It’s the oil in catnip that makes felines go crazy

There is an oil found in the catnip plant
called nepetalactone. Researchers believe
that when this oil enters a cat’s nasal
tissue, it binds to protein receptors that
stimulate sensory neurons. This leads to a
response in neurons in a part of the brain
known as the olfactory bulb which
projects to other brain regions; regions
that not only mediate emotional responses
to stimuli (causing a behavioural
response), but also regulate
neuroendocrine responses, making the cat
react to an artifi cial cat pheromone. It
doesn’t affect all cats, but many react by
rolling around, fl ipping over, becoming
hyperactive and sometimes acting
aggressively, before experiencing a come
down ten minutes later.


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