A kitten’s first encounter with catnip has been chronicled in a hilarious video shared to TikTok by his owner.

Meatball, the white and ginger British longhair kitten, could be seen reacting with delight after coming across a sprinkling of the plant, which is famous for having a powerful effect on our feline friends.

Cats react to catnip because of the presence of nepetalactone, a volatile oil present in the plant, which, when inhaled, essentially serves as an artificial pheromone for felines.

They are known to rub their heads and bodies against the plant and, in stronger reactions, can often roll around, jump, salivate and vocalize.

A cat enjoying a bite of catnip.
A cat enjoying a bite of catnip – a kitten was left in ecstasy after encountering the herb for the first time.
Petra Richli/Getty

“This response lasts for about 10 minutes, after which the cat becomes temporarily immune to catnip’s effects for roughly 30 minutes,” Ramona Turner, a veterinarian who owns two Fresno, California–based animal hospitals, told Scientific American.

“Response to catnip is hereditary; about 70 to 80 percent of cats exhibit this behavior in the plant’s presence. In addition, catnip does not affect kittens until they are about six months old and begin to reach sexual maturity.”

Meatball has evidently reached that level of maturity if the clip shared to social media is anything to go by. The young feline can be seen rubbing himself against the herb and even appears to briefly have a taste of it.

Captioned “Meatball when he discovered catnip” the video has been watched over 3.1 million times with fans flocking to the comments section to have their say on the cat’s reaction. Watch it here.

Brohail98 was in awe of “the way he smooshes himself into the catnip” while Claire Smallwood was similarly stunned, commenting: “I just watched that cat melt.” Patch13tris, meanwhile, was blown away by the sweetness of it all. “Oh my GOODNESS!!! So so cute!!!!” they said. “His name is meatball?? That’s even more cute!!”

Others like Madiee26 were surprised at the serenity of it all. “He’s so calm,” they said. “My cats are like rabid animals.” Fellow cat owner Mothman_in_a_trenchcoat was left crestfallen by the clip, writing: “My cat doesn’t care for catnip or silvervine. I wish she did.”

Loki Nala Cooper’s cat, meanwhile, apparently takes a different approach to enjoying the herb, “My cats EAT the catnip,” the pet owner revealed. A few like Squishy had it even harder when it came to their cat’s reaction to catnip. “My cat gets very abusive when on catnip,” they admitted.

Lilyyyyy.000 was just loving the cat’s blissed-out behavior, commenting that they could even image Afroman’s “Because I got High” playing in the background.

Responding to one viewer, Meatball’s owner revealed the kitten has only been living with them a short while but had been showing them his “cuddly side.” It seemed to be winning him lots of fans too with one TikToker, Roxie, declaring: “THIS IS THE CUTEST CAT I HAVE EVER SEEN.”

One thing is for sure: Meatball is going to need a lie down after this. Luckily he’s a cat so there should be no issues there.

Newsweek has contacted frankandmeatball for comment.

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