Catnip makes many cats go crazy. They’ll sniff it, inhale it, and lounge around in a stupor much like how humans act in the presence of drugs in their system. Yet catnip is natural so it’s odd that a plant would have that affect on felines.
The substance in catnip that triggers this state of feline ecstasy is called nepetalactone, a type of chemical called a terpene. Catnip is performing an unusual and unique chemical process that can be used to create useful compounds that can be used in treatment of diseases such as cancer.
If scientists discover a cure for cancer, it could be related to catnip, so maybe cats aren’t so dumb in wanting to be around catnip whenever possible.