Cats on Catnip


By Andrew Marttila

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$22.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 19, 2018. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A humorous collection of dozens of photos of funny and adorable cats as they play with, roll in, and chow down their favorite snack of choice — catnip.

Cats love catnip. Whether it’s eating it, playing with it, or rolling around in it, catnip turns our domestic feline friends into hilarious balls of activity. Carefree and unconstrained, they are free to be silly, exceptionally playful, and downright gnarly.

Professional pet photographer and self-confessed crazy cat man Andrew Marttila (the photographer behind Shop Cats of New York) captures a range of the cats’ silly and expressive personalities as they react to their catnip trip. Delightful, elegant Fluffy transforms into a hell-bent renegade. Shy, reserved Mittens becomes a free-loving acrobat. In the blink of an eye, a cat’s expression transforms from bored to inquisitive to playful to curious to bizarre . . . to utterly unhinged. A fun and delightful look at our furry companions, this gift book is perfect for every cat lover.



Most of us would agree that cats are agile, regal creatures, but if you believe that cats are nothing but grace and sophistication, then you’ve probably never seen a cat on catnip.

I’ve been a professional animal photographer for the past five years and have dedicated most of that time to photographing cats exclusively. When photographing cats, the attitude is as important as the gear—patience, good lighting, and a fast shutter speed go a long way. With my setup I’m able to capture pictures at split seconds, catching a cat’s wildest faces and expressions that would otherwise just be a hilarious moving show. I graduated with a degree in neuroscience, but I never imagined it would evolve into exploring the neuro-effects of catnip. Yet, these photos are enough to make any cat lover wonder what is causing this hysterical response.

Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, grows rather unfettered in the wild in many parts of the world and is extremely easy to grow at home in most climates. It’s part of the mint family and contained within the bulbs, stems, and leaves is an oil called nepetalactone. Once eaten, rolled on, or crushed, the oil binds to the cat’s nasal receptors and stimulates a response that affects a number of areas in the brain, including the hypothalamus and amygdala, two regions that are key in regulating emotional and behavioral responses to stimuli. This often causes cats to rub their face and body all over the green stuff, which produces a mild euphoric effect and typically lasts about ten to twenty minutes.

Catnip releases something primordial within cats. Carefree and unconstrained, they are free to be silly, exceptionally playful, and downright gnarly. Delightful, elegant Fluffy transforms into a hell-bent renegade. Shy, reserved Mittens becomes a free-loving acrobat. In the blink of an eye, a cat’s expression transforms from bored to inquisitive to playful to curious to bizarre… to utterly unhinged.

In my experience meeting hundreds of cats and kittens through my camera lens, only about four in five adult cats react to catnip, and most are immune to its effects until they’re about four to six months old. I’ve tested catnip on dozens of kittens and only a handful have reacted.

I’ve actually known many of the cats and kittens who are featured in this book their entire lives. I rescue and raise orphan kittens with my partner Hannah Shaw (Kitten Lady), and many of the models were hand-raised by us since they were newborns. Tidbit, for instance, was brought to us when he was found outside without a mother at just one day old. In creating this book, I was able to visit many of our rescues in their adoptive homes and was incredibly happy to see them living the high (ahem) life.

While creating this book, I was astounded to discover how few people have witnessed their cats on catnip, or when they did, what paltry amounts they offered. Since starting this project, I have gone through roughly three pounds of catnip. If I have one lesson to impart, it is this: Don’t be stingy. Catnip is non-addictive and harmless and provides a temporary respite from your cat’s grueling workload of napping all day.

Give your cat a pile of catnip and let the party begin.










  • "Cats on Catnip lets us see cats in a whole new light -- and it is absolutely hysterical! I roar with laughter over their huge eyes and lashing tongues during these freeze-framed freakouts."—Hannah Shaw of Kitten Lady
  • "Hellllo itqsd me, Llil BUB. WOEw thiS booK itts so ggreaytr/"—Lil BUB
  • "They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Cats on Catnip, only two words are necessary: Cat Bliss!"—Jackson Galaxy
  • "There's nothing funnier than seeing your furry friend gacked out on catnip. Andrew's shots capture it all so perfectly!"—Jim Tews, author of Felines of New York
  • "This is an uplifting journey of cats exploring catnip! Andrew reminds us how essential it is to have fun and embrace silliness. His photography is paramount and a real piece of art! We're obsessed!"—Nala Cat
  • "Pawesome book sure to make you LOL at the multiple pics of cats and their different reactions to this meowvelous herb."—Venus the Two Face Cat
  • "Cats on Catnip celebrates the playful nature of these party cats that we can all relate to. Andrew Martilla is again at his best here, as every photograph comes to life and reminds us of our undeniable love for our furry companions."—Kady and Eli of Cats of Instagram
  • "Cats on Catnip proves that Marttila is a master of feline photography with a unique sense of humor."—David Williams of Men With Cats
  • "Cats on Catnip perfectly captures that I-just-lost-my-mind, nip-induced vibe. Absolutely hilarious!"—Angie Bailey, author of whiskerslist and Texts from Mittens
  • "Andrew once again succeeds in capturing an often overlooked dimension of feline life, elevating it to an art form. Through his unique intimate photographic style, he brings the viewer directly into moments of feline whimsy and comedy. This book is sure to bring a smile to any cat lover's face."—Tamar Arslanian, author of Shop Cats of New York and founder of

On Sale
Jun 19, 2018
Page Count
128 pages
Running Press

Andrew Marttila

About the Author

Andrew Marttila is a professional animal photographer best known for his captivating images of cats. He reaches hundreds of thousands of cat lovers through social media, where he documents his travels promoting rescues around the world, taking photos for clients, and snuggling a revolving door of foster kittens. Andrew's photography has been featured on the cover of National Geographic and in Catster, Vanity Fair, and the Guardian, and on CNN and MSNBC, among others. Andrew is the photographer behind Shop Cats of New York and author of Cats on Catnip and How to Take Awesome Photos of Cats. He lives in San Diego, CA, with his partner Kitten Lady, where they run their nonprofit rescue, Orphan Kitten Club.

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