Monday, April 3, 2017

Black Olives are Catnip?

When Andrew and I became cat parents we did what every cat owner should do...we bought them food, toys and scratching pads, even a little catnip.

It was odd though, Vicktor and Ginger loved everything, but could really care less about catnip. I got to thinking, maybe they don't like catnip because it's not fresh? Off I went to the store to buy fresh catnip. I came home and stuffed it in some new toys and they still ignored it. Weird. Maybe I should grow my own? So we grew some catnip, added it to their scratching cardboard, and still no response. They both sniffed and walked away. Oh well, I guess my cats just aren't interested.

Pile of Catnip
(Image from:

One day I was making tacos and there was a little black olive juice left on the counter. Vicktor is the best at cleaning up any left over food. (He's our kitty garbage disposal, even though he shouldn't be eating half the stuff he does.) Anyway he hopped up on the counter and started licking the olive juice, then rubbing his face and rolling around it in! This was the catnip response I've been waiting for!

After doing some research, I found out that black and green olives have a similar compound to catnip called isoprenoids. Who would have thought that?! Cats sense this chemical and it gives them a pleasurable effect, like happy pheromones. Olives have no nutritional value for cats and can be used as treats on occasion, but if they have too many it may give them diarrhea.

Vicktor likes black olives. Here's video of him rolling around after he eats them!

So when you're making that martini, save an olive for your kitty.


  1. I had no idea! Very interesting. Will have to see if Jack likes olives.

  2. I'm going to have to try this! So fun to know! :)