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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11541
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello, I was wondering if Cavy are affected by catnip/catmint.

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I was wondering if Cavy are affected by catnip/catmint. I am just looking for things that may enhance their environment. I have seen cats mellow out and relax when exposed to it, as well as some started playing with the air. So i am just wondering if it is safe for the Cavy.
That's an interesting question. The reason catnip affects cats is that it contains substances that are chemically similar to feline sex pheromones. Catnip doesn't affect other animals the same way. There is anecdotal evidence that the flowers and seeds may contain substances harmful to guinea pigs and rabbits, but the fresh leaves are safe to consume. There are so many other plants that we know with certainty are safe, that I wouldn't give catnip to them. There's a thread on the subject in the guinealynx forums:

And here's a short paper on the subject written by a chemistry professor:

I hope this answers your question. I'll be going offline for the night soon, but will check back in the morning.

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