How Catnip Gets Cats High

"Catnip" (also called "catmint") is a herb which has a very special effect on 3/4 cats. It gets them high without doing damage.

Catnip – a green experience

Catnip is often very fascinating to cats and cat lovers. There are about 250 different species of Nepeta Cataria and it is often referred to as “catnip” or “cat-mint”. Catnip can be found in cat toys, sold in bulk or as a garden plant. There are even variants with the scent of lemon. Some people use catnip to encourage their cat to play with with a specific toy – especially scratching post.

Triggering a reaction

Not all cats react to catnip. The reaction varies according to the cat’s genes. About 80% of all cats in Great Britain react to catnip while most cats in Australia absolutely do not respond to it. This is because they descended from a small genetic strain of cats who does not react to it. Also, kittens doesn’t often not react to catnip until they are 6-8 weeks old and it may take up to 12 weeks before this behavior is fully developed.

Cat Madness!

The cats who react to catnip usually show a euphoric behavior where they roll around, purr, howl, lick, jump and even drool. This intense reaction only lasts a few minutes and tend not to be repeated until one to two hours later. If the cat often gets catnip, it is less likely that it will react to it so there is no risk that it will develop dependence. Some experts have recommended that cat owners should only give their cat catnip twice a week if they want their cat to continue enjoying the catnip experience.
Cats do not usually eat catnip, but it is not uncommon to see them chew on the leaves or push them up towards their mouth. This action delivers the oil, which contains the ingredient nepetalactone. It is believed that the smell is the way in which nepetalactone delivers its effect and that this active ingredient tends to diminish over time. Because of this the catnip should be stored in the freezer until needed.

Sowing of grass

It is not uncommon to see cats chew on grass outdoors. – An experience that indoor cats rarely enjoy. Although the grass does not provide any food or by any means is necessary for the cat, it is thought that cats gets some kind of pleasure from the experience. By allowing your cat to eat grass you also won’t experience your cat chewing on your houseplants (some of which can be toxic). You can buy seeds of different grass species that can grow indoors. Some variants, such as wheat or oats are often recommended because they don’t get stuck in -or damage the tongue. It is best to sow the grains every second to third week because the cats like the young new grass the best. When the grass is long enough, you can put it next to food and water bowl so your cat can eat it whenever it wants. Some cats may throw up hairballs, containing grass, but there is no reason for concern. Indeed, many believe that grass could be useful to prevent the hairballs getting stuck in the throat of your cat.

Video / short documentary about catnip

My other Cat and Kitten-related articles:

Keeping your Cat or Kitten Fit

Why Do Cats Meow?

Is Catnip Dangerous for My Cat?

How Catnip Gets Cats High

Finding and Choosing a Kitten

Take Your Kitten Home With You

Myths About Cats: True or False

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User Comments
  1. papaleng

    On October 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    interesting post, but this good be much better if you add some pictures.

  2. BluSphere

    On October 11, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Thank you papaleng. I will add some pictures :)
    Be sure to check the last video out. It’s hilarious.

    Best regards,

  3. lucia anna

    On October 12, 2010 at 5:56 am


  4. BluSphere

    On October 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks a lot Lucia =)

  5. quiet voice

    On October 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Very nice. Now I know about cat drugs. “o) Excellent information.
    Take care.

  6. BluSphere

    On October 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Yea. Only the most important information from BluSphere’s channel ;) Thanks a lot friend.

  7. Danny Hirtler

    On December 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Interesting post. Kittie drugs lol speaking of cat drugs lol

  8. buenavida

    On March 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I have tested catnip and my cats seemed to love it.

  9. BluSphere

    On March 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Danny Hirtler: Haha, that’s right. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’ll check yours out. Thanks.

    Buenavida: Sounds good! My cat loves it too but unfortunately she gets a little aggresive sometimes ;)


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