We bought some fresh catnip for our girls last weekend. I always feel slightly bad when I get some, almost as if I should be hanging around a street corner in Bedford to get my fix. I only say this because of the effect it has on Posh and Becks. It sends them into raptures for a full ten minutes or so. They rub against everything, they fall over and they seem out of control. And to top it off they always get the “munchies” straight after!
Now, I have seen very similar things at Glastonbury for the last three years, but….cats!? So, I started to think what is in it that sends them crazy and where does it come from. Who first discovered it had this effect?
My studies led me to finding out that Catnip contains the feline attractant nepetalactone.
This is known for the behavioural effects it has on the cat family, but not just domestic cats, but also other species. Leopards, cougars and lynxes can often react ion the same way.
About 33% of cats are not affected by catnip. The reason why is not really known but could be hereditary.
Cat nip plants look lovely in the garden and we had one last summer. But as you can see from the picture, Posh and Becks are definitely from the 66% of cats that do get affected. The plant didn’t last too long!