Does catnip make cats high?

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The chemical compound in the plant that attracts and affects cats is called nepetalactone. Nepetalactone is a stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a "high.” The effects last for about 10 minutes. When a cat eats catnip it acts as a sedative.

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When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative, but when smelled, it causes the cat to go crazy. It's thought to mimic feline pheremones and trigger those receptors. Cats may rub against and chew on catnip to bruise the leaves and stems, which then release more nepetalactone. Catnip is safe for cats.

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