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Q: How does catnip get cats hyper and almost "high"

March 6, 2009 | By Kaitlyn L. | 11 answers | Expired: 2078 days ago

Kaitlyn L.

Why do they rub in it?

Readers' Answers (11)
dave t.
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Mar 06, 2009

"Catnip" is the common name for a perennial herb of the mint family. It is native to Europe and is an import to the United States and other countries. The catnip plant is now a widespread weed in North America. ­Given to the right cat, catnip can cause an amazing reaction! Although no one knows exactly what happens in the cat's brain, it is known that the chemical nepetalactone in catnip is the thing that triggers the response. Apparently, it somehow kicks off a stereotypical pattern in cats that are sensitive to the chemical. The catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Large cats like tigers can be sensitive to it as well. The reaction to catnip only lasts a few minutes. Then the cat acclimates to it, and it can take an hour or two away from catnip for the cat to "reset." Then, the same reaction can occur again. Very young kittens and older cats seem less likely to have a reaction to catnip. science.howstuffworks.com/herbs-spices/question303.htm



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dawn
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Mar 12, 2009

all of my current cats are addicts!! They go crazy on the nip! Many years ago I had a cat named Herman, and he loved fresh catnip. So I planted it in the yard...well he ate the entire plant!!!

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Ltcooper
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Mar 11, 2009

From reading about it: The reaction only lasts for about ten minutes before the cat loses interest. It takes up to two hours for the cat to "reset" after which it can come back to the catnip and have the same response as before. Young kittens and older cats are less likely to react to catnip.

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