Home secretary Alan Johnson is introduce a Parliamentary Bill which will outlaw catnip and similar feline highs within weeks following the publication of an RSPCA report that described the drug’s effect on the UK’s cat population as a “national scandal”.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said last night “We are delighted that the Government has finally acted to protect these poor creatures. Its widespread use has reduced many cats to a pitiful state. To see the poor things hanging around the streets all hours, howling and defecating on neighbourhood gardens; just waiting for their next fix is enough to make an animal lover weep.”
Penny Newton, director of Worthing’s Cat Shelter, works on the front line of feline welfare. “The news comes as a relief. So many people trivialise the impact of catnip but I don’t think they realise that the imported catnip available these days is far stronger than the stuff that their kittens may have tried in their days at University.’
The tightening up of catnip follows the Government’s move to restrict other cat drugs such as M-Kat or “Meow Meow” and Kit-E-Kat.