Investigating numerous cat responses to catnip: why some cats prefer it and others do not

Investigating numerous cat responses to catnip: why some cats prefer it and others do not

Catnip, additionally recognized scientifically as Nepeta cataria, is a plant that comprises a compound known as nepetalactone which might elicit a spread of responses in cats. Some cats react to catnip with an euphoric sense of pleasure, whereas others appear fully unaffected by it. This case sparked the curiosity of cat homeowners and researchers alike, resulting in an investigation into why some cats love catnip whereas others don’t. On this article, we’ll discover cats’ completely different responses to catnip and the explanations behind these completely different reactions.

The science behind catnip and its results on cats

Catnip comprises a compound known as nepetalactone, which is launched when the plant is crushed or bruised. When a cat comes into contact with nepetalactone, it binds to particular receptors in nasal tissue, triggering a biochemical response that stimulates sensory neurons. This course of finally results in the attribute behaviors related to catnip publicity, similar to rolling, flipping, and rubbing in opposition to the catnip supply. You will need to notice that not all cats react to catnip, as it’s estimated that round 50-70% of cats are delicate to its results, whereas the remaining proportion present no response in any respect.

Why do some cats love catnip?

For cats that react to catnip, their response could be fairly intense and amusing to watch. The cheerful behaviors exhibited by cats beneath the affect of catnip are considered the results of a genetic predisposition. In keeping with a examine printed in Behavioral processes Within the journal, allergy to catnip is an inherited trait, with kittens from responsive dad and mom exhibiting a excessive probability of reacting to catnip as effectively. This means that there’s a sturdy genetic element underlying a cat’s sensitivity to nepetalactone.

Moreover, the behavioral response to catnip is believed to imitate that of a cat in warmth, because the chemical substances in catnip can set off an identical response in a cat’s mind. This may increasingly clarify why some cats present extra extreme reactions to catnip, as they primarily reply to pheromones that replicate feline mating behaviors.

Examples of cats that love catnip

  • Video footage of cats rolling and rubbing with catnip-filled toys
  • Private tales from cat homeowners about their cats’ exuberant reactions to catnip
  • Notes Cats turn out to be extra playful and energetic within the presence of catnip

Why do not some cats reply to catnip?

Then again, there are a lot of cats that don’t react to catnip in any respect. This lack of response could be attributed to a number of components, together with genetics, age, and environmental influences. The identical examine talked about beforehand discovered that about 30-50% of cats shouldn’t have a genetic predisposition to be delicate to the consequences of catnip. In different phrases, their genetic make-up doesn’t permit the identical biochemical reactions to happen once they come into contact with nepetalactone.

As well as, kittens beneath 3 months outdated often don’t present a response to catnip. That is considered resulting from an underdeveloped nervous system that can’t but course of the compounds in catnip in the identical manner that grownup cats do. As such, it’s not unusual for kittens to point out no response to catnip till they attain the suitable developmental stage.

Examples of cats that don’t reply to catnip

  • Anecdotal stories from cat homeowners element their cats’ indifference to catnip
  • Notes Kittens and kittens don’t present any response to catnip till a sure age
  • Circumstances through which cats initially reacted to catnip however misplaced curiosity in it with age

Elements affecting a cat’s response to catnip

Other than genetics and age, there are different components that may have an effect on a cat’s response to catnip. Environmental influences, stress ranges, and normal well being can play a task in whether or not a cat will present a response to catnip. For instance, a cat who’s feeling anxious or distressed will not be inclined to deal with catnip, as her emotional state can overpower her traditional reactions to triggers similar to nepetalactone.

In circumstances the place a cat beforehand loved catnip however out of the blue misplaced curiosity in it, it might be an indication of an underlying well being downside or modifications in its surroundings. You will need to monitor your cat’s habits and preferences towards catnip, as sudden shifts in its response can point out potential well being issues that ought to be addressed by your veterinarian.


Cats’ numerous responses to catnip symbolize an fascinating facet of cat habits that researchers are nonetheless finding out and exploring. From the acute euphoric reactions of some cats to the entire indifference of different cats, the explanations behind these completely different responses spotlight the advanced nature of cat genetics and habits. By understanding the components that affect a cat’s response to catnip, we will achieve priceless insights into their total well-being and particular person preferences.

Whether or not your cat loves catnip or exhibits no real interest in it, her distinctive response is simply one other great facet of her mysterious and charming nature.