Cats’ reaction to catnip

Ah, the infamous catnip – a plant that can turn even the most aloof feline into a playful and euphoric ball of fur. But have you ever wondered why cats react the way they do to this magical herb?

Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone, which binds to receptors in a cat’s nasal tissue, leading to a release of feel-good hormones in their brain. This reaction can vary from cat to cat, with some becoming hyperactive and playful, while others may become more mellow and relaxed.

It’s important to note that not all cats are affected by catnip – sensitivity to it is actually hereditary, with around 50-70% of cats having a positive response. Kittens and older cats are less likely to react to catnip, as the sensitivity usually develops around 3-6 months of age.

So, the next time you offer your furry friend a catnip toy, observe their reaction and enjoy the show. Just remember to use it in moderation, as too much catnip can lead to overstimulation and a temporary loss of interest in the herb.

Do you have a catnip lover at home? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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