01/28/2014 08:40 am ET Updated Jan 28, 2014

Does Catnip Get Cats High And Make Them Aroused? (VIDEO)

There's a reason why we love cats so much -- They are just like us!

Like most vertebrates, cats have a surprisingly similar anatomy to humans, and can be vulnerable to psychoactive chemicals.

When domestic cats were observed licking catnip, as many as 70 percent got a little frisky, according to NatGeo Wild. This is because catnip contains aromatic oils with an active compound called nepetalactone.

When the leaves of the catnip are bruised, this compound is released creating a cannabis-like effect on our furry friends.

Some cats that are normally docile get aggressive, and some aggressive cats got friendlier. But generally the cats were observed to be more cuddly, playful and chill, for lack of a better word.

The catnip has one additional effect -- it acts as an aphrodisiac because the nepetalactone mimics the sex pheromones found in tomcat urine.

"It speaks to how important social bonding is, and anything that can make that easier. Anything that can maybe flip that rigid hierarchy, I think, could be useful to an animal, and that might create a kind of feedback loop that makes the animal want to try that again," says one speaker in the video.



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