Catnip has a sweet and minty smell because it’s a member of the mint family. Discover more about what makes catnip smell unique.
When you’re considering catnip as a new house plant, catnip-infused toys for your cat, or an essential oil, it’s important to know what it smells like.
Catnip is a unique plant but it belongs to the mint family, so it has a sweet and minty smell. That said, catnip has a distinct smell that you won’t find in other plants because of its natural oils.
Additionally, the state that catnip is in will alter the smell. For example, fresh catnip may smell different than dried catnip. While this can get hard to keep track of, the good news is that we’re here to help.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about what catnip smells like.
What Is Catnip?
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is part of the Lamiaceae family of plants that are native to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. However, it’s been brought to places like Europe and the United States, where it has now been naturalized. Catnip has been used as medicine since the 15th century because it has some healing properties that can help with pain, improve sleep, and help mental health disorders like anxiety.
That said, catnip is also popular for cats, hence the nickname Catnip. For cats, catnip is a stimulant. This means that it gives them energy and makes them hyper. For humans, catnip has more depressant properties that make people drowsy.
What Does Catnip Do for Cats?
When your car gets a hold of catnip, it gets those wide eyes and bursts of energy because it acts like a stimulant. People use catnip to help cats experience more locations, play with new toys, and even train for movies!
What Does Catnip Do for Humans?
Many people think that catnip is reserved for cats, but this is far from the case. In fact, humans get a lot of benefits from catnip. It’s been used for centuries to treat ailments because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, catnip oil can improve immune function, reduce pain, and help people relax.
Always consult with a medical professional before using catnip to treat ailments, and stop treatment if you notice any adverse reactions.
What Does Catnip Smell Like?
Catnip has a sweet and minty smell to it, especially when you find it out in the wild. That said, catnip oil doesn’t just have one scent. Depending on the state that it’s in, catnip oil can smell like a few different things. For example, some types of catnip may have a pungent smell that resembles skunk spray. Therefore, it’s important to know what catnip smells like and why it may smell unique in different states.
What Does the Catnip Plant Smell Like?
Fresh catnip leaves have a fresh, minty smell. Catnip leaves that are still on the plant will smell like this, and even if you remove the catnip leaves, they will maintain this scent until they’re dried. Once the catnip leaves lose their moisture and oils, they won’t smell minty. Depending on the part of the plant, catnip can also smell different. For example, the stem won’t smell as potent as the leaves.
What Does Dried Catnip Smell Like?
When catnip is dried, it smells more like regular grass. In large quantities, it will have a grass-like smell that makes your nose tingle. Even if catnip doesn’t smell minty fresh when it’s dry, that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe for you or your cats. We don’t recommend eating it, but you can let your cat play with it without worrying.
What Does Catnip Oil Smell Like?
Catnip oil has a strong odor because it’s a potent version of the oil found on catnip leaves. For this reason, it’s not surprising to find essential oils made with catnip that smells earthy. However, some essential oil variants may have added smells and aromas, and some people describe the scent as resembling a lemon.
Depending on the type of catnip you’re dealing with, you’ll likely run into one of these smells.
Where to Find Catnip
You can find catnip in a handful of places. It grows natively in Asia, the Middle East, and some other countries, but you can also find it grown in the United States. You can also purchase catnip plans or catnip-infused toys for your cat. Depending on how you want to use the catnip, that may also change where you find it. For example, catnip oil isn’t as easy to find.
Where to Find Catnip Leaves
Catnip leaves and plants can be found online, at pet stores, and sometimes at local flower shops. You can also find catnip in large wholesale stores. It’s inexpensive and you can usually test the smell of catnip leaves if they’re in a jar that has holes in the top. If you have a cat at home, you might want to keep the catnip leaves in a place they can’t reach them.
Where to Find Catnip Oil
Catnip oil can be found in many stores and online. When looking for catnip oil, it’s essential to find the best quality oil. Catnip oil can be found in many stores as well as from online essential oil wholesalers.
Where to Get Catnip for Cats
You can find catnip for cats in just about any pet store. It’s possible to find it in toys, as leaves, or even in containers. There are also plenty of places to get catnip for cats online, and you can use essential oils as well because they have the same effect. That said, make sure you use less oil for cats because it’s more potent.
These are the best places to find catnip oil.
Enjoy the Nippy Scent of Catnip
When it comes to catnip, the smell might surprise you. While it belongs to the mint family of plants, that doesn’t mean it smells the same as any other type of mint. Plus, the catnip you get for your cats might smell different than catnip essential oils.
Therefore, make sure you choose the type of catnip that smells good for you. Whether it’s an essential oil, house plant, or cat toy, the most important aspect of getting catnip is to make sure you’re happy with it.
For this reason, we always recommend catnip oil because the scent is less potent than the plant and won’t have that dry grass or skunk smell.