Why?

Well, these are surfaces which are extremely soft. Kneading you while you wear such fabrics is your cats way of telling you “just you and me, some fluffy pillows and a good night’s sleep”

Cats really knead and bite their owners to let their love be known. So if your cat kneads you often, the little fellow is smitten by you! Yes, the scratching and biting can be a really painful, but it’s their way of letting you know that they really love you.

However, some cats don’t extend their claws while kneading. So if your cat does not, it’s the best feeling ever.

For those who’s cat does extent claws, a little trimming of the claws might help. Or if you don’t want to clip the claws you can keep a soft blanket on your lap as a buffer before your cat jumps on your lap to sleep on it.

While one reason can be love, other times cats knead on humans to remember their fun times as a kitten. As known, kittens push and knead their mother’s belly in an attempt to get more milk.

This behavior of theirs can extend up to adulthood when they feel comfortable on your lap wrapped in a warm, fuzzy blanket, just like their mother’s belly.

But no matter what, there is nothing like the feeling of your cat purring on your lap, kneading itself to sleep while you can run your fingers through its fur.

Other cat behavior pages that may be of interest:

Why Do Cats Purr?
Why Do Cats Meow?
Why Do Cats Hiss?
Cat Body Language
Cat Behavior Facts

Feline Distemper Symptoms

Are you a parent of a cat? Do you know about the life-threatening diseases in a cat called feline distemper? Are you aware of what feline distemper is, its causes and symptoms? Are you looking out to know how to prevent this dangerous disease? Then you are at the right place; read this article to know more about the causes, symptoms and the preventive measures to be taken to protect your cat.

Feline Distemper

Feline distemper is also known as feline panleukopenia or feline infectious enteritis (FIE). This disease is curable but is highly contagious. It is the most serious and severe forms of cat enteritis.

This disease has common symptoms of other cat illnesses, and hence it is difficult to spot.

Causes of feline distemper/ feline panleukopenia in cats and kittens:

  • Feline distemper / feline panleukopenia is a life threatening disease caused by a virus called “feline parvovirus”. This virus attacks the gut wall and the white blood cells (WBC) of the cats.
  • Since feline parvovirus attacks the gut wall, the cats often suffer from severe problem with their digestive system
  • The ability to fight against infections is also reduced because the virus also attacks the white blood cells (WBC).
  • Feline parvovirus is a single stranded DNA virus.
  • This disease spreads from cat’s bodily secretion like nasal discharge, urine, feces, and saliva.
  • It can also be spread through the fleas that have fed on infected cat
  • When cats and litter of kittens come into direct contact with an infected cat or an environment which is contaminated (like pet bedding, water bowel, food, etc), then they become infected.
  • It is difficult to remove the traces of the feline distemper virus which is left by an infected cat. The virus is resistant to disinfectant cleaners and it can remain in an environment for several years.

Symptoms of feline distemper in cats:

Symptoms of feline distemper disease are variable. It depends on the age of the cat and also its ability to fight. Litter of kittens is the once who suffer the most severe form of the disease.

can cats get parvo

Sometimes the disease is so severe and spreads so rapidly that the kittens can die before the cat parent/owner even notices that there is something wrong.

The initial common symptoms of feline distemper are enumerated below:

  • Frothy – yellow stained liquidly vomiting which lasts for a long period of time.
  • Feline depression (if your cat exhibits aggressive behavior like hissing and if he/she meows excessively, then this might be a sign of depression)
  • Excessive sneezing which lasts for several hours.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • High fever
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Running nose
  • Discharge from eyes
  • He / she might feel lethargic 
  • Fever (the temperature will be104 degree or more)
  • Appearance of third eyelid
  • Loss of balance (because the virus attacks the cerebellum and this leads to the loss of balance in cats).
  • Cat will be in pain and may spend time hunched over a water bowl.
  • He / she might refuse to eat
  • Reduced white blood cells (WBC) might lead to repeated sickness

At times the above-mentioned symptoms are often mistaken by cat parent as the cat is been poisoned. As soon as you observe the above mentioned symptoms, take the cat to vet without any delay and get feline distemper vaccination.

The later symptoms of feline distemper are enumerated below:

  • Yellow, watery and blood-streaked diarrhea.
  • Blood vomiting
  • Since the immune system of the cat is depleted, it cannot fight against the infections.
  • If the infection is mild, then the immune system can fight against the infection; but if the infection is severe, then it leads to death.
  • Death usually occurs because of dehydration.

Symptoms of feline distemper in kitten infected inside the womb:

  • The movement and coordination of the kittens get damaged because the virus attacks the cerebellum which leads to cerebellar hypoplasia.
  • Kittens display tremors, jerky and uncoordinated movement.

Prevention of distemper in cats:

  • Get your cats vaccinated against the virus.
  • You can also prevent the spreading of distemper in cats by washing your hands before touching or handling different groups of animals.
  • Even kittens can be vaccinated after 12 weeks of age.
  • Limited contact with unfamiliar cats can also reduce the risk of distemper in cats

Is feline distemper in cats curable?

  • Distemper in cats is curable. It does not matter if the cat has been vaccinated or not.
  • Some cats survive from this infection if proper medical care is given and if the immune system is strong enough.
  • Make sure the cat is eating the required amount of food for him/her to survive.

Treatment for feline distemper in cats:

  • Cats are kept hydrated by feeding them water / raw goats milk / fermented fish broth  through a syringe
  • If required, antibiotics are also given.
  • The main aim of the treatment is to keep the cat stable and to prevent the disease from progressing.
  • Once the cat survives this fatal distemper disease, then he /she is immune to the disease for a life time.

How feline distemper in cats is diagnosed?

  • The detailed history of your cat will be taken by the vet
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination
  • Certain test to check the functioning of organs like liver, kidney, and pancreas will be done.
  • Other tests to be done are:
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) test 
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) test 
  • Complete blood count (CBC) will be tested
  • Urine tests will be done to check for urinary tract infection and other diseases, and to evaluate the ability of the kidneys to concentrate urine
  • Electrolyte tests will be done to ensure whether your cat is dehydrated or not and also to check if your cat is suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
  • X-rays of the chest and abdomen
  • Fecal evaluation and microscopic examination