Dangers of Catnip: Fun or Facts?

This is a very well produced spoof video about the effects of catnip on cats and an anti-drug film parody. The video can be seen on YouTube where you will also see some comments. It is one of the films playing at the Sundance’s Short Film Program in 2013. The Sundance Film Festival is Robert Redford’s creation.

“Yes, it can lead to much harder substances – Valerian being the classic example”

“I think Valerian is much more of a problem on our streets. I know of several members of the local feline community who have succumbed to it’s sinister appeal.”

Seriously, it is a fun video. However, no one has done any work on whether catnip or one of the other hallucinogenic drugs that cats like actually does do harm.

The title is deliberately ambiguous. I don’t think, to be honest, that there is any ambiguity about cats chewing catnip or Valerian. I believe it is safe for the cat. In my opinion very few cats eat or sniff catnip. Sure, there are households where catnip or Valerian is probably used quite a lot but these are probably exceptional.

If there is a home where catnip is used a lot it would be nice to hear from them. The catnip effect is similar to recreational drug taking by people. Drugs can be addictive and/or change personalities.

The key factor for cats is that they don’t seek catnip. They don’t look for it and crave it as many people crave drugs. A cat will only chew on catnip of sniff it if a person either grows catnip or puts a catnip product in front of their cat.

There is no chance of addiction under those circumstances as far as I can see. Can cats becoming addicts? That idea makes me smile for some reason but cats do have similar anatomies to humans.

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Dangers of Catnip: Fun or Facts? — 19 Comments

  1. Our cats over almost 39 years have had catnip growing in tubs in the Summer and also catnip mice and have never gone over the top after chewing on it or after playing with the mice.
    Cats are far more sensible than weak willed humans who let themselves get addicted to drugs.

    • It is nice that you have first hand knowledge and have found your cats very sensibly exhibiting wonderful self-control, which humans have a tendency to be incapable of.

      • I would say that cats who live in less than good surroundings, perhaps with little interaction and always indoors, mights over use catnip just as they over eat. There are reasons humans get addicted to drugs as well.

  2. Lilly likes to eat it. Gig like to roll around in it til its all over her. They both go a bit nuts running around for a while and then sleep it off after. Being indoor cats at this time I like to give them anything that will make their lives a bit more fun or interesting so sometimes it’s catnip. I’d like to grow it myself next.

  3. Mine eat it and roll in it. Even our cat-dog Cujo eats dried nip. Furbys claims a catnip addiction but Gizzy is far more addicted than Furby. I’ve read a lot of sources stating catnip is medicinal to cats. Catnip flavored Temptation treats are my gangs favorite.

  4. I have a potted plant of it near the outdoor cat headquarters. I have only ever observed the cats sniffing, rubbing their cheek on it, then moving on. It doesn’t seem to make them crazy, but sometimes they play in a silly way. Yellow catches Shadows tail, then rolls on her back like she’s laughing. I’ve watched them play a form of hide and seek. When Bigfoot goes out, he always stops for a sniff, but I’m never sure if he is taking in the scent of the other cats, or taking a hit. Lol. King of the manor Marvin doesn’t seem to have any interest in it. He does love his cat tease though.

  5. By the way, I keep valerian root in my night stand for those nights Bigfoot thinks I should be up most of the night. But it is for ME. Not him. It is a great little natural sedative.

    • Valerian tea bags are sometimes recommended by alternative type cat therapists, instead of drugs, for anxious cats. Our Walter had a bout of anxiety after a bereavement and they did seem to help, we keep a box in for any stressful times for our boyz.

  6. Catnip is fun and valerian is calming,I agree cats know their limitations,some of mine don’t bother at all as not all cats like catnip.The ones that do enjoy a play with their catnip mice then walk away unaffected.

    • I wonder if it is possible for a cat to become addicted to a drug. I somehow doubt it. But cats can develop obsessive compulsive disorder and that is is form of addictive behavior.

  7. Largest and most comprehensive what is catnip page on the internet.

    It took me quite a while to put it together.

    Enjoy the read.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

  8. I have 2 users and 1 addict. Our cat mushroom will hassle for both valerian and catnip. If we don’t give it to her she will help herself. Found her with her head in my handbag because I had some valerian teabags. The other two are just recreational users!

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