My wonderful bestfriend/aunt Jane, tells me how catnip is “drugs” for cats.So I went on google to test this so called “fact.”
Nepeta is a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. The members of this group are known as catnip or catmint because of the purported effect on cats—nepeta pleasantly stimulates cats’ pheromoniceuphoria and because of its corruption of the Greek word receptors, typically resulting in temporary kalaminthos ‘catmint, mint’. According to traditional herb medicine, catnip tends to have a sedative effect on humans.
The genus is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is now also common in North America. Most of the species are herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annuals. They have sturdy stems with opposite heart-shaped, green to grayish-green leaves. The flowers are white, blue, pink or lilac and occur in several clusters toward the tip of the stems. The flowers are tubular and spotted with tiny purple dots.
Effects on cats
Catnip and catmints are mainly known for the behavioral effects they have on cats, particularly domestics. When cats sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip, they may roll over it, paw at it, chew it, lick it, leap about and purr, or heavily salivate. Some will growl, meow, scratch, or bite the hand holding it. Some cats will eat dried catnip. Often, eating too much can cause cats to be overtly aggressive, typically making them hiss.
Catnip has nepetalactone, a terpene. Nepetalactone can be extracted from catnip by steam distillation. Cats detect it through their olfactory epithelium, not through their vomeronasal organ. At the olfactory epithelium, the nepetalactone binds to one or more olfactory receptors where it probably mimics a cat pheromone, such as the hypothetical feline facial pheromone or the cat urine odorant MMB.
So basically it’s like crack,cocaine,weed,and ecstacy put together for cats. What a fun fact.