My kitties find catnip extremely relaxing.
Recently, i got three pouches from a vendor at a cat show, and these are really potent. i let my kitties use them as pillows, and even bring them along wherever they go. The kitties find them very relaxing.
Just last week, my kitties and i visited a friend, and he said the catnips smelled like tobacco!! hehe!
i tell ya, they can be pretty potent! i got a catnip padding quite some time ago, and place that in their cat house. The pad comes with a side zip, and one can refill with fresh catnips any time. Both kitties love sleeping on it! (Daisy is there now.) i freshen the catnips every now and then with new ones. You can buy catnip in packets at any pet stores.
Sometimes, i will get fresh grass for my furbabies, but they are not too crazy about it.
Here is something from my previous research:
Also known as catmint, catnip, catrup and catwort, catnip is a perennial that belongs to the mint family. The plant is native from the eastern Mediterranean region to the eastern Himalayas and has become widely introduced in North America and has been collected from as far north as Alaska. The generic name Nepeta is said to have been derived from the town Nepete in Italy where catnip was once cultivated.
Catnip was cultivated for cats by the classical Greeks and Romans and by 1265 it was a familiar herb of kitchen gardens in England. During the early medieval period the leaves and young shoots are known to have been used as a seasoning in the kitchen.
In 15th century England, catnip leaves were used for rubbing meats before cooking, and also sprinkled in mixed green salads. Before modern Chinese tea became widely available, catnip tea was frequently consumed.
Catnip is best known for inducing a euphoric response in cats. Cats purr contentedly, tear with delight, and roll in ecstasy on the crushed leaves of catnip. The response of domesticated cats to catnip has been extensively studied. Any branches of catnip that have been bruised or broken will emit the catnip chemicals. The cats sniff, then lick and chew while shaking their heads, followed by chin and cheek rubbing and a head over roll and body rubbing. While most cats are affected by
catnip, not all are "nipaholics". About 10% of cats do not respond to it, and whether or not your cat will respond has to do with her/his genetics. Kittens less than 2 months old do not react and some cats do not react until after 3 months old.
The Nepetalactone chemicals responsible for the intoxication of cats seem to be similar to the natural sedative in Valerian, supporting the traditional use of catnip for humans as a mild tranquilizer and sedative.
Article extracted from:http://www.catnipcafe.com/catnip.html
Take care and Cheers!