Catnip and the catnip response

  title={Catnip and the catnip response},
  author={Arthur O. Tucker and Sharon S. Tucker},
  journal={Economic Botany},
Fourteen chemical compounds from diverse biological sources elicit a unique pattern of behavior in most species of the family Felidae. These chemicals may be grouped into 7-methylcyclopentapyranones, 7-methyl-2-pyrindines, and 4-methylbenzofuranones. They may function as either hallucinogens or cross-react with naturally occurring social odors. 

Behavioral differences among domestic cats in the response to cat-attracting plants and their volatile compounds reveal a potential distinct mechanism of action for actinidine

Both the personality of the cat and genetic variation in the genes encoding olfactory receptors may play a role in how cats respond to cat-attracting plants, and data suggest a potential distinct mechanism of action for actinidine.

Response to Acute Stress in Domestic Cats Using Synthetic Analogues of Natural Appeasing Pheromones with Nepeta cataria Extract Rich in Nepetalactone: A Double-blinded, Randomized, Positive Controlled Cross-over Study

This work has shown that classical odours could possibly complete, modify, synergise, or add to pheromone-driven communication in felines, including in the Response to Acute Stress in Domestic Cats using Synthetic Analogues of Natural Appeasing Pheromones with Nepetalactone.

Phytochemical Constituents of Genus Nepeta

The major compounds present in the essential oils of different Nepeta species have been summarized in this review article.

Catnip essential oil: There is more to it than making your cat go crazy

An overview of the volatile phytochemistry of catnip (Nepeta cataria), its biological activities, and a survey of recent reports on Nepeta essential oils are presented.

Volatile compounds from some wild growing aromatic herbs of the Lamiaceae from southern France

Abstract The composition of the volatile fraction in selected aromatic plants of the Lamiaceae from garrigue sites in southern France is described. Calamintha nepeta appeared heterogeneous. The oil

The characteristic response of domestic cats to plant iridoids allows them to gain chemical defense against mosquitoes

It is found that the iridoid nepetalactol is the major component of silver vine that elicits this potent response in cats and other felids and provides an important example of chemical pest defense using plant metabolites in nonhuman mammals.

Pharmacological and chemical features of Nepeta L. genus: Its importance as a therapeutic agent

Nepeta species are characterized by terpenoid‐type compounds and phenolic constituents, which exert several activities such as an antimicrobial, repellent against major pathogen vector mosquitoes, insecticide, larvicide and antidepressant, revealing its importance in medicinal and agricultural fields.

Volatile Chemical Constituents of the Chilean Bryophytes

Oplopanone, trans- chrysanthenyl acetate and 6,7-secoeudesm-7(11)-en-6-al are compounds here newly reported to the bryophytes, while α-Ylangene and α-herbertenol are new to hornworts, while n-heneicosane is new to mosses.

Himalayan Aromatic Medicinal Plants: A Review of their Ethnopharmacology, Volatile Phytochemistry, and Biological Activities

This review presents a summary of aromatic medicinal plants from the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, and Bhutan, focusing on plant species for which volatile compositions have been described.



Catnip: Its Raison d'�tre

Catnip (nepetalactone) is closely related chemically to certain cyclopentanoid monoterpenes recently isolated from insects, and it shares with some of these terpenes an ability to repel insects. It


The authors examined the effects of three components of ‘Matatabi’ extract, beta‐phenylethylalcohol, actinidine and ‘Matatabi’‐lactone isolated by Sakan, Fujino, Murai et al. on cats, dogs, rabbits

New macrocyclic compounds from the secretions of the civet cat and the musk rat

The odoriferous glands of the civet cat and the musk rat contain not only the limited number of macrocyclic components described in the classical literature, such as civetone

The effect of an ethanol extract of catnip (Nepeta cataria) on the behavior of the young chick

The alcohol extract of catnip has a biphasic effect on the behavior of young chicks, and low and moderate dose levels cause increasing numbers of chicks to sleep, while high doses cause a decreasing number to sleep.

Feline Attractant, cis,trans-Nepetalactone: Metabolism in the Domestic Cat

Cis,trans-Nepetalactone, the biologically active component of catnip, was force-fed to the domestic cat and the major metabolite was α-nepetalinic acid, which was excreted in the urine together with small amounts of dihydronepetalact one, unchanged cis, trans, and several unidentified compounds.

Species-characteristic responses to catnip by undomesticated felids

It was quantitatively demonstrated that catnip responsiveness is not limited to the domestic cat, that it is notlimited to the female, and that it varies dramatically between species and age of felids.