by Titunes Kittens

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cat and catnip

Catnip, Is my cat high?

Well, if you want to know if your cat has hallucinations like-kind of LSD state, the answer is complicated to address.
It suggests that Catnip may more closely approximate an aphrodisiac than a hallucinogen. Also, Catnip uses include sexual pheromone replacement.

The plant produces a chemical called nepetalactone in microscopic bulbs that coat the leaves, stems, and seedpods. Any rupture in the fragile bulbs releases it, and cats react to it through their olfactive system.

According to Nepetacataria Org …” Nepetalactone is chemically a terpene, which mimics the effect of pheromones felines. It was noted that in the urine of male cats, especially when they are in love, there are pheromone substances similar in structure to nepetalactone: that’s why cats react to Nepeta Cataria with the behavior of a sexual nature”…


When exposed, some cats tend to roll, lick, smell, stretch, jump, or sort of hyperactivity. Showing some happiness or euphoria, some people say it is like their cats are hunting an invisible mouse.

Some cats don’t react very well to Catnip, they can become aggressive, and this is something you don’t want, especially in a multicat household. In these cases, it is better to offer the Catnip in a different location from the other cats.

Another problem may occur when they eat the Catnip, which I don’t recommend at all because the plant may cause stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Photo by LT
Photo by LT

A curious fact is that not all the cats respond to Catnip, this response is an inherent thing in the genes. Basically, you have it or not.

According to the American Chemical Society, 1 in 3 of cats do not inherit the sensitivity to nepetalactone, meaning 
that around 30% of cats lack this gene.
Also, we know that neither kittens nor elderly cats are affected, but it can affect big cats like tigers, lions, leopards, and lynx.

Catnip effect only lasts for a few minutes(10′-15′); after that, your cat will need some time between one hour or two to reset the effect and be able to feel the same sensation again.

How to use Catnip

Fresh: it is more potent than dry Catnip, you need to crush the leaves to release the nepetalactone. If you have a garden, you can put it in a corner not very easy to cat access, too much is not good for them. Also, in a small pot for a patio or terrace is a good location. I personally have it in a pot and my cats like to sniff it from time to time.

Dried: It is the same leaves and stem but left under the sun or into the oven to dry. It is not such efficacy as the fresh one but still a good option. This is the typical Catnip you can buy at the pet stores. I recommend choosing organic ones.

Spray: It is the less potent of them, but still can do the trick. They must say in the label “Hydrosol“, otherwise it can be just water mixed with essential oil.

Essential Oil Catnip: I would never recommend any essential oils in cats, they might have phenols that are toxic for our fur friends as I mentioned in the article “Essential Oils in cats, the hidden risks”.

Are the Catnip sticks the same?

No, the Catnip sticks are made from Silvervine  (Actinidia polygama), which is a climbing plant found in the mountainous regions of China and Japan. There, it’s also known as “Matatabi” or “Japanese catnip.”

When your cat chews on it naturally flosses their teeth, and it will help to stimulate playful behavior.

Despite these Catnip sticks are safe and non-toxic to cats, you must take precaution and supervise your cat play sessions, and if a stick does become particularly chewed or destroyed, then should replace it with a new one or throw away just in case of splinters.

Why use Catnip?

  • To encourage or reinforce certain behaviors. For example, adding some amount of Catnip on the scratching post or scratching base.
  • Helping to lower the stress on a trip or a vet visit. Putting some catnip in the cat carrier.
  • Attraction to some toys to keep him/her interested, rubbing Catnip on them.
Photo by LT

If you want to know more about Catnip, please visit, this blog specializes in Catnip and there is a lot of information.

They have a lot of information about it and also the use of this gorgeous plant in humans. Yes, we can use it too! Spoiler alert: not a hallucination for us.


  • NepetaCataria.
  • Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances by Ronald K. Siegel
  • Cat Wise by Pam Johnson