The Truth about Catnip
We have all heard the stories about cats gone wild, strung out on catnip, while my cat could care less about the stuff. Why is it then that some cats take one whiff of catnip and seem to defy gravity and other cats seem unaffected by its magic? Well, its time to separate fact from fiction when it comes to catnip and cats.
Depending on whom you ask some might say that catnip is like kitty cocaine, but the truth is catnip is an herb from the mint family. Catnip's botanical name is Nepeta cataria. Within Catnip there is a compound called monoterpene nepetalactone that has a strong effect on some cats. Monoterpene nepetalactone is present throughout the plant but is especially strong in the plant's leaves. Monoterpene nepetalactone reduces cats' inhibitions and may cause cats to have mild hallucinations. Some people compare cats' reactions to catnip to that of humans on LSD or marijuana and catnip does have some similar chemical characteristics.
Researchers have shown that cat each react differently to catnip. Some seem to go into a catnip high, while others become more aggressive and others become more sexually aroused.
So why does my cat not react to catnip? New studies have proven that one in three cat don't respond to catnip because of an inherited gene that not all cats have. Another factors that helped to determine a cat's reaction to catnip included age. Kittens don't seem to be affected by catnip until they are around 9 to 10 months old.
Although cats respond to catnip like a drug it has been shown that catnip has no addictive properties. There have been no known reports of cats no being able to make it through the day without a catnip fix. Capnip has a low toxicity level and the capnip high only lasts about 10 minutes so as long as it doesn't make your cat more aggressive there is no harm is allowing your kitty to enjoy a little catnip now and then.
Tina Seay is the author and webmaster of [http://www.forthecatlover.com] a website for cats and the people who love them. There are lots of cute cat pictures, cat health articles and a nice selection of gifts for cat lovers of all ages. Her other websites include http://www.LearnSomethingToday.com a website that promotes a healthy lifestyle with exercise, nutrition, recipes and so much more andhttp://www.YourWeddingStory.net a site that helps the whole bridal party get ready for a dream wedding. Her goal in life is to help others achieve their goals.
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