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What is CatNip.
Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort, or catmint, is a species of the genus Nepeta in the Lamiaceae family, native to southern + eastern Europe, the Middle East, central Asia, and parts of China. It is also widely naturalized in northern Europe, New Zealand, North America, etc. The common name catmint can also refer to the genus as a whole.
Nepeta cataria is a short lived herbaceous perennial, growing 50–100 centimetres (20–39 in) tall and wide. It resembles a typical mint family member in appearance by having the characteristic square stem that members of the Lamiaceae plant family have, but with brown-green foliage. The coarse-toothed leaves are triangular to ovate.
The small bilabiate flowers can be white and finely spotted with pale purple or pink. They are showy and fragrant. The plant blooms from late spring through autumn.
Chemical Reactions in Cats
Catnip contains the feline attractant nepetalactone. Nepeta cataria (and some other species within the genus Nepeta) are known for their behavioral effects on the cat family, not only on domestic cats but also other species of cats. One test showed that tigers, leopards, and lynxes all reacted strongly to catnip in a manner similar to domestic cats, while lions reacted less frequently.
With domestic cats, N. cataria is used as a recreational substance for pet cats’ enjoyment, and catnip and catnip-laced products designed for use with domesticated cats are available to consumers. The common behaviors when cats sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip are rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, pawing at it, licking it, and chewing it. Consuming much of the plant is followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about and purring. Some growl,meow, scratch, or bite at the hand holding it.
he main response period after exposure is generally between five and fifteen minutes,after which olfactory fatigue usually sets in.
The nepetalactone in catnip acts as a feline attractant after it enters the feline’s nose. Cats detect it through theirolfactory epithelium, not through their vomeronasal organ. At the olfactory epithelium, the nepetalactone binds to one or more olfactory receptors.
Not all cats are affected by catnip.Roughly half to two thirds of cats are affected by the plant. The phenomenon is hereditary.
Other plants that also have this effect on cats include valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Acalypha indica (root) and plants that contain actinidine. Domestic house cats who do not react to catnip will react in a similar way to Tartarian honeysuckle sawdust.
A few samples of cats on drugs.