Skip to Content

What Does Catnip Smell Like? (Read This First!)

Catnip is a plant. It belongs to the mint family. Therefore, you will find lots of features similar to mint, including smells. But there are more. 

However, cats are fond of catnip since it contains nepetalactone. It enhances and stimulates the cat’s sensory system; that’s why cats go crazy for catnip plants.

But the effectiveness of catnip lasts for 10 minutes only. After that, your cat will calm down and behave normally. So there is nothing to worry about the cat’s health.

But cat lovers want to know about the smells of catnip. That’s what we are going to find out and explore today.

What does catnip smell like?

Catnip smells like minty. But it has different smells depending on the catnips types. For example, dried catnips smell like dried grass. We will talk about different catnip smells in the next section. However, catnip smells are used in other cat foods.

Catnip smells are beneficial to humans. It can relax mental health. It is also helpful to dogs’ and cats’ health. Manufacturers use catnip smells to make dogs and cats food.

Fresh catnip:

Fresh catnip is the best source of mint smell. That means fresh catnip smells like minty. Therefore, cats are very fond of fresh catnip; cats are crazy for fresh catnip.

Also, you can use fresh catnip for different purposes as mint leaves. But the best use of fresh catnip is to make medicine for cancer, diarrhea, indigestion, and more. That’s why fresh catnip is a helpful plant.

Dried catnip:

Dried catnip smells like dried grass. It doesn’t attract like fresh catnip, but it has some valuable ingredients too.

However, your cat can safely chew and eat dried catnip in a recommended portion. Also, you can scatter some dry catnips around the cat’s playground. That’s why it has become so popular around the world.

Catnip plant:

Catnip plant smells faintly of mint. It has heart-shaped leaves that you can use for different purposes. You may add some catnip leaves to tea and drink for stomach issues. It works nicely.

Besides, catnip plants are helpful in many ways. You can dry the leaves and let your cat chew some. Since it has a faint scent of mint, it will not cause any health issues. That’s why it is valid, and people are interested in planting more catnip.

Catnip oil:

Catnip oil has a mint aroma and herbaceous smell. It has many health benefits. That’s why it has become popular.

You can use catnip oil on your skin to avoid mosquitoes. Also, this oil is excellent for skin issues, including anxiety, common cold, flu, and gas. Before using this oil, try to ask the doctor whether it is suitable for your skin.

Does catnip smell like:

Let’s walk through this section to know whether catnip smell like any of the following elements or not – 


Catnip smells like mint. Catnip is a mint family of herbs or plants. It has most of the features of mint leaves. You can use it for different purposes like you use mint.

For instance, mint tea is a healthy drink. It is a reliable and regular drink for mint lovers. The same goes for the catnip. You can also use some catnip leaves on your tea and make it healthy.


Catnip also smells like lemon. It has a lemony flavor like mint. Therefore, people love to add catnip to their drink and give it a lemony flavor.

Moreover, a lemons flavor will increase your interest to use it in different foods. Specially, you can easily mix it with pet foods and give it a good smell.


Catnip doesn’t smell like tea; instead, it smells faintly like mint. You can make your tea with some catnip leaves. It would be healthy and relax your mind and refresh your body.

On the other hand, catnip tea is a renowned medicine for health-conscious people. Mainly, it works for stomach issues and increases metabolism and metal stability.


Some users claim that their catnip plant’s leaves smell like skunk when it grows 7 to 8-inch leaves. But it’s very common to others. Some also claim that skunks don’t smell like skunks.

Basically, when catnip plants grow big, it changes the smell from mint to skunk. To get skunk smells, you have to wait long and let the leaf grow bigger.


Oregano is also a plant from the mint family. It has a similar smell to mint. On the other hand, catnip also belongs to mint.

From this statement, it can be said that catnip smells like oregano. It will serve mainly the same purposes as oregano and other mint herbs.


Catnip does not smell like tobacco. But you can use it like tobacco. In ancient times, people used to take catnip as weeds.

Tobacco can be made with different plants. One of them was catnip. It was popular too. But, it is no longer available today. People use natural weeds and other plants like tobacco.

What happens when cats smell catnip?

When cats smell catnip, cats feel happy and start rolling and zoning out. Smells of catnip contain some non-toxic chemicals that cats love to smell through the nose. On the other hand, cats could meow or growl when they smell catnip.

On the other hand, catnip smell is used to make cat food. It is specially designed to attract pet cats when they don’t want to eat. Also, you may offer some catnip leaves to your cats. They will chew and digest some.

However, it will not have any severe health issues or long-term effects on your cat’s health. Researchers also suggest using catnip smells for cat food. On the other hand, when cats smell catnip, they relax and feel happy as well.

So, catnip smells are non-toxic and won’t harm the cat’s health.

How far can cats smell catnip?

Cats can smell catnip from 5 feet or more away. But it will depend on some factors, including cat’s health, kitties, cat types. In most cases, cats can smell catnip from 5 feet away, but kitties need to smell catnip from a near distance.

In contrast, cats can smell from a long distance if their nose and internal health. Catnip is an addictive plant because of its smell. When cats get catnip smell, they go crazy for it.

Scientists found no toxicity on the catnip leaves; therefore, you may safely allow your cats to have some catnip leaves every day.

How long does catnip smell last?

Catnip smells last for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s the average lifespan of the smells. However, your cat can smell catnip from a long distance. However, if you mix catnip with tea and pet food, it will last for a long time, even for a month as well.

In contrast, when you get the catnip smell, it will last for 10 minutes. But to cats, it is different. It can last for 15 minutes or longer. 

In any case, catnip smells will last for only a few minutes. Your cat will react for a couple of minutes; then, it will get the ordinary sense. When it smells catnip, it will meow and roll out for a couple of minutes.

How to get rid of catnip smell?

There are some practical ways to get rid of the catnip smell. It’s not a big deal anymore. You may follow the below ways to get rid of cat odor and cat stains. Let’s get to them and explore the best way to eliminate the catnip smell.

Baking soda with Hydrogen Peroxide:

If you want the best solution to get rid of catnip smell and other cat odors, you should make a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. 

In that case, you can mix a cup of baking soda with a half-cup of hydrogen peroxide.

Mix properly, and apply to the surroundings or spray around the odor. It will soon relieve you from the catnip smells.

Vinegar Mixture:

Vinegar mix is another easiest way to get rid of the catnip smell. Here, you need to mix white vinegar with water and make a mixture. It will help you to remove the typical odor of catnip smell.

Vinegar mixture is the best way and effective way. You will find other methods are a bit difficult to follow. But vinegar is easier. You will find it at your home and won’t need to spend any bucks here.

These are the two best methods of getting rid of catnip smells and cat odor. They are effective and cost-saving as well. But if you search for the same, you will get other solutions.

Final thoughts

Catnip is a mint family herb. Therefore, it smells faintly of mint. But the smell changes if you use it for different purposes. However, catnip can smell like lemon and skunk. But that’s not the usual case. Most times, you will find catnip smells like mint. And, you can use it like mint.