Are you wondering about that plant-like stuff that drives your cat crazy? Well, then you are on the right platform. We are here to talk about that plant-like stuff only. Your cat generally knows that stuff by the name of CATNIP or CATMINT.
Catnip has derived its name from the Latin name or scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, which is a member of the mint family or Lamiaceae. It has been originated from Asia, Europe, and Africa and now it has been spread all over the world and basically grows like a weed. In many gardens, catnip is used also used as an ornamental plant because it is deer resistant, drought tolerant and also repels many insects.
Nepetalactone has been found in the stems and leaves of catnip. When these catnips come close to the cats, it gets binds to the receptors on the sensory neurons those lines in the nasal cavity. These neurons project the message to the neurons that are located in the olfactory bulb. This, in turn, activates the different areas that control emotions and behavior in the different areas of the brain.
When we bring catnip near the cat, it smells it and usually begins to lick, chew, rub against and also begins to rolls around the plant. Some cats show different behavior from others, like some cat’s meow or run wildly around the plant whereas some drool or become docile and sedate. However, the type of exact behavior of a cat depends upon the amount of catnip inhaled or consumed.
More the cat inhales the catnip or consumes it, stronger is its effect. In fact, some cats become too anxious and even get a bit of aggressiveness. Fortunately, the effect of this inhaled smell lasts for about 5 to 15 minutes only. After that, the cat loses its interest and takes a rest of about 2 hrs in order to get repeated with the same response.
However, it is amazing to know that fact that not all the cats show their response towards these catnips. This response is usually hereditary. According to some research, about 70 to 80 percent of the cats show response to the catnips. Out of this ration the cats that are younger than six months and the cats that are very old, are not likely to respond to these catnips.
Are you wondering that why do catnips hold the power over the cats? Well, we have already discussed the fact, that the plant contains nepetalactone, which gets into the brain of the cat through its sensory nerves. Once these responses get to the brain, it is difficult to tell what goes in there because we don’t have complete neurological knowledge about the behavior of the cat.
Besides giving the craziest response to the cats, these catnips are usually not harmful to the cats. Although sometimes cats go mad over these catnips, these are not at all addictive for the cats. So if your cat enjoys catnip a lot, then you don’t need to worry about it. Sit back and let your cat have a great time enjoying the catnips.
Besides giving Kitty pleasure, catnip has a number of other uses, some of which may surprise you. Please click on the text links below for further information on anything that interests you.