So while our cat was acting "crazy" this evening tearing from room to room and pouncing on on nothing, my wife and I were laughing at its behaviour. During discussions she mentioned hearing that cats have a chemical in their brains that acts much like LSD. Sure enough, someone on the Snopes forum asked the same question (the thread relates other humorous cat stories but no answer).

So, do cats (normally) have any chemicals in their brains that causes them to "hallucinate"? (or cause this rather erratic behaviour)

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    And thus, Larian was single-handedly responsible for cats going extinct ...
    – user5341
    Mar 5 '13 at 14:46
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    All I can think of is psychedelic drug DMT that was found in rats, rabbits and humans and probably the trace of it might be found in every mammal. There is loads of pseudoscience around DMT and it's even called a spirit molecule...
    – Rabbit
    May 31 '13 at 12:04
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    Note that the question on Snopes is different. They say: "EEG scans of cats were compared to those of people under the influence of LSD, and found to be remarkably similar". This (if true) would not imply that LSD or a similar substance is present in their brain. LSD acts on serotonin receptors, as do many other things, serotonin included...
    – nico
    Sep 10 '15 at 14:34
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    I think this question is not possible to answer definitively unless the chemical is specified. "Acts like LSD" can mean a huge range of behaviours.
    – March Ho
    Sep 11 '15 at 9:27
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    A lot of psychoactive chemicals work by being similar to chemicals that are in the brain to make it work, because that is how they interfere with it. So opiates fit in the same receptor as endorphins, which is why they have a a similar effect. Meanwhile cocaine binds to the molecules that transport neurotransmitters back into neurones, blocking their action. So having something similar to a psychoactive molecule in your brain (or your cats) is not surprising. Sep 13 '16 at 16:30

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