We've all been on youtube and seen those cat videos of cats acting crazy and even some seeming drugged over. However, cat nip is in no way a drug. It's actually an herb that is in the mint family and can be gown in an herb garden. When the leaves are ripped, broken, or torn it releases a certain chemical that most but not all cats respond to.
Cats can respond in a variety of ways to catnip. Some of them just are not effected by it and will simply walk away because they could care less. But others go nuts. The cats that go crazy are actually responding to an active ingredient called Nepetalactone. What is really going on with your precious little fluffy is that there is a reaction between the chemical nepatalactone and the organ that operates the cats five senses; touch,smell,sight,sound and taste.
The cats that react to it will roll around in it, sniff it, some will eat it or just lick it. Some researchers believe that the reaction is inherited and that is why not all cats respond in the same way. The reaction is even different between young kittens and in old cats. Even lions, tigers, and other large cats will respond to it. However, it is not at all rare to have a cat that doesn't respond to catnip, about 10-30 percent of cats don't go crazy over catnip.
Catnip is safe and is not addictive to cats so you can feel guilt free to give your Mr. whiskers a treat like Catnip Puffs every once in a while. The funnest thing about giving your cat catnip is watching how its behavior changes. Although cats can't get addicted and its safe to give to your cat, keep in mind that you can have too much of a good thing. If a cat eats too much fresh catnip it can have digestion issue and vomit or have diarrhea. If you notice that this is the reaction your cat is having, don't give your cat as much catnip or any at all.