What is “catnip”, a herb, grass, weed or something else and where does it come from?
Question #145410. Asked by Madbird71.
Last updated Feb 12 2018.
Originally posted Feb 11 2018 9:49 PM.
Answer has 10 votes.
Currently voted the best answer.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. It can grow to be up to three feet in height.
The chemical compound in the plant that attracts and affects cats is called Nepetalactone. It is found in the leaves and stems. Nepetalactone is a stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a “high” that is described as being similar to either marijuana or LSD. The effects last for about 10 minutes before wearing off. When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative, but when smelled, it causes the cat to go crazy. It is thought to mimic feline pheremones and trigger those receptors.
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