Why does catnip make cats cheer up? Is it harmful to cats?

Friends who raise cats, I don’t know if you have ever seen such a large-scale famous scene. The cats gather together in groups, and it has become a cat social meeting.

As we all know, cats like to live alone, so what is the reason for them to come here? It’s actually because there are a few catnip plants planted here.

People who don’t own cats may not even know what catnip is? So why does catnip make cats cheer up? Is it harmful to cats?

Catnip is a kind of herb, but it has nothing to do with mint, it just looks like mint. The scientific name of catnip is Nepeta, which is a perennial plant of the genus Nepeta in the Lamiaceae family, 40-150 cm high. In addition to making cats cheer up, Nepeta is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine. Catnip is distributed in many places around the world, and it is a plant that has strong adaptability and is relatively easy to grow.

People who are more concerned about cats will find that cats like to eat some grass. However, the grass cats eat is not the same as catnip. Cat grass is the general term for the grass that cats like to eat. It is mainly gramineous plants, such as setaria, wheat seedlings, barley seedlings, oat seedlings, etc., or ordinary grasses on the lawn outside. . The reason why cats eat grass is because cats like to lick their hair with their tongues. These grass residues can promote the discharge of hair bulbs in the stomach and play a role in cleaning the intestines and stomach.

Catnip is rich in aromatic essential oils, so it emits a strong fragrance. People have discovered a long time ago that when a cat smells this scent, its behavior becomes very confusing, such as rolling around with excitement, meowing continuously, squinting eyes, and even lying down. On the ground, he was in a daze, becoming drunk, and sometimes took a few mouthfuls of catnip.

Domestic cats have been domesticated by humans for 3,500 years, but they are still not as well-behaved as dogs. It is precisely because catnip can affect the behavior of cats that some people who raise cats love this kind of thing.

The reason why catnip can cause cats to have this strange reaction is because the fragrance of catnip contains a chemical substance of nepetalactone. This substance can have an effect on the cat’s mood after being inhaled by the cat’s nose. He became extremely excited and intoxicated. Studies have shown that catnip not only affects cats, but also tigers and other animals in the cat family are also affected by it. Some cats play toys with chemical fragrances containing nepetalactone.

Although catnip has such effects, it is not addictive, and cats do not need to use it to maintain their health. The chemical substance in catnip smell generally only affects cats for 5 to 15 minutes, and the longest is no more than one hour. When the cat returns to normal, it will take at least another two hours before it will regain interest in this plant. So catnip is like wine, “drinking in moderation” will not harm cats.

Catnip is good, but not all cats like it. Some cats are not sensitive to catnip, which may be related to genetic factors. Studies have shown that about half of cats are sensitive to catnip.

Catnip is an artifact of cats. If you have cats in your home, you can plant a few catnip plants, and the smell of this plant can also play a role in repelling mosquitoes within a certain range. People can also consume catnip in moderation, such as making tea and mixing wine.

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