What is catnip?
The scientific name of catnip is Nepeta cataria, a perennial herb of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, and the true mint Mentha of the plant is purely distant relatives. Its genus name Nepeta comes from Nepa, a city in ancient Italy, and the species name Cataria comes from Latin The word cat Catus means the plant that cats like.
Because it looks a bit like mint and has a strong fragrance, people actually prefer to call it catnip instead of catmint.
The origin is distributed from Eastern Europe to western China, and the altitude ranges from sea level to nearly 2500 meters above sea level. It has strong adaptability and is easy to plant.
The magic of Catnip
It has long been discovered that it has some strange effects on cat behavior. Because of its rich aromatic oils, it only needs to be lightly touched to emit a strong and complex scent. Whenever the cat smells it, cats may become very excited and roll around; or may be happy with catnip after eating a few bites, and some cat will squint their eyes and become very intoxicated. The various reactions are different. It is completely different from the two cats before smelling catnip. The reason why it can cause all kinds of madness and strange reactions to cats is because it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, like a pheromone, which will bind to the receptor in the cat’s nose after inhalation. Thereby stimulating the sensory neurons connected to the brain, changing the activities of multiple regions of the brain, and participating in the emotion regulation of cat.
Catnip will cause cats to have various strange reactions, and studies have shown that this effect on cats is not addictive. Most of the cats will return to normal in 5-15 minutes after they smelling it. For the interest in plants, the longest addictive time is usually not more than an hour. Cats will regain interest in catnip at least 2 hours after being intoxicated with it once.
This natural harmless plant that can produce irresistible appeal to cats has naturally become a magic weapon for people to play with cats and bond relationship with them. In addition to the fresh plants that are planted, now many professional cat toys will also Add compound chemical fragrances containing nepetalactone extracted from it, such as yarn balls and climbing stools.
There are many plants on the market called cat grass that are actually very different from catnip, such as wheat seedlings, oat seedlings, and green foxtail seedlings. Some cats will swallow this grass to clean their stomachs, but these plants will not affect your cat’s behavior.
The effects on different cats are quite different. Some newborn kittens will hate the taste of catnip very much. Some of the kitten cats stay cool and indifferent. It can help cats adjust their mood, but it is recommended that you never force them during use, as the results will be counterproductive.
Pregnant cats are prohibited from touching catnip. Some doctors call it a uterine stimulant. This is very unsafe for pregnant cats and may cause harm to pregnant women in close proximity.
Excessive catnip will make the cat sick and cause gastrointestinal problems. Some doctors say that the cat will control the amount of the cat, but just in case, cat parent is also required to monitor during using.
It’s better to use catnip two to three times a week, which can help most cats maintain the greatest interest in catnip. The dosage can be controlled to just attract cats. Different cats respond differently to catnip and have different sensitivities. You can adjust the frequency and dosage according to the specific situation, find a balance point to maintain interest. And Never Abuse.
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