Catnip or catnip (Nepeta Cataria) – perennial plant growing in our country and beyond. Height plants are 50-100 cm, the leaves are in the shape of a triangle with wavy edges, white and purple catnip flowers. A distinctive feature of the plant is pronounced lemon leaf scent that attracts cats. Sometimes catnip called Melissa officinalis (they are similar in smell, shape leaves), but these are completely different plants, although related to one family.
Why do cats love catnip?
Not only domestic, but also large predatory cats (lions, tigers) love the plant due to the essential oil of non-detalactone contained in it. Cat olfactory receptors signal brain regions corresponding to for the sexual attraction of the animal, which is why catnip can considered feline aphrodisiac. The effect of the plant on cats can be compared with valerian (whose smell reminds cats, according to specialists, the smell of cat urine): a cat gnaws a plant stem, rubs against leaves, rolls on the ground or on the floor, her pupils widened, reverently purring, drooling, jumping and crouches again. In general, an animal in contact with catnip leads yourself as in the mating season. The euphoria lasts about 10-15 minutes, and a state of joy can cause, like fresh catnip (pictured below), growing both in soil and in dried form (pictured) right), although the aroma of fresh herbs is stronger. Sometimes cats eat pieces of catnip leaves, but the most important thing in this plant for of them is aroma – both of them are completely harmless. Interestingly, the smell of plants affects cats cats, but eaten leaves are more likely to have a sedative effect. Often in the composition cat toys includes catnip, making them fragrant attractive to the animal.
Is catnip harmless to animals?
The catman does not harm the cat, if only for the reason that it does not will enjoy the aroma of the plant incessantly – in 10-15 minutes of communication with the magical aroma, the cat loses to him for a while interest. The only exceptions to the rule are aggressive, extremely excitable individuals on which catnip have an adverse effect: the animal may attack other pets and the owner, mark the territory, that is, it happens adverse effect on the nervous system of the cat. By the way there are about 15-20% of cats that do not smell catnip and are not interested in him. In kittens whose age has not reached puberty, the plant will also not be in demand. IN in any case, the owner should not abuse himself catnip, constantly adding it to the cat’s food or flavoring it plant extract all objects belonging to the animal – bowls, bedding, toys, tray and so on.
The benefits of catnip for animals and people
For animals, eating catnip can be natural. prevention of helminthiasis, because some types of parasites do not tolerate this plant. Also chopped catnip can be added to cats food in small quantities so that to awaken the animal’s appetite. It should be remembered only that in everything need a measure, and in the case of catnip too. By the way, pregnant cats offer such a seasoning for food should not be, since greens catnip can cause increased blood flow and cramping intestines. To grow such an unpretentious plant is not labor – it is perennial, does not require special care. If the owner there’s no way to plant catnip in the garden, you can do it even at home – on the windowsill in potted. Dried leaves and flowers can be purchased at pharmacies. catnip, as well as plant extract. But the cat owner should remember that plant extract in pure undiluted form may be dangerous to the animal, so you should carefully study instructions for use. In addition to the benefits for feline catnip attractive to people – in traditional medicine (as a sedative remedy for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, headaches) and in cooking (as a spice, additives to fish, meat dishes), as well as medicinal teas. If you compare the effects of valerian and catnip, the first plant, perhaps, has more arousal on a cat (especially when it comes to alcohol tincture). Flashes of an unprecedented surge of joy can affect the psyche of the animal is negative, which is why the most reasonable plant a plant in the garden and let the cat decide for herself is it worth breathing in a magical fragrance for pleasure or not.