Does your cat love catnip in toys or catmint in the garden? Some go mad for it - running around, licking the catnip, rolling onto their back or going limp and purring.
Catnip belongs to the mint family and includes nepetalactone, which is the compound that attracts your cat. They love the smell of it.
Other compounds in catnip affect neurotransmitters, "resulting in inhibition of central nervous system activity," said Dr. Bruce Kornreich, an associate director for education and outreach with the Feline Health Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York.
It may appear your cat is getting high - as if he is on drugs - but there's no evidence that catnip is operating in the same way as, for example, cannabis or cocaine.
And it seems that many members of the cat family love catnip.
Hunters have used catnip to trap cougars and mountain lions, hanging dried plants to lure the big cats with their tempting aroma. Studies have also shown that lions, leopards and jaguars respond to the compounds found in catnip, though tigers appear to be unaffected,
So if you want to spoil your own little lion, get him some catnip!
My sassy, grumpy cat Toffee is also taking part in the A to Z Challenge. Take a look here: www.notsosweettoffee.com
* * * * * * *If you are a cat lover - especially a lover of the grumpier members of the species, this is the book for you. Written by Toffee who, despite her name, is the least sweet cat you can imagine. The world according to Toffee exists to serve her and woe betide anyone who forgets it. Paperback on left, Kindle version on right.
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