What does the world need more of? Cats. Happy cats. Rutgers understands this.

(Photo: Imgur)

If you're a crazy cat woman in the making like myself, you'll appreciate the fact that Rutgers scientists just spent the last ten years engineering a new type of catnip.

In honor of this odd, unsolicited achievement, here are five unusual facts about the strange plant we give our felines for fun.

  1. Catnip is a member of the mint family. While I wouldn't toss it in my next mojito, its fresh aroma can be used like an essential oil.
  2. Speaking of drinks, you can make this herb into a helpful tea. When taken by humans it can act as a mild sedative, numb headaches and tooth pain, cure nausea and aid sleep.
  3. The new catnip developed by RU doubles as mosquito repellent. It'll also scare off other bugs like cockroaches and deer ticks, which could help prevent the contraction of insect-transmitted diseases like Lyme Disease, malaria and West Nile virus. Thanks, Rutgers!
  4. Even though your cat may go crazy at a mere whiff of this plant, it's nonaddictive.
  5. Big cats love catnip, too. Some trappers actually use the leaves to attract bobcats, lynx and other large species.

P.S. If you already knew all these, chances are you're a crazy cat person, too. Own it.

Kira Buxton is producer of The Jim Gearhart Show and a professional photographer-videographer. You can reach her at kira.buxton@townsquaremedia.com.