The ability to respond to catnip is genetic. About 30% of cats do not have the gene.
Also, if you give catnip too often (more than once or twice a week), even responders will accommodate to it and no longer be able to get a "kick" from it. I use a pinch of catnip on the scratching posts only as an occasional treat--I have 100% responders in my group of 5!
I would not recommend mixing catnip with food, because it takes the choice away from the cat. If he wants to eat at all, he is forced to eat the catnip. Believe me, if he really wants it, he'll come and get it--no matter where you put it!
BTW, please NEVER give catnip before a trip to the vet! It makes the cat unpredictable, and many cats will become aggressive--not what your vet wants to see! :)
Jean Hofve, DVM
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