I have no doubt that catnip prompted the Cheshire Cat's grin. My cat Seren wears the same expression when she indulges. But why do cats find this nondescript herb so attractive? Is it a kitty aphrodisiac, a harmless pleasure or something more sinister?
Nepeta cataria, or catnip, is a strong-scented mint that contains a volatile oil that's easily released into the air. Biting or rolling on the plant crushes the leaves and releases the oil so cats can get a good sniff. It doesn't take much. Cats can detect catnip oil in the air at saturations as low as one part per billion.
And nope, humans don't get the same effect, although it would certainly be entertaining to see people rolling and flopping about while under the influence. Don't even try. Not only will you look silly, your cat might want to disown you for swiping their purr-sonal kitty stash! For all the details about the wonders of this glorious herb, read my latest Paw Nation article Catnip: More Than A Treat. What are you waiting for? go get some for your cat-kids today!
Special thanks to Gina Misiroglu for connecting me with the pet lovers at Paw Nation, to help spread the word about all the great authors who hang out here at Red Room.
Do cats "talk" with slurred meows and tails when drunk on catnip? What sorts of kitty conversations do you have with your feline friends? Learn how to translate your cat's ASS-ets in this article about tabby tail talk and join the conversation!
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Causes Amy Shojai Supports
Cat Writers Association, Winn Feline Foundation, AKC Canine Health Foundation, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)