High On Catnip
So, sometimes the writer wants to show a character acting stoned, drunk
for the purpose of comedy.
When the character in question is a cat or other feline, the "drug" of choice will often be plain ol' catnip.
This has several advantages. For starters, it prevents the writers from having to put any "real
" drugs into the story to get the desired result, and secondly, for talking
felines, it serves as a Furry Reminder
, giving an otherwise human-acting animal a realistic behavioural quirk for their species. Such a scene can also be used to avert the snobby
, uptight stereotype often associated with cats.
If you really want to sneak past the radar, show Anthropomorphic cats smuggling/hiding catnip as if it were an illegal drug. If a normal human can get high off the stuff, it may serve to enforce an Animal Motif
or give an impression of general quirkiness
This is Truth in Television
. Catnip can have a soothing effect on humans and has often been brewed into tea and, yes, even smoked. It is a muscle relaxant, and catnip and hop brew makes a good sauna water additive.
of G-Rated Drug
, I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin
- Many furry works use catnip as a stand-in for pot.
Anime and Manga
- Was part of a Christmas-themed Petco commericial a few years back.
- In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, Alley-Kat-Abra/Felina Furr actually gets a catnip high, tells her team-mate Captain Carrot/R. R. Rabbit that he is "really cute, but would be cuter if he was a cat," uses her magic powers to turn him into one, and offers him some catnip. No, this comic wasn't from Vertigo...
- In American Flagg!, while serving as mayor of Chicago, Raul (an actual cat, albeit an intelligent talking one) becomes addicted to Gato Blotto™, a super-potent variety of catnip.
- The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers - Fat Freddy walks in with a little plastic bag full of crumbled leaves - his cat sniffs it and starts leaping and cavorting with delirious joy. Freddy bawls "I spent my last fifteen dollars on catnip!"
- In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfnip Madness", Gargamel sees his cat Azrael staggering to the door, baked on catnip.
- The RWBY fic Nip is about Yang spraying catnip on Blake's pillow to troll her.
- In Shrek 2, guards capture Shrek and friends and one finds a bag of catnip on Puss In Boots' person. Puss denies that it's his.
- The joke is repeated in Puss in Boots. Puss claims it's for his glaucoma.
- A scene in Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore has the heroes visit the house of a Crazy Cat Lady. Turns out a) cat ladies are such enablers for catnip addiction, b) cats on catnip act like comedic-variant stoners.
- Catwoman has a scene where the titular character reacts very... strangely to catnip.
- Occurs in Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers.
- In Tailchaser's Song, a naive Tailchaser overdoses and passes out.
- Warrior Cats:
- Warrior Cats pretty much averts this. It appears in the books and is used as a medicinal herb to help cats with greencough relax (though Fireheart in the first series remembers it from when he was a kitten and is extremely tempted to bite down on it when carrying some back). The authors have commented that, while they touch upon several serious topics in the series, one that will almost certainly never appear is drugs in any form.
- In Moth Flight's Vision, it finally gets played straight. Moth Flight, having never used catmint before and no idea what the proper dose is, guesses and ends up giving Rocky too much. The old cat gets high and plays like a kit, and tries hilariously to find any excuse to get some throughout the rest of the book.
- There's a brief mention near the start of The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency of a hippy commune of cats who were growing catnip but were able to show the authorities it was for personal use.
- Referenced in Red Dwarf - Cat comments on how the unreality pockets in "Out of Time" are worse/weirder than triple strength catnip.
- In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch Salem claims that a party got out of hand when "someone brought catnip". In another episode a female talking cat at a witch gathering got drunk off catnip.
- In Bewitched, a female cat is turned into an attractive young woman, who gains the attention of another young man before Samantha can change her back. Samantha 'spikes' the cat's drink with catnip, and the resulting intoxication (and angry hissing when the young man takes it away) is enough to cool his ardor.
- The song "Substance Abuse" by Dubstep duo Dodge and Fuski includes a sample of a man talking about catnip in the same style as a scientist in an anti-drug film from the 50s or 60s.
- Used several times in Garfield.
- One early Sunday strip takes a more literal approach to this: Garfield (looking visibly stoned) silently stares at his waterbowl as strange things appear entering and exiting it. The last panel has Garfield saying "That was some good catnip". Not surprisingly, the strip was never published after the comic premiered in 1978, though it was featured in the 25th anniversary book for the series.
- Get Fuzzy has this a few times.
- This is a periodic source of humor in Krazy Kat.
- Knights of the Old Republic parody art sometimes involves getting Juhani good and baked on nip, usually in the context of Revan trying to take the edge off her temper.
- Hazama's gag reel in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift has him bathing in Spanish catnip. While Hazama himself isn't affected by it, when he goes to the Kaka village to cause some trouble, every one of its inhabitants exhibits strange behavior, as if getting high off the aroma. And then Jubei and Kokonoe get involved, and his cat allergies start to catch up. Things only get more wack from there...
- Played with in an episode of Cat Face. The title character rubs himself against some catnip, following with a close-up of his dilating eyes and psychedelic music, implying he's going on a trip. Then it automatically zooms out and Cat Face tells Box Cat to stop playing the "crappy music". After yelling at his friend, Cat Face flies up and purrs until he runs into a lit lightbulb. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
- This episode of Simon's Cat.
- This episode of Talking Kitty Cat.
- Played straight in the 'Fionna and Cake' episode of Adventure Time. Cake is handed a bag of catnip, and she sniffs it, after which her pupils dilate and she remarks, "SWEET BABIES..."
- Parodied in the "Cat Orgy" episode of South Park. Mr. Kitty brings her tomcat friends in the house, dumps catnip on the floor, and one of the cats snorts it.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, catnip causes the Cat Lady's cats to have a sudden dance party.
- The SWAT Kats episode "The Metallikats" opens with a gang of mobsters smuggling, well, catnip. Specifically, it shows a gang member who has clearly just tested his shipment proclaiming it "the good stuff" and rubbing powder from under his nose.
- One Terrytoons short was about a cat who goes through a Disney Acid Sequence after sniffing some catnip.
- A Little Roquefort cartoon had Roquefort's feline nemesis Percy becoming best friends with him after inhaling catnip.
- An entire episode of Father of the Pride centered around Larry and Kate's assumptions that their daughter was smoking catnip. They ended up accidentally ingesting it themselves, and rather... pot-like effects took hold.
- One Kid vs. Kat cartoon had Mr. Kat trying to grow his catnip faster, with strange results.
- Catnip works on the feline brain similarly to how marijuana works on the human brain. However, the effects are much more short-lived. Some rare cats are naturally immune to its effects though, and even normal cats will become immune for a while if they're constantly exposed to it.
- It also has a calming effect on humans, and is a common ingredient in "calming" teas. It's not as pronounced, but the chemical effects are similar to how it works on cats.
- And yes, catnip does have that effect on the larger cats like tigers, lions, leopards and pumas.
- Valerian (the herb) has the same effect as catnip. In some countries such as Russia, valerian is the cats' drug of choice in popular perception. Especially because it is readily available in drugstores as an over-the-counter anxiolytic, hence, cats can readily obtain valerian from their masters' closets.