Cat Behaviour: All About Catnip

by Paws on Your Heart on February 27, 2018

msquanna_100_0003 by msquannaCatnip has been a popular treat among cats forever. The herb is a common ingredient in many cat toys, and cats simply can’t get enough of it. So what is it about the catnip herb that cats love so much, and why does it make them act so strange?

The catnip herb is believed to be specially made for our feline friends.┬áNo matter the feline’s gender or age, catnip seems to put our feline friends into sensory overload when they smell it. The sensation that felines experience is said to be so strong that it is similar to the effect that the drugs opium and morphine have on people. Luckily, catnip is not a drug, and it is not toxic at all, so cats can be exposed to the herb in large doses without having to worry about overdosing.

The effects of catnip only last about 5-15 minutes, and when the effects have worn off, cats often become drowsy and lazy. After being exposed to catnip, cats will not be able to react to the scent of it for about 30 minutes.

Interesting Facts About Catnip:

  • The protein makeup of the plant is very similar to the proteins in female cat urine. It is believed that the reason cats are so attracted to the herb is because it mimics the pheromones that female cats use for sexual communication.
  • Approximately 25-30% of cats are genetically unaffected by catnip, so they have no interest in the herb? Kittens and young cats are also unaffected by the scent of catnip, and some kittens actually show disgust towards the smell.

Is your cat a fan of catnip? How does your cat react when he or she plays with catnip? Let us know in the comments section below!

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