Clean Teeth Gel, for Dogs & Cats, Natural Fresh Mint - Wegmans
OK, this is you have been waiting to hear about if you are a cat-lover. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) drives many cats wild. Other members of the genus, such as the two varieties of catmint plants discussed above, may also produce an effect on some cats, but you are best off sticking with catnip if your main purpose is to grow an intoxicant for your cat.
Most mint plants contain essential oils which can cause negative responses if consumed in high quantities. Both catnip and catmint are types of mint that are safe to cats. Garden mint may cause gastrointestinal upset if too much is eaten. The essential oils specific to garden mint have also been known to relax the esophageal valve, making vomiting more likely in a cat who may already be ill. A few forms of mint, such as the pennyroyal, can cause very severe effects within the body including liver failure. Cats with existing liver, intestine or bowel disease are at a heightened risk of developing complications after ingesting mint. Contact with mint may cause skin irritation in hypersensitive cats.
Many cats are attracted to both plants, but their response tends to be more intense to Catnip. The chemical responsible for their crazy behavior is called nepetalactone, which is found in the leaves, stems and flowers. The amount of this chemical found in each plant varies a bit by species. It seems that catnip has larger amounts of it and so attracts more felines. Incidentally, all members of the cat family (Felidae) are supposed to be attracted to it, so take care when giving it to lions and tigers. As for telling the two plants apart, Catnip generally has a taller, more upright growing habit, and Catmint tends to mound and has more pronounced purple/pink flowers.The vast majority of cats will make a full recovery from consuming too much mint. In cases where liver damage has occurred, this may lead to ongoing health issues in the cat. Because mint plants are so common, it may be a good idea to get familiar with the ones that grow naturally in your area, taking special note of any that are known to be toxic. It should be noted that any mint essential oils are too potent for use on cats and should never be administered for medicinal purposes. Keep any potted mint plants out of your cat's reach to ensure they are not ingested. It may also be a good idea to keep your cat indoors to protect it from all toxic plants that may be found in surrounding gardens and other areas.Mint may be found in the wild growing near sources of water or in other damp locations. Many people keep mint in their herb gardens or indoors in their kitchens for both culinary and medicinal uses. Both indoor and outdoor cats may be exposed to this common herb. Generally, a very large quantity must be eaten for any kind of negative affect to manifest. Mint poisoning among cats is extremely rare. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in products such as gum, candy, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Xylitol is harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. Within 30 minutes after eating, the dog may vomit, be lethargic (tired), and/or be uncoordinated. However, some signs of toxicity can also be delayed for hours or even for a few days. Xylitol toxicity in dogs can be fatal if untreated. It is unknown whether xylitol is toxic to cats.
Take mint, for example. Placing fresh mint in pantries helps deter ants, hanging sachets of dried mint in closets helps deter moths and flies (mint tea bags work as well), and rubbing crushed mint leaves on the coats of your cats and dogs can help deter biting insects. One of our staff members has never once seen a flea on any of her three indoor-outdoor cats, possibly because the contained area of the garden that is their ‘rest room’ is filled with a variety of mint plants. Perhaps just walking through the mint garden is enough to cover their coats with mint oils and keep the fleas away.Mint: (Maximum Height: 3 feet) Catnip’s not the only member of the mint family kitties like. In fact, you can plant any one of the hundreds of mint varieties out there for both you and your cat enjoy! One particular favorite of mine which I grow in my own garden is a chocolate mint plant that truly tastes like a grasshopper ( the delicious cookie kind - not the insect)! Other great options are apple mint, lemon mint, and of course, the classics - peppermint and spearmint. ( A word of caution with this one however - EXCESSIVE intake of peppermint can cause digestive upset in cats. For this reason, it's important you monitor your cats, especially when first introducing the plant. A leaf here and there is fine, a salad bowl portion is not. Fortunately, most cats only nibble, preferring to smell and rub against peppermint plants rather than eating them, so this isn't likely to be a problem.)