Your Cat’s Beloved Catnip Might Also Be Able To Repel Mosquitos

Close up of catnip, green herb growing in a container and black cat walking around

(Picture Credit: dzika_mrowka/Getty Images)

We all know that a lot of cats enjoy the benefits of using catnip. Some kitties will go wild after a session of catnip, while others might enter into a super relaxed state.

But now new evidence from a study in Japan suggests a fresh reason behind why cats seem so smitten with catnip: It can repel mosquitos.

Now we have all the more reason to grow catnip for our kitties. They love it, and we get to stay mosquito free!

Why Does Catnip Repel Mosquitos?

Black cat lying with mosquitoes around

(Picture Credit: Pascale Gueret/Getty Images)

The science behind the theory is that catnip leaves contain compounds called iridoids that can become an insect repellent when the leaves are rubbed, much in the same way that cats will often rub against catnip plants and leaves.

A scientific team in Japan has now discovered that the specific way that cats often chew and lick catnip leaves can actually produce ten times the amount of the compounds.

That means the remaining catnip plants with their “damaged” leaves become a highly effective way to ward off annoying mosquitos.

The study involved monitoring 16 cats and watching how they reacted to catnip and the compounds in various scenarios. It’s now speculated that the use of these compounds could also be repurposed for use in human mosquito repellents.

Quick Catnip Facts & Serving Tips

Gray tabby cat sniffing catnip plant with flowers in the summer garden, cats profile with green eyes, red nose and whiskers visible, blurred green background

(Picture Credit: Ewa Saks/Getty Images)

Of course, we can still rely on catnip as a special treat for our cats!

But when it comes to introducing some catnip to your kitty’s regular routine, there are a number of things you might want to know about and keep in mind:

  • When a cat eats catnip, they usually enter a more relaxed state of being.
  • When a cat sniffs catnip, they often go a little bit wild.
  • Catnip comes in many forms, with catnip plants, dried catnip, and catnip gels all being safe for your feline.
  • Sprinkling dried catnip on your feline’s food can be an easy way to introduce a little into your cat’s diet.
  • If you have an issue with mosquitos, try letting your cat have access to an entire catnip plant — under supervision, of course!

What’s the funniest behavior you’ve seen from your cat after they’ve tried catnip? Will you grow some catnip to help repel mosquitos? Let us know in the comments below!