I didn’t have a cat growing up, so everything I know about cats I’ve learned since getting our first cat a few years ago. Cats are weird little critters and have motivated me to read and watch as much as I can. 1 thing that got my attention early on was that some people are afraid to give their cats catnip since they’re worried they will become raging drug addicts. Most cats are already raging food lovers (or at least mine is), so I’d be worried too if I believed catnip would add to his list of demands. Luckily, anybody with a computer can find everything they need to know about catnip and how it functions.
Here is a super quick sciencey rundown:
The stimulation produces euphoric or hallucinogenic effects causing the cat to do things resembling play, predatory, and sexual behaviours. The effects can last up to 15 minutes and has an hour refractory period where the cat can’t be stimulated further.
Mkay… So, I will see how observation can tell us that the cat is enjoying a sense of euphoria following catnip stimulation, but how do we know they’re hallucinating? People have been using catnip for centuries and I found a huge collection of”common” applications of catnip ranging from easing toothaches to recreational use that may help explain why your grandma has such a huge stash in her basement.
Catnip was used for people with”nervous problems”. Catnip tea and infusions had a calming effect and have been used to treat headaches, hysteria, and insanity. Though, it was said that chewing the origin had an opposite effect, stimulating people into a type of rage.
Catnip was used to aid in women’s fertility. It was used to increase the flow of menstruation (honestly, why??) , assisted in childbirth, promoted afterbirth, and a wet mash of catnip was utilized to ease sore breasts out of nursing.
Catnip for Baby
Catnip was used to ease colic in infants. It was also said to relieve gassiness and the hiccups. Overdoses were reported to cause convulsions and fell from favor.
Catnip to fix what ails you
Catnip mash was used to alleviate toothaches, tonsillitis, and hemorrhoid pain. It was a common cold remedy, hive reducer, and was used to both cool a hectic body and to stimulate sweating. It was a frequent pain reliever for arthritis by reducing painful swelling.
Catnip tea has been used for asthma, yellow fever, scarlet fever, small pox, and jaundice. Catnip was smoked in an effort to relieve respiratory problems, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.
Catnip from the 60’s
I bet you get the idea already, but catnip was commonly used in the 60’s as a recreational drug. It was used in place of and as a filler for marijuana. People reported visual and auditory hallucinations and euphoria. Catnip was given up for the more reliable effects of marijuana.