Catnip video – Before I show my selection (very carefully selected while smoking catnip just to get in the right frame of mind) you might like to read these pages on catnip (all open in new windows):
The first video is great (and the most popular catnip video) but probably seen by almost all (but not quite all!). It shows a group of German cats (I think) enjoying naturally growing catnip in a cemetery. They appear to migrate to it and there are the odd cat spats (hey, must be the drugs in the catnip).
The video below is a bit outrageous as this cat is almost bathing in catnip that is loose in the box. It must be pure heaven. I think this is a case of O.D. as well.
You know with drugs (and catnip is a drug for cats albeit mild) there are different ways of taking them, snorting, injecting, smoking etc. Well with catnip you can roll in it and sniff it as the cat is doing above or you can go a stage further, in fact, the ultimate stage, and eat it. In this video the catnip had an immediate impact it seems as the cat smacks the leaves excitedly!
The cats in the videos are the half that go nuts on catnip but the other half don’t (the Wikipedia author says 2/3rds are sensitive to catnip). It is an inherited trait apparently but most Australian cats are not interested. Does that tell us anything about the Australi ans? Or maybe it is due to the quality of catnip in Australia. If both parents are sensitive to catnip then the offspring have a 75% chance of inheriting the sensitivity (src: Bio-Medicine.org).
The scientific name for catnip is Nepeta cataria and it contains chemicals one of which is called Nepetalactone. These chemicals cause the behavioural response of mild euphoria although it is not known exactly what is happening. What is known, though, is that the chemicals in catnip stimulate receptors in the nose (olfactory epithelium) and mouth.
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. (src: Wikipedia)
If catnip is stored in a freezer it will retain its potency. If not it will gradually lose it as Nepetalactone is volatile (evaporates, I presume). Catnip can also cause mild euphoria in people. Another use that you may have heard about is as an insect repellent.
COMMENT: The story is not what it looks like in the title. But it is…