cat mint (Nepeta Kataria), also known as cat mint, a favorite plant of cats. As soon as they smell it, they run towards it like crazy, rolling, jumping, playing and even catching imaginary mice. Come on give them high significantly important. All this stimulation makes some substances are released into the environmentincreasing euphoria. However, not content with this, many cats also twist and gnaw its leavesas if trying to squeeze them. Scientists have long tried to unravel the purpose of felines to squeeze catnip in this way. And finally, they seem to have an answer, because apparently it protects them from insect attack.

This is the conclusion of a study recently published in iScience scientists from Iwate University, in Japan. This study focused on analyzing the functions of certain compounds present in both catnip and other plants that drive cats crazy. This is, for example, the case with valerian (valerian officinalis) wave silver vine (Actinidia polygamous).

There is a wide variety of these compounds, although two are generally the most important: nepetalactol and nepetalactone. Both chemicals belong to a group known as iridoids and they are produced by plants with a common function: to repel insects. And if they repel insects that can harm plants, then why don’t they repel those that can bite or parasitize cats?

Catnip: a trendy plant

Catnip is in vogue. Can be sold simply as a pot, but also in toys, blankets, scratching posts and all kinds of accessories for cats. there is even snacks with catnip. In general, what could be called a laughing cat muffin.

But just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’s new. In fact, this plant was already used in ancient Rome. The only difference is that at that time it was used not to please cats, but to treat all kinds of diseases. pathology in humans.

About a third of cats do not like catnip

Whether for humans or cats, the truth is that this is a plant herbaceous, with tubular purple flowers it is very easy to grow and this makes it even more attractive.

But if we focus on the attractiveness of cats, then there are many features to consider. Firstly, not only domestic cats like it. It also pleases other cats such as servals, leopards, cougars and bobcats. However, while lions and tigers can also react to catnip fumes, they don’t do so as intensely. In fact, not all domestic cats are equally attractive. It seems like a third of them have no effect. Besides, everything points to it being something hereditary.

But it is clear that many cats are attracted to this plant. Nepetalactone is known to stimulate a number of receptors present in your nasal cavities, causing great attraction. As soon as they reach the catnip, if they belong to two-thirds of those affected, the party begins. Cats play, meow, drool, run and, above all, romp on the leaves of the plant, promoting the release of the two compounds mentioned above. They pass into the air, and their effects become even more tangible.

But don’t settle for this, many cats they twist, scratch and gnaw the leaves. This may seem like another consequence of the euphoria that dominates them. But in fact, it may be that they are looking for something more. And indeed, according to a study just published, there is indeed a small gift inside catnip leaves.

Cat mint. Credit: Plenuska (Wikimedia Commons)

Pleasure and insecticide for the same price

In the study just published, two factors were observed. On the one hand, the action of substances present in catnip and silver vine with and without gaps. And, on the other hand, the insecticidal role of these chemicals.

First, they put a series of cats in cages, on the floor of which were fixed samples of catnip or other plants with a similar effect, in various formats, either intact, with scratched leaves, or directly from iridoids already extracted.

The study was conducted on mosquitoes, although it could be extrapolated to other insects.

Thus, they could see that feline euphoria set in sooner the more iridoids were available. That is, first with the removed iridoids, then with torn leaves, and finally with whole leaves.

But, be that as it may, with whole leaves there was no rave still a cat. There must have been something else. This is where the second part of the study comes into play, as iridoid samples or ethanol controls were placed in chambers that were injected with mosquitoes of the species. Aedes albopictus. They were all women; Well, as we already know This is what they bite.

Thus, iridoids have a highly effective repellant action against mosquitoes. Only what happened to these insects was studied, but the same efficiency with others is not excluded.

Hence, what cats can really look for is two in one. They have a great time, stay very relaxed and, by the way, avoid annoying bites when rubbed with insecticide. Yes in coffee shops If the Dutch offered something similar, they would surely become even more famous than they are now. Cats know very well what they are doing.

Source: Hiper Textual

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