Ree-fur Madness: Is Catnip Really Like Cannabis for Cats?
Dig into your kitty’s stash.
Published on October 16, 2016

These days people text me with cat questions more than they ask me about weed. (What have I become???) It’s true, I do know a lot about cats (and a little about Cat Stevens), so I can usually help them out.

Maybe it’s because cats and I have a lot in common. We both love sun patches, treats, ribbons, playing the piano, and getting high on green herbs. My drug of choice is marijuana, my cat’s is catnip.

Turns out both herbs are distantly related and share many similar characteristics. Such as:

Both plants can make the user a bit randy. The smell of catnip imitates cat pheromones which leads to…feelings. Cannabis is also known to increase the libido and cause…more feelings.

When cats inhale the scent of catnip they can go crazy with euphoria, but when they eat it they become incredibly mellow, which is exactly what edibles do to me.

(Actual footage of me at a party after eating edibles. I’m the guy in the blue jacket.)

Both herbs create a different effect in each user and are known to cause behaviors that fall into three categories: sexual, playful, or munchies. And some cats don’t get high at all because they lack the “catnip gene.” Bummer for those cats.

Cannabis and catnip eventually lead to the user feeling “zoned out,” a.k.a. “awesome.” It’s difficult to overdose on either plant, but you can get sick of both if you consume too much.


But these plants aren’t without their differences. Catnip gives your little Cat Stevens a short high—only five to 15 minutes—unlike a cannabis high, which can last anywhere from one to four hours depending on the person.

But it’s OK, kitties! Unlike humans, cats can get high from the tiniest whiff of catnip—just the smell is enough for them—so there’s no need for matches or expensive vapes. How nice for them.

Did you know that humans can get in on the catnip fun, too? Like cannabis, catnip (or C-Nip, as my cats call it) has its own special sedative properties. And when the dried leaves are made into a tea it’s similar to chamomile.

But before you go and buy your cat that tie-dyed T-shirt and tiny bong, STOP. Cats should NEVER use marijuana, because it will make them super sick. Sorry, cats. We can still hang out, though.

Thanks to the Humane Society and The Cat Doctor for all the helpful information!

Lauren Maul
Lauren Maul lives in Brooklyn, where she creates stories, music, and shows (while vaping.) See what she’s up to at
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