Anyone else familiar with a collage like this?
Upon further inspection you’d see that its not just your average cat-sized pillow, its a catnip pillow!
Classic catnip.. A staple for cats and cat moms everywhere.. Well, 50% of cats.
Not all cats are affected by catnip!
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb in the mint family
The compound that makes kitty go crazy is nepetalactone. When sniffed, we get the zoomies! When ingested, we get a sleepy ball of fur. That’s right, catnip acts as a sedative when eaten!
Nepetalactone is a volatile oil and binds to protein receptors that stimulate sensory neurons. These neurons poke at the olfactory bulb which nudge the amygdala and the hypothalamus.
The amygdala integrates information from the nose to create changes in behavior
The hypothalamus works with the pituitary to stimulate a similar response to a natural pheromone response.
Only about half of all cats are affected by nepetalactone and this trait is believed to be hereditary. Catnip only affects cats over 6 months old as that is when they become sexually mature (work it, hypothalamus!).
Even better, catnip can be beneficial for humans! It makes a great soothing tea to lessen headaches, menstrual cramps, gas, indigestion, and nervousness as well as a natural mosquito repellant!
Luckily, my family has an abundant supply of fresh catnip in our garden, but in many areas, it grows very easily and takes little to no tending. Loki and I give this one two paws up!