Wondering Why?

Why do Cats like Catnip?

Why do Cats like Catnip?

Research reveals that all the different species of the cat family (Felidae) are fascinated by catnip. Cat family members like mountain lions, tigers, lynx, leopards, jaguars or domesticated cats which get a whiff of a catnip will either rub their faces, extend their claws, or even perform body twists into a patch of catnip.

The cats react this way because of the catnip’s strong odor. The catnip leaves contain an oil chemical known as trans-nepetalactone, which has a smell similar to the smell of a substance found in a female cat’s urine.

Although cats love catnip, there are some who appear as if they have been drugged. However it is not a drug, it is an herb which comes from mint. Once the leaves are broken they discharge a special substance that makes cats react.

All cats react in different ways to catnip. Some walk away while some go crazy for it. Those who fall in the latter category react that way because of the Nepetalactone which a very active substance present in catnip This substance triggers a reaction in the cat’s five senses (smell, sound, taste, touch and sight)

The cats that respond to a catnip will eat it or lick it, some will smell it, some just roll in it. Because reaction to the catnip is inherited, some cats do not respond to it. Response to catnip from kittens, elderly cats and the tiger species are very seldom so, if a cat does not respond to catnip it’s nothing to fuss about because 10 ‚ 30 % of cats don’t respond to it

Giving catnip treats to your cat is 100% safe. The best thing about giving it to your cat is the change in behavior that you will notice. Although it is safe , it’s not wise to have too much of anything.

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