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Does Catnip Affect Other Animals? (Dogs, Rabbits, Etc.)

Catnip is a plant belonging to the mint family, which has white-lavender flowers, and this plant is psychoactive for cats.

It can make any cat high for more than fifteen minutes. As catnip can make the cats high for a while, does catnip have a similar or any effect on other animals? Let us find out.

What is catnip?

Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta Cataria, is a psychoactive plant for the cat which will not harm the cat. But when they are consumed, the cat will be high for a while. And the cat will roll against the floor and do some stuff that is not usual.

This plant can be found all over the world. Usually, they can grow easily in North America. This plant contains some chemicals, and these chemicals’ smells attract cats to eat them.

Inside of catnip, there is an oil called nepetalactone. This oil has the pheromone to take the cat towards the plant and eat them. When the cat devours catnip, it will undoubtedly become overwhelmed by everything because this plant gives the cat a euphoric feeling.

Does catnip affect other animals?

For all types of cats, catnip is used to stimulate happy hormones. Most of the animals do not have any direct effect from catnip. Mostly, the nepetalactone attracts the felines. Catnip does not have any impact on other animals. Only cats, big or small, get high of catnip.

Catnip doesn’t affect any animals. But still it is better to keep that away from them.


Rabbits are small animals. They love to eat hay and grass. They stay together beside any grassland, and they love to eat at the beginning and end of the day.

Rabbits do not bother to eat anything with a funny smell.

Rabbits dislike the smell of catnip. They avoid catnip and eat other plants. But catnip is highly effective for those rabbits who are nervous and restless. Catnip calms rabbits from becoming more restless from stress.

Catnip calms the rabbits, but they are not prone to eat catnip. So, the probability of taking catnip is low, and the catnip effect on them is lower.


Ferrets, small creatures, love to eat everything, including fruits, dairy products, vegetables, raisins, and sweets. But they eat meat, tissues of bones, etc.

These creatures are carnivorous, and they need to have quite a good amount of protein to live.

Ferrets can also have catnip. The catnip plant is not harmful to ferrets. Also, ferrets do not love to take catnip. But if a ferret consumes the catnip, it might make the ferret high for an hour.

Moreover, the effect of catnip is individual for each ferret. If they become high, the ferret can be aggressive, and it will have slight changes in its behavior.


Squirrels, omnivorous, are rodents. These tiny creatures are fast. Squirrels love to eat seed-based foods.

They love all kinds of nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, acorns, peanuts. Squirrels also love fruits. These animals are bothered by strong smells of anything.

As squirrels are bothered by strong smells, they do not take any catnip, as it has a strong smell in it. Even catnip can bother squirrels so much that catnip might keep these rodents away.


Raccoons are omnivorous. They eat all sorts of food, whether it is plant-based or meat-based. They love all kinds of food, including insects, nuts, seeds, and crayfish.

Raccoons cannot eat garlic, chocolate, and onion as they are toxic to raccoons.

Raccoons are indifferent to catnip. They don’t bother to eat it and are not attracted to this plant. But a small number of them become high, and it’s for a small fraction of time.


Foxes love to eat raw or cooked meat. They are carnivorous by nature. Still, they love to eat cheese, fat-soaked bread, etc.

Sometimes foxes are considered scavengers. Though foxes like various foods, they don’t love eggplants, avocados, chocolate, raisins, etc.

Catnip can attract foxes as the foxes got a good sense of smell. They react highly with the scent, but they are obligate carnivores; they will not eat any plant, that’s why.


Rats are one of the most prominent families of rodents. These tiny creatures can be found around the world. Rats are omnivorous, and they eat everything. They love to eat fruits, vegetables, and meat as well.

Rats and cats have an inverse relationship between them. Like squirrels, catnip is hated by rats. They do not bother to come close to the cat as well as catnip. The strong smell bothers them, which deters them from coming close to catnip.

What does catnip do to the animals?

Catnip is a plant with a strong smell that may attract or deter an animal from this plant. Cats are most likely to be attracted to this smell of catnip oil called nepetalactone. The component inside of the catnip can make a cat high for a while.

As these plants got some psychoactive material in them, they might make another animal high. Not all animals are triggered by the same chemical components.

Even catnip can be consumed by humans. Catnip tea used to be famous throughout Europe.

Some animals, such as rabbits, do not eat them, but if they eat, they become calm. Similarly, some animals are deterred from the smells, such as rodents. And some animals are just attracted to the scent of catnip.

Is catnip harmful to animals?

Catnip is tested to be a non-toxic plant. So, for any sort of animal, it is not toxic, or it may not harm or may not make any animal addicted to it. Only cats are highly attracted to them. They eat them and are fond of this plant, dried or fresh.

This plant belongs to the mint family. So, if consumed or smelled, some animals such as dogs may feel a little bit sleepy but not more than that.

The smell is loved by foxes but hated by rodents. So, if planted in the garden, the fox may visit the garden while rodents may not. So, these plants are not harmful to other animals.

Does catnip work on dogs?

Catnip works on the dog in a different manner than cats. Dogs are not herbivorous animals. They’re carnivorous, and they love meat-based foods. Dogs don’t necessarily eat catnip. If they smell or eat them, the dogs will feel sleepy. Catnip can be used as an antiseptic and natural sedative to dogs.

Catnip is a wild plant that can be found on the roadside all over the world. This plant belonged to the mint family, which means it has a strong smell. Some animals are attracted to this smell, while others hate to smell it.

Cats are highly responsive to this plant. Whether the plant is dried or fresh, they will consume it. But while it is about puppies, the opposite scenario seems to happen.

Puppies love to eat lean meat- a mixture of several types of meat such as chicken, turkey, and beef. They also love to eat bananas, watermelon, and cantaloupe, and for some puppies, eat peanut butter.

Catnip works as a sedative to puppies. If puppies ingest or sniff this plant, they might feel sleepy or if the puppies are excited for any reason, this catnip plant can make them calm for a while.

Here is a thing, catnip or catmint has some medicinal benefits to it. It can act as a cough relief, help prevent fungus and bacteria, and act as a sedative to puppies. The components inside catnip help puppies to be more protective.

How does catnip affect dogs?

Catnip is a plant with a strong smell that may or may not attract other animals. Dogs have a negligible impact while they consume or smell catnip. Cats become more excited while ingesting catnip.

On the other hand, dogs are precisely opposite to what cats do. They become calm. Catnip is a safe, natural sedative for dogs that might work as an antiseptic to them as well.

What is the equivalent of catnip for dogs?

Anise is the equivalent of catnip for dogs. When smelled or swallowed, dogs become excited and hyperactive. Like catnip for cats, anise work is as catnip for the dogs.

Though the effect is not always the same for all the dogs, some become more excited than others. The impact of anise on a dog varies.

Final thoughts

Catnip is a non-toxic plant that does not adversely impact any animals, including dogs, rabbits, and humans. It is an herb with a distinctive smell that attracts or deters some animals. This plant works as a sedative to dogs while it works as a stimulant to cats.