Most cats respond with ridiculous behavior to catnip because of its nepetalactone constituent. Humans have smoked and inhaled catnip for a relaxing and euphoric affect. The plant also has an insect repelling benefit.
Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which is what attracts cats to it. However, sensitivity to nepetalactone is an inherited trait in feline species, so some cats will go for it, and others won't. This doesn't just apply for your average housecat either, it also includes tigers, lions, and any feline animal!
Catnip may have insect repelling action and has shown to be a sedative. It may produce psychedelic effects in humans and cats. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Nepeta cataria
This mint like plant has a square stem, brownish leaves, and small pale pink flowers.
The leaves are used both dried and fresh, or made into an essential oil.
Oil is steam distilled from the leaves, flowers, and buds. It is yellow or orange with an herbal and minty odor.