Is it morally wrong to give my cat catnip?

This stuff makes my cat go from sedate quite kitty to spazkat and I find myself wondering “Is the humor of it all somehow macabe and wrong?”

I started thinking about it and wonder if this is similar to giving a child marijuana or crack.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


I had this same discussion on another board several months ago - aptly titled “Kitty Pot”.

But damn if it isn’t hysterical, and I WON’T stop giving it to them! It entertains them and me for a good hour! :smiley:


there have never (to my knowledge) any reports of harmful side effects
if there were, i doubt the stuff would still be available OTC
BTW - i read/heard somewhere only about 10% of cats actually react to it
Smokey has a mild reaction, I know of two that don’t at all

I have read in numerous published sources that it is not. I choose to believe them. Particularly since (1) its effects are so short-lasting, (2) nothing overtly harmful ever happened to my kitty when I gave it to her, and (3) she lived to be almost 17.

If it is wrong, I have a friend who’s going on the Catnip Enabler Most Wanted List. He took one of his three cats outside to enjoy the catnip patch, then brought kitty back in and didn’t let the cat out again. (They do get small amounts of regular catnip after it’s been dried, but apparently the cat thought it’d discovered nirvana during the short garden trip.) The intent was that this cat would tell the others of the miraculous catnip-on-a-plant place, and that discussion over whether to believe this would splinter the cats’ ongoing efforts to enslave the humans in the house, due to doubts over whether the place was real and if so, why had only one of their number ever been brought there?

I suspect he might be half-serious about it, too, but the fact remains that he did show one of their cats a little piece of heaven in the form of live catnip plants, then steadfastly refuses to do so again - even though that cat will now meow piteously to be let out.

I sure hope it’s not bad to give them catnip, 'cause if it is I’m in for serious trouble in the Afterlife.

I’ve never seen any bad effects from it, and anything that can make the cats that happy, and make me laugh that much, can’t be too bad.

Catnip tea is good for colic in babies, too.

that is just too cruel! the poor widdle kitty! :frowning:

My line of reasoning is that if it makes the kitty happy, what does it matter if it’s equivalent to being stoned. The kitty has no responsibilities to meet, no car to drive, and about the only negative side effect I could possibly see is that it might shorten the cat’s already relatively short life.

That said, I certainly wouldn’t give my cats catnip everyday (except for the minute amount of catnip dust in the cardboard scratcher), regardless of the effect.

These days, though, we keep catnip to an absolute minimum. It makes one of our cats really happy-crazy, but the other cat gets absolutely MEAN, and he tries to attack the first cat.

What, do you think he’s not going to get into a good college if you let him get stoned all the time?

Our vet keeps a jar of catnip in the exam rooms, and he assures us that the effects wear off as soon as kitty finishes nipping. He also said that being affected by it is a genetically dominant trait.

All of ours love it. We leave catnip pillows out all the time for them, and we keep a catnip plant next to their water. They’re all healthy and happy, and I’ve never seen any ill effects from it.


The cat doesn’t ingest the catnip, so I don’t think you are harming it.

I’d like to know if there is such a thing that can affect humans in the same way. I’m thinking of some kind of plant that if a human smells it, that human gets obsessed with the plant, and has to paw it, etc.

I guess it might be morally wrong if you are causing your cat to be intoralably frustrated. Maybe catnip attracts a cat, but the cat has no way of addressing the attraction. Then it would be a case of psychic harm. The cat can’t eat the catnip, or do anything to assuage its attraction. That would certainly drive me crazy.

Sorry, that’s intolerably.

I’m not for drugs, but I give my cat catnip. It wears off quickly enough and he hasn’t gotten any addictions, or moved on to stronger cat-drugs.:wink:

Just because I can’t smoke dope anymore doesn’t mean my cats have to go without. They get catnip toys all the time. Catnip bubbles, too.

It got our cats to use the scratching post instead of the furniture-that’s reason enough for me!

Sadly, our’s don’t go QUITE as batty as my old cat, Fluffy did. She was basically the equivalent of the guy who gets shitfaced from one beer.

My cat once chewed through the plastic bag to get to the catnip. She’d also ingest it.

I was always told it aids digestion for them. My two get a small pinch once or twice a week that they chow down on.

We bought a new bag of catnip three or four weeks ago. We stuffed their old toys with it, and then I left it on the living room table while I went to the kitchen. When I walked back in the room, I saw Emmy pulling the bag off the table with her teeth and dragging it across the room. She ran off with it and it took a little while to find it.


It doesn’t affect my Tio at all. Catnip toys get just as much disinterest as the regular ones.

My friends enjoy sending their cats into a catnip frenzy, though. I don’t think it can be doing them any harm - the effect is short lived, and they’re not eating it. Plus it’s a ton of fun to watch them roll around and meow!

I never let the cat operate heavy machinery when he’s on the nip, so I think I’m okay. In fact, I often enjoy a nice glass of wine while he indulges in the catnip. We’re not exactly running a teetotalling household around here.

Hm… I read figure stating that wild cats will eat it as much as 3 times a week naturally. No source, it was a while ago, sorry. If I could, I’d give my cats cat nip all the time. Is it morally wrong for a human to be drunk? My older cat Mila doesn’t like it so she stays away. But my younger one goes nuts for it.

They can chose for themselves whether or not they want it, so it’s not really morally anything on our part I don’t think.