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Catatonic cat scene looks like a catastrophe

Story about felines getting their fix of catnip and lying around in stupor goes viral

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Cats collectively enjoy catnip. (Twitter, Pakaguchi photo)

Cats collectively enjoy catnip. (Twitter, Pakaguchi photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — What looked like a scene of feline mass murder turned out to be a clowder of cats getting high, according to a viral story from Japan.

Taiwan’s NOWnews reported Sunday (June 5) that an enterprising individual had decided to deal with a seasonal plague of mosquitoes by planting copious quantities of leafy Nepeta cataria. More commonly known as catnip, or catmint, it has an essential oil called nepetalactone.

This repels mosquitoes but attracts cats. Typically, they eat the catnip, which sets off the brain’s “happy" receptors. This makes cats hyperactive and possibly even aggressive, or just playful and then intensely zoned out.

The effect has been described as a “cat high.” It usually lasts for about 10 minutes and takes two hours or so for the cat to become susceptible to the essential oil again.

In the pictures shown, which originally come from the Twitter account of @Pakaguchi, the cats are seen lolling around en masse. At first glance, it looks like a massacre has taken place.

Netizen comments on the picture included: “I thought it was a mass murder” and, “Now I know how to look after a cat,” or, “Drug addiction zone,” and “Call security!”

Catatonic cat scene looks like a catastrophe
Catatonic cat scene looks like a catastrophe
Catatonic cat scene looks like a catastrophe
(Twitter, Pakaguchi photos)
Catatonic cat scene looks like a catastrophe
A cat called TomTom with some catnip. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)