Does Catnip Make Cats High? (This Is So Darn Fascinating)

does catnip make cats high

Does catnip really make cats high?

Are you as skeptical as a detective in a crime scene?

I understand, it seems too good to be true.

You're probably thinking, "there's no way a little plant can turn my cat into a fuzzy stoner." 😮

But hold on, let's dive into the world of catnip together.

I promise, by the end of this post, you'll have all the answers you need.

Ready to bust some feline myths?

Let's begin.

Understanding the Catnip High: Evolutionary Rewards and Duration

Imagine this scene:

You watch with amusement as your cat rolls around and purrs, acting like they've just had a wild night out. The funny thing is, all they've been exposed to is catnip.

So what's the deal with catnip?

Does it really make cats high?

Let's delve into this topic and explore the catnip high, including its evolutionary purpose and how long it lasts.

Believe it or not, even the ancestors of domestic cats displayed similar behaviors when exposed to catnip.

This suggests that there is an advantage for cats in being attracted to this plant.

Fascinating, right?

Now, let's dig deeper into what catnip does to our feline friends.

The active chemical in catnip, called nepetalactone, taps into their opioid reward system.

When cats encounter catnip, they engage in enjoyable activities like rolling, darting around, drooling, and rubbing it on their face and body. It's like they're having their own little catnip party!

But how long do these effects last?

Understanding the Catnip High: Evolutionary Rewards and Duration
Catnip gets your cat high, making them play for 10-15 minutes. Then they chill out and become less affected. Sprinkle it on toys or scratching posts to keep your furry buddy entertained, stimulated, and trained!

Typically, the catnip high lasts for about 10-15 minutes.

After that, cats enter a refractory period which lasts around 1-2 hours, during which they become less affected by catnip's charms. But don't worry, they'll be ready for another round soon enough!

Interestingly, catnip may also serve as a natural bug repellent. While enjoying the scent and indulging in their high, cats unknowingly protect themselves from insects.

Pretty handy, huh?

If you're wondering if your cat will experience the catnip high, the good news is that most cats do. Estimates suggest that about 70% to 80% of cats are susceptible to its effects, which is even higher than we originally thought!

However, you must note that different cats have different reactions to catnip. Some may become relaxed and blissful, while others might exhibit hyperactivity or aggression. It all depends on your cat's unique disposition.

Now that you know what catnip does to your kitty, how can you use it to their advantage?

Catnip can be a valuable tool for cat training and stimulation.

It alleviates boredom and aids in training sessions.

You can sprinkle it on toys, scratching posts, or use catnip-infused toys.

This will not only entertain your fur baby but also promote exercise and reduce anxiety.

Main points I'll expand upon further down this article:

  1. Some cats may have a subdued reaction to catnip.
  2. Catnip does not cause opioid withdrawals or tolerance in cats.
  3. Training is important to discourage undesirable behaviors in cats.
  4. Catnip does not have negative health effects or tolerance issues.
  5. Catnip should not be used as mosquito repellent.
  6. Cats cannot fatally overdose on catnip, but excessive consumption may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
  7. Catnip does not directly impact cats' endorphin response.
  8. Catnip is safe for cats and not addictive, but overeating can upset their stomach.
  9. Catnip does not induce euphoria in cats like it potentially does in humans.
  10. Catnip acts as a mosquito repellent and can be more effective than DEET.

And now, let's address a common concern about catnip and cats' response to it.

You might be wondering if repeated exposure to catnip can lead to addiction or negative health effects.

Well, I'm here to assure you that there's no need to worry!

Can Cats Get Addicted or Develop a Tolerance to Catnip?

Regarding cats and their response to catnip, you need to understand that while they may develop a tolerance for it, they don't experience withdrawal or compulsive seeking behaviors, which clearly distinguishes it from addiction.

Certain cats may have a more subdued reaction to catnip, exhibiting stillness and quietness.

However, you have to train and discourage any undesirable behaviors in cats. Fortunately, repeated exposure to catnip doesn't lead to opioid withdrawals, nor does it pose any negative health effects or tolerance issues for our feline friends.

Can Cats Get Addicted or Develop a Tolerance to Catnip?
Catnip won't harm your furry buddy. You might see them get used to it, but that's no biggie. Just remember, some cats act cool and training keeps them in line. Don't worry, they won't go through withdrawals or get hooked!

In summary, when it comes to catnip, you can rest assured that there are no addictive qualities or detrimental consequences for your furry companions.

In conclusion, while it's clear that cats don't develop an addiction or tolerance to catnip, there is still much more to explore about its effects and safety.

That's why I encourage you to delve deeper into the topic by reading my article Is Catnip a Drug for Cats.

There, you'll find valuable insights and information that can help satisfy your curiosity and address any skepticism or uncertainties you may have.

Can Cats Overdose on Catnip?

Fellow cat enthusiasts!

Let's dive into the intriguing world of catnip and find out if it really gives our feline friends a high.

Get ready for some quick answers, because we're about to get down and dirty with the facts.

First things first—catnip won't kill your cat.

So, no need to worry about any fatal overdoses here.

But, hold your horses, my friend, because that doesn't mean they can go crazy on this stuff without consequences.

Ingesting large amounts of catnip might make your kitty puke or experience some tummy troubles. Don't fret though, these side effects are only temporary.

They won't harm your furry pal in the long run.

Keep calm if you catch your cat indulging in a vomit fest induced by catnip.

It may not be the prettiest sight, but it's not the end of the world either.

