What Really Happens To Cats When They Eat Too Much Catnip

If you own one of those L.A. party scene cats that loves to get wild, you're no doubt aware of the drug menace ensnaring so many of today's most promising cat youth. Catnip: the jazz cigarettes of feline culture. The devil's lettuce of the Meow Mix crowd. And while it's perfectly natural for young cats to experiment with the substance, sometimes the fun gets out of hand. What happens when Whiskers ignores D.A.R.E.'s creed and just says "sounds good?"

Here's the bad news: yes, as it turns out, it is absolutely possible for a cat to overdose on catnip. The (relatively) good news is that, when all is said and done, the worst that'll probably happen is a rug full of cat diarrhea. 

According to the folks at Petful, catnip is, taking a wide view, non-toxic. It's an herb that's filled to the brim with a chemical called nepetalactone, which around two thirds of all cats are genetically hardwired to think is the bee's knees. When dried out the way it tends to be in pet toys, it poses about as much threat to your kitten as a solid head rush. But in its raw, uncut, premium unhydrated form, levels of nepetalactone (and your cat) can be high enough to cause some temporary stomach problems.

The Hunger Games featuring Catnips Evergreen

Luckily, as relayed by the two veterinarians interviewed, cats "tend to know when they've had enough," making overdoses rare. Even when they do occur, the cat in question is pretty definitely going to ride it out just fine on their own.

It's normal to worry about your pet, especially when they're getting into drug-fueled hijinks. Just know that they're probably fine and that all you're doing is harshing the mellow. Catnip is natural, man. It comes from the Earth.

Now, if they get into meowthamphetamine, that's a different story.