By Mark Frauenfelder at 10:57 am Tue, Jun 16, 2009
Cats tripping on kush-grade catnip. (Via Arbroath)
can the jeebusers explain why it is OK for cats but not for people?
Catnip Is Not A Gateway Drug.
> Catnip is not a drug, it’s a scent that drives them mildly crazy.
The two are not mutually exclusive. Drugs can be absorbed through nasal membranes, after all — snuff, cocaine, etc. To determine whether it’s a “drug” requires elaborating _why_ it causes these reactions, which I believe we do now have the technology to study.
Note too that “drug” doesn’t automatically equate to “addictive drug”. Lack of withdrawl symptoms is not evidence against.
As far as I can tell, catnip’s roughly in the kitty-pot category — nonaddictive, varying in strength of effect from individual to individual, and probably harmless at worst.
As far as the drooling goes — heck, I know a cat who drools when she’s petted. She got into the habit of “nursing” by licking the inside of a human’s elbow (it was cute, so not discouraged), and at this point she’s conditioned herself to salivate whenever she’s being cuddled. So I have no trouble believing that some sufficiently stoned cats drool, just as some stoned/drunk humans do.
weaned too early.
Just drop down, hit the catnip and WAH-BAH. So pitted.
Of my two cats one loves the ‘nip (male) and one loathes it (female0> In fact, she’ll run away from you and hide for a while when she gets the odour.
Interestingly though, when she thinks she is alone or not being observed she’ll get into and almost behave like these cats do, but sort of edgy. I’m sure there is a degree of anthropomorphising, but others have note the behaviour.
My male cat loves the stuff, and often used to inadvertently roll down some concrete steps near where I had a plant. He’d get all stoney, start rolling on his back and forget that there were stairs on one side. Considering the drop and how hard they were, I’d say catnip does have some pretty strong intoxicating effects. Since he’d normally roll/fall all the way down and continue his pleasured writhing at the bottom.
Much like this video: cute overload.
very cute….I wish there were dognip
A thought occurred to me watching this-Does catnip work on lions or tigers? Just curious.
Fred H brings up an interesting point — what about lions, panthers, etc?
From this paper, it sounds like the answer is that it’s not just domestic cats. Though as the video points out, catnip addiction is a hereditary trait.
Anyone have a more complete answer?
This could have been the video for one of my all-time favorite Shonen Knife songs: Catnip Dream!
celery leaves work teh same and are in teh same catnip family. found that out while i was making some macaroni salad and dropped some.
whats the equivalent for dogs????
Try borrachero for dogs.
Bob McCarty compares cats and politicians at his blog of the same name. It’s hilarious!
Is that Ewen Macgregor on the VO?
What’s up with the dubbed-over cat sound effects? There’s no way those were all live cat sounds. Just sounds like they added a lot of filler.
Meh. I don’t care for this representation. Catnip isn’t a narcotic, it simply duplicates the olfactory effect of cat pheromones.
I have a friend who once told me she wouldn’t give catnip to her cat, equating it to the morality of dropping acid in someone’s drink without their knowledge.
More science is needed.
My cat does all of that rolling around and licking and cheek rubbing without the presence of catnip, a narrator, or ominous music.
I’m not saying it’s complete bullshit, but there’s definitely plenty of bullshit gooping around in that video.
Takuan @7 can the jeebusers explain why it is OK for cats but not for people?
I suspect it’s because of the view that they’re animals, and therefore inferior to humans. There are plenty of double standards when it comes to animals. For example, considering euthanasia the “humane” thing to do when an animal can no longer be given a reasonable quality of life.
I give mercy to humans that can no longer have a reasonable quality of life, a poor example I think.
Um, cute overload anyone?
I would be cautious about growing Valerian, as rats and mice also love it.
Takuan@7 & Jackie31337@28:
Not to mention that they considered cats as devil possessed until a few centuries ago.
HIGH – I IZ GOT IT.
@11 Geekman- I don’t give my cats catnip either. They don’t get to the rolling around stage shown in this video, instead they seem to get cranky and even more high strung than normal.
However, honeysuckle wood is an awesome treat for cats. Not all cats like it, but if they do, they like to lick it and chew it and roll around on it. Something about the scent? It’s not really known. A lot of the local (Calgary AB) pet stores, especially The Cat House, sell slices of honeysuckle wood. My cats are in ecstasy over it, especially my big tom.
That white cat looks like he’s been at the catnip for wayyyy longer than those other cats.
DEN OF SIN! DEN OF SIN!
I love that series.
duuuuude, they’re wayshted!
Hilarious! I’m not sure what I learned about HOW the cats get high, but I loved the narrator, the music, the sound effects, the screwing around with the lens! It’ like the film makers were trying to figure out whether to be all ominous, or playful, and decided to split the difference.
I didn’t notice a “no cats were harmed…” disclaimer, I’m a little concerned about that!
Almost as good as this other Weird Nature BBC clip: Drunk Monkeys
I think there needs to be an intervention for the baked kittah at the one minute mark – the one that foaming at the mouth.
I get the same feeling seeing this as I do from watching really stoned people: embarrassed and just a little bit jealous.
Honeysuckle and valerian, eh? I’ll make a note of that.
Why is the one cat foaming at the mouth?
Valerian root works on cats too.
If you brew a tea and for its sedative effects (for yourself) and you own a cat, you will see its very strong effect.
Only one of our three cats ever took to catnip, but man, was she a mean drunk. Sweet kitty most of the time, but give her catnip (we had little linen bags that we filled w/dried ‘nip), and she’d claw the hell out of you if you tried to take it away from her. I still have a scar on my hand where she took a plug out of me.
My mother has a huge Maine-Coon tomcat who starts drooling like crazy as soon as he sees the travel-cage. He gets awfully car sick. The little (9kg) baby..
@12 – “there’s definitely plenty of bullshit gooping around in that video.”
Like the incessant sound-effect cat noises?
That’s definitely crap. Catnip is not a drug, it’s a scent that drives them mildly crazy. OK, some crazier than others. If you take the catnip away, they just start acting normal again; they don’t have withdrawals. Sure, they like it, like I like chocolate. I’d also hit you if you took my chocolate away! Or, since these are cats: I can has hitted you.
Oh, and that cat isn’t drooling because he’s high; he’s drooling because he just bit into something that tasted nasty, and he’s trying to get the taste out of his mouth.
Kind of reminds me of That 70’s Show when they’re all in their basement.
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