Now, let's clear something up right away—I'm definitely not suggesting that you start using catnip as a mosquito repellent.

Nope, nope, and another big NOPE.

Catnip is fantastic for feline fun, but it won't do squat against those pesky mosquitoes.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's just the way it goes.

Here's an important tidbit:

Can Cats Overdose on Catnip?
Can cats overdose on catnip? Unlikely. But give 'em lots and you might see some barf. Keep it small, watch how they react, and ensure they're having a good time. Don't go overboard!

No matter how much catnip your cat sniffs, their pleasure response won't increase.

Whether they take a little sniff or become engulfed in a whirlwind of catnip, the rush of happy hormones will remain the same.

So, remember, less is more when it comes to the nip!

Oh, and don't stress about addiction—catnip is totally safe and non-addictive for cats.


We can all breathe a sigh of relief now.

But hang on a sec, my friends.

While catnip may not be addictive, you still need to keep a close eye and use some moderation when feeding it to your furry pal.

Overindulging in the green stuff can leave your cat with an upset tummy. So, stick to small amounts and save them from any potential discomfort.

So there you have it, folks!

The lowdown on catnip and its effects on your beloved kitties. Remember, enjoy responsibly and keep those happy cats content without going overboard.

Until next time, take care of yourselves and your fantastic feline companions!

Now, after exploring the effects of catnip on our furry friends, it's time to delve into another fascinating topic.

If you're wondering if there's a natural way to keep your cats away from certain areas, I have just the solution for you.

In my article Does Lavender Keep Cats Away, you'll find some surprising information that might just pique your interest.

Find out whether this fragrant plant can truly be an effective deterrent and keep your feline companions at bay.

Don't miss out on the valuable insights I've gathered for you! Discover the truth about lavender and its relationship with our curious pets.

Catnip Highs vs. Human Drug Highs

Let's break it down:

  1. Catnip doesn't create hallucinations or altered states in cats like drugs do in humans.
  2. The effect of catnip on cats is not clearly linked to euphoria, unlike the high from drug use in humans that can be blocked by naloxone.
  3. In the past, catnip mixed with tobacco or marijuana induced hallucinations for humans.
  4. Humans don't experience the same effects as cats due to differences in olfactory systems and brain structures.
  5. Historically, catnip was used for sedation and repelling mosquitoes.
  6. Some thought catnip could replace marijuana, but that turned out to be false.
  7. Surprisingly, catnip has been proven to be more effective than DEET as a mosquito repellent. 😲

Look, when it comes to catnip and human drug highs, there are some key distinctions you need to know:

First off, catnip doesn't send cats into some wild hallucination or trip, like drugs can do to us.

And while cats may seem blissfully ecstatic after sniffing catnip, it's still unclear whether they're actually experiencing euphoria (good vibes).

On the other hand, humans have experimented with catnip, going so far as to mix it with tobacco or even marijuana, resulting in hallucinations and feelings similar to those induced by marijuana.

Don't expect the same impact though - our olfactory systems and brain structures are just too different.

Throughout history, catnip has had many uses, including as a sedative and, surprisingly, as a mosquito repellent.

It was even considered a substitute for marijuana at one point, but science has since debunked that claim.

In fact, catnip has turned out to be an incredibly powerful mosquito repellent, more effective than DEET!

Who would've thought?

Determining the Most Potent Variety of Catnip

Type of CatnipDescriptionEffects
Common catnipWidely available and commonly used by cat owners.Induces a state of euphoria in cats
Silver vinePopular alternative to common catnip for cat enrichment.Produces a similar effect as catnip
Valerian rootA natural herb that can be used as a catnip substitute.May cause a calming effect in cats
Tatarian honeysuckleAnother catnip alternative that is less known.Can elicit a playful reaction in cats
LemongrassA fragrant plant that may have a calming effect on cats.May help reduce anxiety in cats
Matatabi/Silvervine SticksChewable twigs that are a natural cat stimulant.Releases a euphoric response in cats

There are different types of catnip, like common catnip and silver vine.

But here's the deal:

The strength of catnip on cats doesn't really depend on the specific type or concentration.

Whether it's dried herbal catnip or catnip-infused toys and chews, cats react similarly because they all contain nepetalactone, the chemical that gets them going.

By the way, did you know that silver vine repels biting insects when cats rub against its leaves?

What's the Strongest Type of Catnip?
What's the best catnip for your kitty? You gotta go for fresher stuff. Look out for bright green leaves or vibrant flowers - those mean it's more potent. In general, younger and smellier catnip is gonna give you the biggest bang.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now, let's talk about keeping your catnip stash fresh.

Here's what you gotta do:

Store your catnip in a tight container. And guess where is the best spot for it?

You got it – the freezer!

Freezing your catnip helps maintain its strength for longer.

And that wraps up today's article.

If you wish to read more of my useful articles, I recommend you check out some of these: Why Does My Cat Purr So Loudly, Why Does My Cat Scratch the Floor After Using the Litterbox, Why Does My Cat Howl Before After Using the Litter Box, Why Does My Cat Try to Bury Her Food, and Why Does My Cat Purr Constantly

Talk soon,

-Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Howdy howdy, I'm Sarah Davis, and I'm all about cats – that's right, those mysterious, independent furballs we adore. So welcome to my blog "I Care for Cats", where I dish out the real talk on cat food, health, training, behavior, and so much more. My goal? To help your feline friends live their best nine lives.