FLORIDA – Big Cat Rescue, which is based out of Tampa, Florida, provides a wonderful sanctuary for all big cats.One of the questions that workers are often asked all the time is whether or not these big felines react to catnip like their domesticated relatives do.
In case you didn’t know, catnip is a herb from the mint family which contains an essential oil, called nepetalactone, that causes cats to go nuts. However, the exact neurological response is not entirely understood quite yet. The Humane Society’s website states:
“Researchers aren’t sure what the neurological explanation is, but it’s thought that catnip mimics feline ‘happy’ pheromones and stimulates the receptors in the brain that respond to those pheromones.” Only about 50% of cats have a reaction to catnip, and this is because sensitivity to the herb is an inherited trait. For the cats that do have the gene for sensitivity to catnip, the reaction is amusingly bizarre. Many cats love to roll around, rub their face in the catnip, rub up against objects, or simply run like mad”.
See for yourself! And be sure to follow Big Cat Rescue on Facebook!
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